Monday, August 28, 2006

Habit 1: Be Proactive

For the next 7 weeks as part of my coursework, I am carefully studying each of the 7 Habits. I know I sound like a cult member and I guess maybe I am. None of this is anything more than common sense, but sometimes we are all lacking in that. I know that I have been.

The first Habit is about being proactive. Being "proactive" means taking responsibility for everything in life, rather than blaming other people and circumstances for obstacles or problems. One of my favorite pieces about this habit is that although we may not be able to control what life throws at us or what others say to us, we always have control over how we react to this. This is a very important lesson for me, as I often feel powerless to things going on around me and feel that my "hand" is already being played.

Habit 1 is going to be a challenge for me as I am required to change my negative thinking and realize that I do have control over myself, my happiness and my destiny. So many of the issues I have had in the past are based on feelings that I had in reaction to the behavior or words of others. I "let" people bother me, even when they weren't trying to, and put a ton of stock in the thoughts and feelings of others. I'm not going to do that anymore. I wasted so much of my life being negative, feeling bad inside, and being afraid of the world. I won't do it anymore. I'm in charge of everything that happens to me. I can always choose how to react and how to respond to something. That is so very liberating. I realize it is "common sense" but it isn't always an easy thing to do.