In simple words, Proactive Approach is to plan and align things in advance by foreseeing future risks, problems or challenges.
Having said that, there are three kind of people on earth. Category-1 is those who strategize things as they have the visualization to portray the future. So they organize things in advance in order to avoid any possible set back. I call these people as'Organizers'. Category-2 is those people who have the reactive methodology to handle things. That means whenever a situation arises they react accordingly. I call these people as 'Reactors'. Although there can be good Reactors but the majority of them are bad Reactors since most of the situations do not give them the luxury of taking a U-Turn for going back to neutral to start again. Category-3 is Commoners. These people do not have control on their lives. They are the product of their circumstances. They automatically flow with the wind; no matter where the wind takes them to. Of course, the first category is the best one as they have a proactive approach to life. So coming back to the track to understand the concept of pro-activeness in more details. Here are some points:
1. Proactiveness is the vision and ability to align the tasks well in advance to avoid mishaps.
2. Proactiveness is to foresee the possible problems and work on the contingencies in parallel with the master plan. It is strongly recommended to execute your contingencies before they execute themselves at the required time, because you never know whether your contingency plan is going to be successful or not. Hence be sure about it by testing the contingency in advance specially when the risk factor is high.
3. Proactive people have the analytical skills to understand any situation in detail so that they can see low level risks and plan accordingly. (You may want to review my article on analytical skills here.
Considering a Tree analogy, I would refer 'The Organizers' as 'The Roots', 'The Reactors' as 'The Branches' and 'The Commoners' as 'The leaves'. Always remember the fact that when the wind blows, its leaves which are impacted at first place. So its Leaf's responsibility to stick to the Tree if they need to live. For Tree, it does not matter if any of the leaf is broken due to strong wind (circumstances). Which category you belong to? Please share your thoughts.
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