Be Proactive (Focus on What You Can Change, And Not What You Can't)
As a senior in high school I belonged to a group of self-proclaimed conscientious students called PALS, which stood for Peer Assistant Listeners. We were trained in how to listen and how to mediate between people. But all I really wanted was to sit in the PAL office for one hour each day and take a nap.
During the PAL course, our instructor gave us each a copy of Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Pearls to pigs. I thumbed through it exactly once before deciding that it was the self-help book du jour.
I rediscovered 7 Habits through a pair of nerdy white guys who have a financial planning podcast called "The Money Guy." They kept referring to Stephen Covey as though his book had significantly changed their perspective. After the twentieth reference I ordered a copy.
I saw that it had sold over 10,000,000 copies. Self-help book of the millennium?
I read the entire thing during a weekend of traveling. It is the kind of book that is best read beside an empty notebook so you can apply the principles as you're reading them. This is the first in a series dedicated to those habits.
Habit 1: Be Proactive
- Be proactive rather than reactive. Instead of waiting for others to solve problems on your behalf, you will have to be the one to get the ball rolling for you. If you stand still or wait around, then you are falling behind. You can only be accountable to yourself.
- Be resilient. Set-backs are set-backs, not failures. If you keep getting up, then you will finish. If you want it bad enough, then you will get it done.
- What is your plan? Do you have a plan? Whose plan is it? Set goals and then follow through on them.
- Join the social club for your major. Surround yourself with people you want to be like. Get mentorship and insight into expectations for you.