Proactive or Reactive?

Are you a Proactive person or a Reactive person?

You’re most probably a Reactive person!

But then again most of us are.  It isn’t a bad thing, infact if it wasn’t for the fact that their are lots of reactive people, things just wouldn’t get done.

This blog isn’t concerned with the “typical” traits of being proactive as opposed to reactive, but more the “visionary” traits of what makes a person truly Proactive.

In the majority of everyday “working” life tasks are performed through the execution of a set of  instructions built around a pre-determined system or structure.  Obvious ones are factory workers, delivery drivers,  store workers and so on.  All three of these professions are built upon a system that someone else has painstakingly devised, developed and fine tuned in order to fully maximise time and ultimately productivity.  Even a less obvious professions such as a chef, follows a set pattern of procedures and determined steps that will result in an incredible meal being prepared and enjoyed.  Some of the best restaurants in the world have kitchens full of reactive chefs and cooks, each chef will produce meal after meal of superb tasting and visually stunning pieces of work, however all but one of these chefs are reactive!  Each and everyone one of these highly talented individuals are following to every last detail the carefully structured and crafted steps of the head chef, for it is this highly skilled individual who has painstakingly worked to develop a sequence of perfectly timed steps, measurements and procedures that will (if followed perfectly) result in a work of genius.

A reactive person will follow a blueprint to success, but it is the proactive person who creates the blueprint!

So what makes a proactive person?

It is easy to think that a proactive person is someone who wants to make things better, someone who strives to make into reality what doesn’t already exist, a go getter, someone who simply doesn’t stop!  But in my opinion, some or even all of these ingredients doesn’t result in someone being truly proactive.  Lets go back to example of the chef, all the precision in the world for butchering a piece of meat, then later cooking it to perfection, ensuring it remains juicy and moist, later followed by plating it up on a brilliant white plate will all be for nothing if it isn’t seasoned properly.  For a great chef must not only cook the dish to perfection using the skills they have mastered along the way, but they must also use their natural ability in the form of a well developed and delicate palette.  For the palette of a chef can be likened to the keen eye of a photographer.  It is not the expensive camera that the photographer uses that creates a stunning photograph, but more the natural instinct and awareness in knowing how and what to photograph so people WANT and DESIRE it, but not necessarily NEED it.

I guess what I am trying to get at, is that a true proactive person is someone who not only creates a new way of thinking, but creates a new standard – a standard that their peers aspire to emulate, which in turn produces a new wave of reactives!!

Which then leads us onto the next question – is a Proactive person born this way, pre-programmed with these skills or can they be taught?


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