One of the most influential books I have read teaches us to Be Proactive.  If you haven’t read Stephen Covey’s”The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, I would highly recommend it.  I’m not exactly sure how I would have defined being proactive before reading Covey’s book ,but I definitely thought it had more to do with trying to make things happen then about how I responded to things when they did happen.  That’s the big difference I learning from Covey.  Between stimulus and response, we have the power to choose. Sometimes we cannot choose our emotional response to circumstances.  When things don’t go the way we want, we are often frustrated, angry, despondent, sad, or even bitter.  When things go well, we are happy, excited, energized, motivated.  Emotions, I have learned, lie.  Alright, sure, emotions are probably true in the sense that we actually feel those things and if our world teaches us anything, it is that we should ’embrace our emotions’. But the reason I say that our emotions lie to us, is that we often respond to circumstances based on that initial emotional response.

The idea of Being Proactive is based on the fact that we do NOT have to follow our emotions.  Instead, human beings has the capacity to set aside their emotions and choose.  Instead of allowing situations and circumstances out of our control to influence how we act and what we say, we can choose a better way.  We can focus on the things over which we have control. Our sphere of influence.  First, we can control ourselves, then we can control what we actually focus on.  Are you focused on your areas of concern, or on your areas of influence?  We often find ourselves concerned about so many things that we cannot control…the weather, national debt, terrorism, other people’s behavior.  Instead, we need to remind ourselves that we need to focus on areas we really can impact, our area of influence.  In fact, as we exercise control in our areas of influence, this area can actually begin to grow.  Success in one area often leads to success (and influence) in others.

So what is the point for us as business owners? Ask youself where you are spending your time and your energy?  Are you responding to the world around you, or have you set goals, established plans, and began a course of action to take you where you want to go?  Do not be hindered by the past, by circumstances, or by other people.  Of course, adjust to the current conditions, but do not be deterred.  Being Proactive.  Every event gives you a new opportunity to choose, another chance to drive for positive results in your business, your family, and your life.

Be Proactive!