How many of you have heard of Dr.Randy Pauch ? If not, its never too late to check his last lecture. A pancreatic cancer basically cut his life short to couple months. Faced with such a situation most of us would have given up. Instead he chose to inspire the world and make a difference. The key word here is, “Chose”. No matter what happens in life, how difficult the circumstances, you have the ability and freedom to choose your response. Indeed, you are responsible ( response-able) for your life.
As Dr.Covey puts it, human beings are endowed with four unique abilities,
- Self-awareness : Your understanding that between a life event and your response to it, you have the freedom to choose.
- Conscience: Your ability to use your mind as an inner compass that guides your actions and thoughts in accordance with your values and principles. To distinguish the right from wrong.
- Imagination : Your ability to think of alternative solutions to your problems, to come up with goals that you want to achieve in your life, to visualize your future.
- Independent will: It’s your ability to make decisions independent of your social conditions and circumstances.
You can use these unique abilities to take the driver’s seat in your life. Instead of passively reacting to life’s events based on social conditions and genetic pre-dispositions, you can take the initiative and consciously direct your actions based on your values and goals.
You can choose not to have that extra coffee, you can choose to bike instead of driving to work, you can choose to have a meaningful conversation with your spouse instead of watching TV. You have the freedom to choose. In those choices, lies the opportunities for growth and happiness. Choose wisely. This is the essence of proactivity.