#218 Be Proactive (aka Response-Ability)

Habit #1 of Highly Effective People

The very first self-help book I ever read was by Stephen Covey, titled 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

The very first habit of the most effective people? Be Proactive.

The easiest way to understand how to be proactive? Break down the word “responsibility.”

Notice we have “response-ability.” The ability to CHOOSE your response.

Something happens. You don’t just react to it unconsciously. You, as a highly effective, proactive person, CHOOSE your optimal response.

ALL the great wisdom teachers and traditions echo this wisdom—which, of course, is why Covey made it his #1 Habit.

Here’s how Viktor Frankl puts it. He says that between a stimulus and your response there is a gap. Our freedom and our power and our effectiveness exists in that gap where we can CHOOSE our optimal response to any given stimulus.


Today’s +1. It’s time to work out your response-able muscles.

Make it a game. When you find yourself getting challenged by a less-than-awesome stimulus today—whether that’s a colleague or a spouse or a kid or a driver on the road—see if you can step into that gap and CHOOSE a better response.

Be Proactive. Be Response-able. Be Effective.

Moment to moment to moment.

+1. +1. +1.

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