Introduction At every stage of life we are faced with new equations. Life's glorious uncertainties seemingly sets us back a bit, and we are oftentimes dazed, wondering what will happen next, or what to do next. Yet, being pro-active is one big answer to these crisis points in life. It does not help if we are either passive, or reactive.
What are the paths to be pro-active? What are the Pre-requisites? We shall seek some answers in this article.
Pro-active Attitudes and Behavior Vs Passive and Reactive Behaviors While Passive men and women watch things happen, Reactive men and women act after things happen. In total contrast to these two types of behavior, Pro-active Men and Women, Make things happen.
We will take one or two examples to illustrate this phenomenon. After the twin-towers were bombed, for the most part of the late nineties and the year 2000, there was a recession of sorts. Many lost their jobs. A couple of close friends, both well employed in IT, went back to their native places, after they lost their jobs. Both merely helped their father, to the extent possible, in agriculture. Since there was a recession, the prices of farm produce was not great and their fathers were also affected. Still, these two bachelors did not do anything at all. They just watched things unfolding in front of their eyes. That was the best of passive behavior. Passive attitudes as well.
The third person who also lost his IT job, was made of sterner stuff. Just two years into marriage, husband of a school teacher,whose job was safe in Government service, this guy immediately took a dip in salary, joined a Business Processing Organization (BPO) in Chennai, and his superb English speaking skills helped him too. He enrolled for a SAP Finance course with a local institute and had a certificate ready. He applied to an advertisement of a Hyderabad based IT firm, that were looking for professionals with his background. That was when the recession was all over in 2002. He got the job in a fairly senior position. Today, he is a team leader in the same company. His pro-active attitude helped him to change the course of his life. He made it happen.
We often find excuses for not doing something. This is the hugely passive behavior. Or we do something, when it badly pinches us. Like taking a life insurance policy, after one has met with an accident, and then recovered. Till then, "nothing will happen to me"thinking clouds us. This is nothing but reactive behavior.
Even in choosing houses for rent, we can be pro-active. Even if the maintenance charges are a little steep, gated communities are more safe, more neat and more peaceful. Money is well spent. However, we go to areas where there is no security or peace, just because they are cheap on rent. The thief comes calling. We are badly affected. We were penny wise, but pound foolish.Typical example of reactive behavior.
Examples abound. The key is to learn from such mistakes and always be pro-active.
What next? Always asking the question "What next?" is the key to pro-active behavior. This does not mean mere activities. For example, taking up correspondence courses for the sake of additional degrees, does not help at all. If one cannot take a risk and change careers and jobs, it is not wise to even qualify oneself further. So, the question, "What next?" should always be anchored in a positive context, taking us to the next level, in terms of being alive, being very active and being optimistic.
This applies to our children too. Not getting a Medical seat in India is not the end of the world. There are many pro-active parents who now choose Russia and Indonesia, for medical education of their children. These two hot spots are fairly good for medical colleges. Passing an examination conducted by the Medical Council of India, is not a huge task, to qualify as a trained doctor, either. So, pro-active behavior always explores alternatives, alternative modes of action and does not waste a minute. The sky is the limit, if proper questions are asked, and proper answers found out too.
Involving significant others in crucial decisions Well, since pro-active behavior and attitudes leads us to new challenges and situations, it is wise to involve every one having stakes in vital decisions. Some pro-active organizations involve workmen, communicate to them changes and even make them shareholders. This is superb pro-active behavior.
This applies to family decisions too. For example, consider a person who flies to the Gulf, to take up a new job, in a very senior position. The family is left behind, and children are in the school final stage, which means they are not going to be around for three or four years. So,it is wise for the man to communicate everything to the children, and keep the wife involved in every aspect of life. This involvement does make a huge impact on effectiveness of decisions. For example, the decision to enroll the first son in a coaching institute for cracking the IIT JEE examination. This will go a long way, in helping the children being pro-active in their attitudes as well. The positive attitudes do have a good spin off.
Be consistently pro-active We need to be continuously pro-active. We can easily slip into passive and reactive behavior.This will negate all our good work. Having constant reviews can help us a great deal.