Whether we are aware of it or not, the majority of the humans base their decisions and their actions from a reactive point of view. I’m not saying that this is true 100% of the time, but the majority of your actions likely come after a thought, a fear, or a suggestion/criticism from somebody else.
An example is when people start a new exercise regime or a new diet because perhaps they couldn’t fit into an article of clothing in a store, or maybe they saw advertising with a skinny model with a smile on his/her face. For example, seeing Teyana Taylor’s fit physique in Kanye West’s “Fade” music video and deciding to go to the gym the next morning.
The stimulus in this case is not a bad thing because it pushed a lot of people to exercise. But just like New Years Resolutions, how many people are still motivated one, two, three weeks later? Even though the intention is good, the reactivity to the stimulus is not sustainable.
Even our very own (Canadian) health care is reactive. If you don’t believe me, when was the last time your family doctor called you and asked how you were doing without checking in on a previous health problem, but just simply because they cared? And I’m not talking about healthcare providers, like your dentist, that are not covered by your basic health insurance.
The most classic example of a human reacting to a situation is by getting a job. For the most part, the thought of, “I need money”, is what sparks someone to get a job, which isn’t actually a bad thing, because we obviously need money to survive. However, it is the emotional attachment to the stimulus that is the problem. In this case, the stimulus is the need of money for survival.
The emotional attachment would probably sound something like “Even though I don’t like this job, I can’t quit because I need money”. This is not the same train of thought for every person, but this kind of train of thought that keeps people stuck in their routines and stuck in the mindset that they can’t do better. Reactivity sets people up for failure, or survival, which is not as blessed as being able to thrive.
So how does one go about thriving? Be PROACTIVE.
And how does one know if they are being reactive or proactive?
The best way to know how proactive or reactive you are is to put yourself in a very physical situation. For example, in a game of capture the flag, are you that team player that takes risks to go capture the flag, or are you that person that waits on your own side of the battlefield waiting to catch others that step onto your side?
During a game of laser tag or paintball, are you hunting, or are you being hunted?
Are you someone that plans events, or someone that attends events?
Do you share your ideas, or do you only listen to other people’s ideas?
Personally, I found that I had a reactive personality through martial arts because in every damn sparring match, until about a year before I became a black belt, I was the dumbass that never kicked first. I never explained “HEY! I’m here! I’m taking control of this situation!” by kicking first and by having confidence that I could be in control and be a leader. But if you put me in the octagon now, it’s a totally different story.
So very quickly, how does one become more proactive?
- The first thing you need to do is be aware of when and where you are being reactive in your life, and the second thing is to practice being proactive in those situations.
- Ask yourself why are you doing something? For example, ask, “Why am I reaching for this spoon of peanut butter late at night?”
- Stop the bullshit that you tell yourself when you say “I’m going to start _____________ soon”. When exactly is soon? Can you measure and tell me exactly when soon is?
- And even if you say tomorrow, next week, this year, etc., you need to stop. What are you doing right now?
- This minute.
- This second.
- Sit and meditate for at least 10 minutes and get to a quiet state of mind, clear your emotions, and then begin to ask yourself, “What do I want?”
- Once you have a list of things that you want to accomplish, begin to visualize it and verbalize it. For example, make a vision board.
- Make time to get to know you. Ask yourself who you are, and what makes you happy.
- Reduce the amount of patterns in your life and get out of your daily box routines.
- Drive a different way to work.
- Order a new drink at Starbucks.
- Listen and dance to a new music genre.
- Take a Universal Kaballah class. It’s worth the investment. It will change your entire thought process.
- And lastly, put yourself in situations that force you to be proactive, even though those situations are probably going to bring you a hell of a lot of resistance
Start retraining your brain today by taking some proactive baby steps, and eventually you will begin to see old patterns of survival start to melt away from your mindset. This will bring you a greater sense of adventure, control, and more clarity of who you are and where you are at in your life.
I hope you learned something from this article, and I hope you go out and use this knowledge to create a better, happier, more beautiful, and luxurious life for yourself.
But I mean like, don’t be reactive to this post 😉