Throughout life we all experience things that could throw us for a loop.

Things that aren’t our fault, like the loss of a loved one, being abused as a child, a broken relationship, being bullied, a flat tire on the way to an audition or job interview, etc.

Though we’re not to blame for these occurrences, we as human beings are still responsible for our own lives. If we think our lives are a product of our conditions and circumstances, it’s because we’ve either made a conscious decision to, or by default empowered those conditions or circumstances to shape our lives.

Part of being a winner in life means recognizing the responsibility we have to make positive things happen in our lives.

A story was once shared about three childhood friends that grew up together from elementary school. They were inseparable for over a decade and called themselves, “The Three Musketeers”. Unexpectedly one friend passed away and the two remaining were devastated. They were in high school now, and one of the two chose to use the misfortune in a positive way as fuel, and pushed harder to finish school. The other chose to react negatively by turning to alcohol and marijuana, and never ended up graduating.

Two people experienced the exact same trauma, but the way they chose to respond was completely different.

No one knows why, but what can be said is the inner strength of the graduate allowed him to respond positively, which led him to success. He responded PROACTIVELY to his situation instead of merely reacting to his situation and circumstances in a negative way.

Proactive people take responsibility for their lives, they recognize that they’re “response-able.” They understand that their strength is in their ability to choose how they will respond when bad things happen. They don’t blame genetics, circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. They know behavior is a choice.

Reactive people, on the other hand, are often affected by their physical environment. They find external sources to complain about and blame for their behavior. If the weather is good, they feel good. If it isn’t, it affects their attitude and performance and thus, they place blame.

Instead of reacting, or worrying about conditions over which they have little or no control, proactive people focus their time and energy on things they can control.

Proactive people focus their efforts on the things they can do something about. Reactive people focus their efforts on things they have little or no control over.

Gaining an awareness of the areas in which we expend our energy is a giant step in being “response-able.”  Be proactive and take ownership of how we respond to the negative things in life that can derail us and potential destroy us.

For more information on this topic click this link and read 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.  



“Part of being a winner in life means recognizing the responsibility we have to make positive things happen in our lives..”

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