Proactive vs. Reactive

We live our lives on the cusp of fate…waiting for someone / something to ruffle our feathers! Yet the opportunity always exists for us to gain an edge and be on top of our game. For this gift we will give up something… the comfort of relaxation.

I’ve lived a great portion of my life waiting for something spontaneous to happen! “Will I get a job today?” “Will I be picked next on the soccer team? Will he choose me to be his wife? While life was passing me by, I realize the consequence of JUST being reactive!

Yesterday, I shared with a friend that I missed watching “Amen” The 1986  sitcom was centered around a church deacon, Deacon Fry (Sherman Hemsley) , his daughter, Thelma (Ana Marie Horsford) and Rev. Gregory (Clifton Davis).

What stood out to me most about the show was Thelma Fry’s undying pursuit and interest in Rev. Gregory.  Though he denied her request many, many, many times she did not give up! After many seasons of denial, Rev. Gregory could not deny that Thelma was going to be a strong force in his life — no matter what and her love and pursuit of him would not cease. She was proactive. She GOT what she wanted…no matter how long it took!

In doing a bit of research, I found nearly 70% of the world population is reactive, while 30% of the population is proactive!

Pro-Active vs. Re-Active E-How author Grant McKenzie, defines the action of proactivity as planning ahead and anticipating problems. Whereas, being reactive means waiting for problems to appear before addressing them.  She outlined the pros & cons of each.

PROS :”Being proactive can help eliminate problems before they appear and can make execution of your tasks more efficient. Being reactive can simplify the planning process, allowing you to act faster.” CONS: “Being proactive lengthens the planning process and can lead to overplanning as all potential options are analyzed. Being reactive can lead to unforeseen problems in execution that may require extensive time and effort to solve or correct.”

Most experts believe and teach the practice of balancing both worlds, “the importance of being proactive while maintaining a willingness to act. A balance of proper planning and effective execution is required for success.”

I also came across a great article on HubPages that talked about this subject from a biblical perspective. The author discusses his personal life and actions in relation to the change he had to undergo in order to be proactive! It is NOT an easy process! Believe me! He also shared about the extensive lengths God has gone to make sure we get the message! Prophets, Christ, His Word, Messengers (like us!) and spiritual confirmation. Amazing!

At the end of the day,  you can’t plan for everything, but if you create a workable plan that gives structure and direction, while also leaving room for life’s surprises …things just might turn out okay!

Are you ready to do what it takes to be proactive (with a reactive backup) …today?




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