beings we are responsible for our own lives. Our basic nature is to act, and
not be acted upon. It’s instructive to break the word responsibility into two
parts – response-ability, the ability to choose your response. Highly proactive
people recognize that responsibility. They do not blame circumstances,
conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of
their own conscious choices, based on values, rather than a product of their
conditions, based on feelings. The opposite of proactive is reactive. The
spirit of reactive people is the transfer of responsibility. Their language
absolves them of responsibility.
determined. There’s nothing I can do about it.
emotional life is governed by something outside of my control.
built reactive, deterministic stimulus-response models of human behavior. The
basic idea is that we are conditioned to respond in a particular way to a
particular stimulus. In contrast, the proactive model states that between
stimulus and response lies our freedom to choose our response. As human beings,
we have four unique human endowments that distinguish us from the animal world.
These endowments reside in that space between stimulus and response:
a look at ourselves and examine our own thinking, our motives, our habits, and
guidance system, which allows us to sense when we act or even contemplate
acting in a way that’s contrary to principle.
Imagination is our ability to create in our minds beyond our present
act, free of all other influences.
time and energy on things they can control (their Circle of Influence) in lieu
of reacting to or worrying about conditions over which they have little or no
control (their Circle of Concern). In so doing, proactive people use positive
energy to influence conditions and increase their Circle of Influence.
young blooded, writer, computer scientist, blogger, proud Bowenite, and a