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proactive personality

Developing a Proactive Personality – How the Best Create Their Own Luck and Don’t Try to Control What They Can’t

Manifest: Anything is Possible is the name of the event coming up this month that Amplify is co-sponsoring with Walk the Talk.

In the event’s description, it reads:

The law of attraction is always steadfastly delivering what we have consciously or unconsciously asked for through our focus, our thoughts and most especially our feelings.

We are always in the process of manifesting and creating our lives. This is good news because it means we can change our thoughts to change our world. We can learn to come from an empowered place and use this law to manifest the life of our dreams.

Can’t say that I can disagree with this statement at all. In fact, I think most people who have done any work in the self-help / personal development space would agree with this statement.

However, I think there’s something I should bring up. And, I think it’s something that a lot of people tend to gloss over:

Being proactive is all about controlling what you can control and not expecting what you can’t.

Start with the End in Mind

We’ve all heard about Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In it, the first two habits are, I think, the hardest two for many people to get used to. Mainly because we live in such a reactive world.

The first one, is simply to stay proactive. Like my co-hosts and I talked about all the way back in session 5 of the AoL Podcast, It’s only when you work proactively that you can become the influencer instead of the influenced.

The second habit is all about planning. It says that if you want to be successful at achieving something, you need to start with the end in mind.

Not to go into too much detail in the football analogy here again, but since we did just see the New England Patriots win the Super Bowl again this past weekend giving both Tom Brady and Bill Belichick their 6th ring, it might be worth noting that there’s no doubt in my mind that they start from day 1 each season with the end in mind.

I’d go on to say that the particular end that they’re going for is easier to illustrate to the new roster because the organization has reached that pinical so many times.

That analogy aside, if you were to build anything, say a dog house, a phone application, or even an organization, you need to know what the final product will look like.

When it comes to these two laws, simply letting the universe (or God) decide our fate, isn’t a great move. We need have that plan in place to get to where we want.

Habit 3 suggests that the first thing we need to do is determine what the order of steps are we need to perform “to get there”.

Luck Does Play a Role

The definition of luck is this: it’s the point where preparedness and opportunity intersect. With that definition, it’s hard to not think that Andrew Luck has learned to truly embody his surname.

Quenton Nelson, who was the Colts’ rookie guard this year, recently said that Andrew is one of the biggest nerds he knows. And he’s not just talking about football. When the team is traveling, Andrew acts as a tour guide of the city they’re visiting.

When we’re wanting to achieve something in our work or lives, we need to not only be prepared, but we also need to be on the lookout for opportunity. Meaning, if you were a fisherman, sure you could have he best gear and have the best techniques, but if you’re not near a body of water, then you’re never going to land a fish.

Likewise, if you’re looking to serve a certain kind of people, but you’re spending your time elsewhere, perhaps that’s not the best move. If you were Andrew, even though you were good at it, you wouldn’t be practicing soccer in preparation for a football game.

External Expectancy: It’s a Trap!

Now, with all this talk about setting out with the end in mind and being lucky, there’s something we really need to watch out for.

Expecting certain results to come to us from the universe after we put in our own efforts.

Here’s the truth: you can only affect the things that you control. It’s when we try to affect things outside of our control that bad stuff happens.

For instance, you might have wanted to write a book. Ok, that’s great. Are you doing it for the right reasons though? Are you wanting to write it because you want to get nationally recognized or because you simply want to get your message out there?

If it’s the latter, then you’re good to start. Build a writing habit (say 1000 words per day) and you’ll have that puppy out in no time.

However, if the reason you’re wanting to write a book is because you want to get that recognition, then you might have some problems. For one, what if it doesn’t get recognized? Does that mean that you shouldn’t create in the future? Does that mean you need to choose a different niche? Perhaps you’re just not cut out to be an author?

It doesn’t mean any of those things. You just put the expectancy on external results.

Here’s another example. Perhaps you wanted to earn more money last year or become more connected in your industry. If you did everything that you could do to make that happen, but you’re upset. I’d argue, what’s really upsetting you isn’t that you failed – because you didn’t. What happened is that the results that you have no control over weren’t what you were expecting.

All of these questions pop up when you expect things to go a certain way and they don’t. So don’t try to control things you can’t control.

If you want more about this topic, Srini Rao did a good writeup over at Unmistakable Creative.

Action Steps

So here we are. Halfway through winter and you’re still spinning your wheels in how you can get out of your individual rat race.

If you really want to make your situation better, the first thing I would do is figure out if you’re truly doing meaningful work. I WOULD NOT set a possibly unattainable goal of being able to change or quit your job or switch the focus of your business in the next 90 days. You need to first get your bearings of who you are, where you fit in the world, and the superpowers you have.

After that, I’d seek out the first mountain you want to climb and start putting steps into place about getting there.

Maybe you want to be a coach – is there a certification that you’d want to get before setting off on that journey? Is the niche of people you’re wanting to serve actually able to pay you for your services? If not, what’s a possible way you can build an income stream from that work?

Maybe you want to be a consultant? Do you know what that entails? Where do you find clients? How would you sell your services to a potential client?

Heck, maybe you love watching American Pickers and you want to do what Mike and Frank do. Do you know what the market value is for antiques? Do you have a place to store your findings? How will you find targets to pick from?

Figure this stuff out before you set out on your own.

And the third step is this – set the fundamental daily habits in place that will enable you to be successful. As I mentioned earlier this year, I’d recommend looking at Brendon Burchard’s High Performance Habits. But there are tons of other books out there on the subject as well that might be a better fit for you.

AoL 005: How to Work Proactively, Not Reactively

Have you seen pictures similar to the one featured as part of the cover to this session? One’s where whoever was doing the construction, just didn’t think things through? Or even take the time to find out if the plans were right? In the long run, they’re probably going to have to do the work over, or even worse, lose the client that the project was for.

In our work, there’s many things that we can be a little bit more proactive about. Making a list for things you have to do is a good start, but making a schedule for the week is even better. Generally speaking, I believe the more proactive we are about things at work, the more opportunities we’ll have. The more opportunities we have, the more success we’ll see in our career.

So in this particular session, we’ll be talking about simple ways you can be more proactive in your day to day work life, but think about how you can apply those same skills to other areas in your life as well.

If you’re already being proactive in your every day work and life, what are some examples that you can share that might help others get more done? If you’re hearing about being proactive in your work for the first time, what do you think has prohibited you from being more proactive until now? Join us as we look into how to work proactively and not reactively.

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:

  • What working proactively actually means.
  • Why working proactively is important to getting ahead in life.
  • Why people are more reactive than proactive.
  • An introduction to Prussian Education system and why it doesn’t necessarily fit today’s student.
  • What has stuck with Jon from reading the book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey
  • Quick overview of SMART goals and how you can effectively use that model to make good goals.
  • How you can think of your goals like training for a big running event.
  • Why having a vision and why it’s important a journal, calendar, and visual aides to help get there.
  • …and much more

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

ITEMS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

SHOW NOTE EXTRA:

Want more information about the Prussian Education System?

Check out the introduction session of the School Sucks Podcast!

brad shoemaker

Inside Creative Zombie Studios with Brad Shoemaker

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