COVID Topical #3: Proactivity
This may be a weird question, but do you have the ability to see the future? If you don’t, would you, just for a minute, pretend you did?
See towards the time when this crisis is behind us. You don’t have to see an exact date (though if you do, we’d be happy to hear from you) – but do look at yourself. How will you be after all this; the same, or different? Will you have learned and grown
Let’s return to the present. Knowing the possibilities that lie in the future, what you see in front of you now is opportunity. You don’t have to take it, but you can. And if you use this time fruitfully, you will come out of this situation a better version of yourself. The same goes for any other situation in life – a good time to start (or keep) learning about this is now. We’re talking about using this opportunity for personal development.
(Image by Porapak Apchodilok on Pexels)
You want to know something cool about personal development and learning to be proactive? When you’re proactive, you get to be extra productive. When you feel bored or trapped, you get to go outside and go to events. Even when the rest of the world has turned the key on their freedom. When there’s chaos and resources seem to be dwindling rapidly, you get to go and buy products in bulk to make sure you and your family can live.
No, wait. That’s not proactivity – that’s REactivity. That’s when people judge and feel something, and react. It’s understandable, but can lead to some bleak situations – for those affected by the reaction but also for the reactor.
Because if somebody were to always react, to what society thinks they should do, to what other people around them think, to how they feel when making a decision… Do you think they would live the life that’s best for them?
Following Stephen Covey we say: Between stimulus and reaction, people have the ability to choose. That’s what it means to be proactive. (We go more in-depth about this and about how your belief about whether you have control over things influences your life here.) You’ll find it a very empowering mentality.
(Image by geralt on Pixabay)
It’s easy enough to start incorporating being proactive into your life. Most simply, it boils down to one question that you can ask yourself in any situation: What can I do? Focus on what’s in your power and take action based on that. There’s not much use or reason in deliberating (or feeling somber about) something you cannot change.
The current situation is a very suitable time to start being proactive by trying something new. If you could use some inspiration, we have you covered. Here are some ideas about things you can try during lockdown:
1) Practice a new skill. If you’ve been wanting to try your hands at programming, coding, drawing, writing, photography… If there’s been some ability you’ve been interested in learning more about – give it a shot! Look at what you have or can get access to, and get started. Maybe learn from a friend or some resource about the topic. Speaking of resources…
2) Read books / do an online course. Learning is a base pillar for growth. It’s healthy for your brain and it helps you get better at pretty much anything you desire. If you get better at something, you increase your power and ability to make things happen. That means that, when being proactive, you have more options to choose from. More power means you can create a reality more suited to your liking.
3) Create content / teach something. Creating something is good practice for whatever skill you’d like to develop. The added benefit is that you also end up with something you can share with other people. It could be a piece of content for your business, if you have one, or just something you want to express. Furthermore, teaching something is also a great way of learning about it. If you’re interested in explaining a topic related to personal development, Extraordinary Life probably has an opportunity for you.
4) Do something you don’t normally get to. Although to-do lists are useful, there’s often some low priorities that end up delegated to the vague timeframe of ‘later’. We may see their value, but they just don’t ever become important enough to act on. Well, now is the time. Maybe you haven’t updated your resume or portfolio in a while. Maybe you’ve avoided cleaning for some time. Maybe you’ve waited to call somebody.
Lastly, don’t forget that the essence of these Topicals is about ideas intended to improve life on Earth. You do not ‘have to’ make any changes. In fact, feeling pressure to change and then doing so is reacting, not responding. What we propose in these posts are things you can do, and things you can think about, to help you move wherever you’d like.
Topical summary: The best time to start is now; reflect to learn about yourself and other things and teach yourself to choose a response that best suits your interests.
—to the Extraordinary, you