One of the biggest differences between successful people and unsuccessful people is that successful people are proactive people. They are the ones that make things happen than waiting for things to happen.
And so, if you want to achieve your goals and make your dreams a reality, you must develop the quality of being someone proactive.
Chances are, we all have dreams and goals. But it is not what we want in life that makes us successful. Instead, it is what we about it that makes all the difference.
Therefore, being proactive is extremely important if you want to achieve outstanding success in life.
Think about it, if you’re someone who always waits for things to come to you, you’ll never venture out of your comfort zone. You’ll never go the extra mile. You’ll never plan and think about your future.
On the contrary, if you’re proactive, you don’t wait for things to come to you. Rather, you’ll go and make things happen. You’ll think about what you want, make plans, and take action to create the results you want.
This is the definition of proactive:
“(of a person or action) creating or controlling a situation rather than just responding to it after it has happened.”
That’s right, being proactive means you are creating results and putting the situation under control because you act rather than respond.
Proactive VS Reactive
There are two types of people: Either you are proactive and you make things happen, or you are reactive and you wait for things to happen.
Here’s a great way to define reactive people – they are like characters in a movie, playing out the script.
Reactive people often portray themselves as powerless victims, where lives are run by external factors.
So, are you proactive or reactive?
Take a look at the below comparison to find out which type of personality you show.
Now you understand the differences between someone proactive and someone reactive. Let’s talk about why being proactive is important to your success in life…
1. You can achieve the success you desire
Being proactive will greatly increase your chances of success. If you look at all the successful people who have accomplished extraordinary results in life, you will learn that they all are proactive people.
They don’t wait for things to happen. Rather, they are the ones who go and make things happen.
When Ray Kroc saw how the first McDonald’s restaurant operated, he was fascinated and he knew he was onto something. But most people would have stopped at the thought, not Kroc. He chose to buy the franchise right of the restaurant and make it big. And the rest became history.
Successful people are just ordinary people, but they choose to act on their dreams and goals. And that’s how they are able to achieve greater success than most people can dream about.
Hence, being proactive gives you the advantage to create outstanding results in your life. You can achieve better success if you are proactive.
2. You gain the first-mover advantage
The second reason why proactive is important is that you can gain an unfair advantage – the first-mover advantage.
According to Investopidia.com, a first mover is a service or product that gains a competitive advantage by being the first to market with a product or service.
The article also says, “Being first typically enables a company to establish strong brand recognition and customer loyalty before competitors enter the arena.”
Think about Amazon. Amazon created the first online bookstore in the world. It had the first-mover advantage. By the time other competitors enter the market, Amazon has gained popularity and a huge market share, giving it an advantage over other companies.
Another example is eBay, which created the first online auction site. eBay quickly gained brand recognition and became a popular shopping site worldwide. It was ranked 43rd on the Forbes list of innovative companies and generated hundreds of billions of revenues.
These companies will never gain the first-mover advantage if they are not proactive.
Imagine it’s the beginning of the 2000s when everyone is talking about the internet. If Jeff Bezos is someone reactive, he will never start Amazon. He will have the look-and-see mindset and by the time he wanted to start, it may be too late.
This is why being proactive is vital especially if you are an entrepreneur. If you are not being proactive, you may go out of business.
3. You make better progress
That’s right, if you are proactive, you can make better progress. Regardless of whether you are moving forward in the right direction, as long as you are taking action, you will create some form of progress.
Even if you fail, you will learn something. Albert Einstein once said:
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
If you are reactive, you will stay within your comfort zone. You will never want to try out new things. As a result, you will keep getting the same old results you have been getting. And that means you are not making any progress.
To be successful and to achieve amazing results, you need to be constantly making progress.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”Albert einstein
Therefore, adopt the proactive mentality. Be the one to make things happen and keep making progress.
The more progress you make, the more results you get. And the more you will learn, which eventually, will lead you to the success you desire.
4. You put yourself ahead of the competition
This is one of the most important reasons why being proactive is the key to success. Most people are dreamers, they’re not action takers. They have dreams, and they only think about what they want. But they don’t take action.
Proactive people, on the other hand, are different. They have dreams, just like everybody else, at the same time, they don’t just dream about what they want, they take action and make things happen.
This is how being proactive helps put yourself ahead of your competition. You don’t just dream and make plans, you actually follow through and acted on your plans.
Motorola is the first company that sells mobile phones. They have the first-mover advantage, and they gained a lot of the market share. However, due to their lack of proactivity in innovating their phones to touchscreens, Motorola became obsolete.
If you want to stay relevant, you’ve got to keep innovating and be proactive. If you don’t your competitors will overtake you and you will become obsolete.
5. You will become future-oriented
Proactive people are future-oriented. They don’t look at things from just the short-term point of view, they also think and act for their future.
Think about it, if you are all about the short-term reward, you will never say no to instant gratification. When you were given a raise, you’d spend the money on a weekend shopping.
But proactive people are different. They think long-term. They are future-oriented. When they are given a raise, they will plan on how to invest and raise their net worth. Rather than spending all the money on shopping, they’d invest the money or put the money into their business.
That’s why proactive people are more successful than reactive people. Reactive people choose instant gratification and focus on what’s in front of them. They don’t think too far into the future.
But for proactive people, they look at things differently. They think about their future and then make decisions on the present so that they can create the future they want.
6. You can have better opportunities
Do you know that proactive people are going to get more opportunities than reactive people? It’s common sense. Proactive people are always on the move. They are action takers. Hence, they make better and more progress. And along the journey, they will stumble upon opportunities that allow them to grow and achieve better results.
So, stop complaining. It is not that you lack the opportunity, or your timing isn’t right, you need to be more proactive. You need to be the one who goes out and makes things happen.
The more action you take, the more people you will come across, and automatically, the more opportunities will come to you.
7. You become better prepared for what’s coming
Proactive people are always better prepared than reactive people, why? Because proactive people are always taking action. They are on the run. They are making progress all the time. That’s why they are better prepared.
When something went wrong, which certainly will, proactive people know how to handle it.
On the contrary, reactive people wait for things to come to them. They will be caught unprepared when things go unexpected. They will go into panic mode and stress about it. And then go on to complain about it. Or worse, reactive people will do what they always do – blame and point fingers.
So, stop being reactive, and learn to develop the mindset of a proactive person. Don’t blame, don’t make lousy excuses, and don’t point fingers.
When things happen, owned the problem and then work on the solution. Focusing on the problem will only create more problems.
The more proactive you are, the better prepared you will be. And whenever things are not going according to your plan, you don’t have to worry much because proactive people will always find a solution.