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There are two methods of solving any situation. You can be proactive and get ahead of whatever your day is planning. Or you can be reactive and watch your day unfold before choosing a course of action. The point is that there is no right or wrong way to handle a situation. That being said, there are some key benefits you will experience if you choose to be proactive rather than reactive.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, to be proactive means “to act in anticipation of future problems, needs, or changes.”

Being proactive means thinking ahead and focusing on the things you can control, not the things you can’t. It also means taking responsibility.

The concept of proactivity was popularized by Stephen Covey in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Being proactive is the very first habit.

In contrast to being proactive, being reactive means simply waiting for something to happen to you; circumstances dictate your actions, not your actions dictate circumstances.

Being proactive allows you to dictate your specific stance and gives you a sense of control over any situation you may encounter. In essence, your proactivity will allow you to be more prepared. Being active in life means taking care of yourself and the things around you, and developing good habits because you understand that your life is a product of the things you do every day.

For example, proactive people take care of their health and will also undergo regular medical check-ups. Reactive people will only go to the doctor when they can’t take the pain anymore – until then, they just brush it off. (This can be fatal, please don’t do it.)

In relationships with other people, proactive people do not sweep problems under the carpet. They do not take out their frustration on other people. They regularly communicate about their feelings and needs, and when a problem arises, they actively work to solve it.

Plus, being proactive will leave you with more time to complete whatever task is in front of you. Not only will this give you more time to reach your goal, but it will also allow you to be methodical in your decision-making rather than rushing.