When you look at people who are considered “great”, they all have one key attribute in common- they’re proactive.
Whether it’s a great husband, wife, football coach, entrepreneur, innovator, or friend, you’ll find that these people are not the type to “let the pieces fall where they may”, and then complain about the way that it happened. While none of us can control everything that happens in our lives, we can definitely make an effort to take control of our lives instead of letting chance and other people’s actions control your situation.
Here’s 2 quick tips that can help you be more successful in your relationships, job, and aspirations:
Start Practicing Proactive Thinking
At the end of the day, you’re either thinking proactively or reactively. I know that “act” is in the middle of the word, but it doesn’t start with an action- it starts with the way that you think. If you aren’t thinking proactive, then there’s no way to make proactive actions because you probably missed the train. The art of thinking proactive is something that must be practiced regularly and developed over time. I believe that some people are born with an advantage in thinking this way, however I also believe that anyone can learn to think proactively.
This is one of the reasons that I love sales and communication in general. Every conversation has an end goal, but there is an intricate winding path to getting there. Think of it as a chess match. It seems like each player is just reacting to what the other person did, but with an experienced player that is not at all the case. An experienced player makes their move with the future moves in mind. They consider what might happen that’s out of their control, and already have a plan of how they will respond to it if it happens. While having a defensive plan ready, they charge forward on offense. In a sales conversation with someone, I am intentionally working to uncover and overcome objections early on in the conversation that are likely to come up later on. I’m constantly thinking 3, 4, 5 steps ahead so that I can first qualify the prospect and make sure they will benefit from my product/service, then convince them of the value that this will bring to their business while also keeping in mind any objection that may came up. First, can they benefit from what I’m offering? Is it within their budget? Is there another person that is involved in the final decision? What is their timeframe? These are questions that I try to get answered early on in the conversation so that when it comes time to sign on the dotted line, there’s nothing that would get in the way.
If you can start thinking this way, you will see that you will have much more control over your life, your situations, and even your setbacks! You will also find that you are often much more prepared to react when the unexpected happens. Keep in mind- no matter how proactive you are, there will always be the unexpected.
2. Take Massive Action!
Thinking proactive is completely useless unless you back it with action- but not just a little bit every so often… You have to take action on a very consistent basis. This is the hard part. Most people love to think, theorize, hypothesize, and plan… and that’s where it stops for most people. Although those things are all good, the difference between thinking and being is action. Knowledge isn’t power. Knowledge is potential. Execution is truly power.
Thinking proactive is the more complex part because it requires a perspective shift. It requires us to change how we’ve been for so long. You’re literally re-wiring your brain! As difficult as this shift may be, I’d be willing to bet that most people will make the shift and start thinking this way. However, when it’s time for thought to turn into action people will not take the next step. Thinking is theoretical, action is practical. I think about all of the “business coaches” out there nowadays who are teaching theory but have never actually taken action on the exact things they claim to be experts in. They can teach you how to build a “$100k online business in 4 weeks” but have never built anything themselves.
So that begs the question- “Is it more important to know what to do, or to do it?”. I’ll answer that with a quote from Jack Black-
“Those who can’t do, teach; and those who can’t teach, teach gym.” – Jack Black in “School of Rock”
(In all seriousness- shout out to all of the teachers out there. You’re way underpaid. Our society needs you desperately.)
When you put it into a business perspective, you must learn before you can act upon those lessons but DO NOT let yourself fall into the trap of never taking action and executing. There’s enough people out there doing that already, please don’t be one of them.
What are some things you can apply this to? Whether it’s a relationship, a job, your business, your kids, or just your day-to-day tasks- let us know in the comments how you plan to apply this!