The first habit in Steven Covey’s book; The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is “Be Proactive”. In his book Mr. Covey says that being proactive is about taking responsibility for your life. He writes that our life doesn’t just “happen;” that whether we know it or not, our lives are designed by none other than ourselves. He goes on to say that we make our own choices. We choose happiness. We choose sadness. We choose decisiveness. We choose ambivalence, courage, fear and numerous other things. He tells us that we make new choices in every moment and every situation, and in doing so, we have an opportunity to do things differently to produce more positive results.
I am reminded this week how this first habit can impact your life. In seemingly the same situation those who made a conscious decision to be happy and not feel angry or hurt any longer, seem to weather the storms in their lives so much better.
For me it really comes to light when you interact with someone everyday and sometimes secretly wish you had their life, mostly because they are so happy and have no problem or a care in the world. Life for them seems like a fairytale. Come on admit it, you have dealt with this feeling at some point in your life. More amazing is when you somehow learn this individual has had not one or two but several catastrophic events in their life, and some they are still dealing with. Yet they never once gave you or anyone else around them an indication that they were upset or life wasn’t fair, etc.
We’ve all been there, a situation we didn’t expect that turns our world upside down. And I for one wish I always reacted positively and constructively, afraid not, but trying. Yet when I witness individuals like this, I am inspired and I commend them for their sense of humility and courage, as well as their desire to be the creative force of their life rather than being the victim to current circumstances. When we experience painful situations it’s hard to gain the self-awareness to choose to be positive. But I will say it does give you a sense of freedom, rather than surrender.