Happiness Secret Number One: Be Proactive

Be Proactive:

We can choose to handle vexing problems by being reactive or becoming proactive. We all experience frustrations in our careers, in our relationships, and in our lives in general. What can we do to handle problems with co-workers, with family, and with friends? Steven R. Covey talks about the magic of being proactive. A coworker may have failed to relay a message effectively. A family member might come across as critical and judgmental. A friend may behave in a way that is defensive, offensive, and rude. Proactivity would involve the ability to look beyond the actions, to refuse to judge, and to find ways to address the situation in a way that is respectful toward the other person and toward self. It’s a win-win situation.

Is someone offending you at work? It might help to take a step back and get into that person’s reality. Figuring out what that person wants and needs and working to address those needs  might make the work situation more endurable and ease the path toward a hope filled employee, employer relationship. It would certainly take time and effort, but the rewards could be enormous.

Is a family member creating problems? Active listening can smooth over many trials and tribulations. Simply saying “I hear you saying that——” or “Can you explain your position so I can understand it more clearly” can be great tools for understanding.

Being proactive involves thinking and acting in ways that involve respect, honor, and direct communication. Work to build bridges, not chasms. Work to construct relationships, not break them down. And work to be a team player, and not hunker down in isolation.

Are you a team player? Do you listen and respond with respect? Do you endeavor to be proactive? Ask yourself those questions. Live in respect for self and others. Your life will be more hope filled as a result.

Barbara altman is the author of Hope Shines Eternal, available on amazon and soon to be released Passages to Your Hope.


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