Tell, or be told. Do, or wait. Try, or sit tight. Question, or be questioned. There are a multitude of ways to say it, but they all lead to the same path: be proactive, or continue being reactive. In other words, are you going to wait until something happens to you, or are you going to get out there and grab what’s yours?
I’m going to assume, at this point, that you’ve probably heard someone being described as having “drive”. Everyone loves that term because it’s got this badass action kind of feeling to it. As in, they’re out there kicking ass and taking names, and the bubblegum isn’t running out. Meanwhile, our gum tasted like plastic after five chews and we only brought one piece.
If you’re thinking that “drive” is some X-factor that’s hard to obtain, you’re probably also wondering what “drive” is, how to get it, and how in the hell they got it. Here’s the kicker – you don’t need to waste time trying to understand the black magic, because it’s simple. The people with drive are out there creating opportunities and going after what they want (proactive). The vast majority of people, who coincidentally lack drive, are waiting for things to happen to them (reactive).
Reactive vs. proactive…your choice.
A big part of life is weathering the shit storms that fly your way on a regular basis. And as much as you try to plan for things, stuff just happens and you’re forced to be reactive – and this is totally OK. Don’t sweat that stuff as it’s inevitable and not at all what we’re talking about here. So what are we talking about here?
It’s about creating opportunities and making life your sandbox. Remember as a kid building castles in the sand, having inevitable damage, tearing it down, and rebuilding something better?
It’s no coincidence that the people who are out there questioning their position in life, and knowing it won’t slow down for them while they try to line everything up so “perfectly”, are some of the most highly successful individuals you’ll come across.
“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.”
I know you’ve heard that one. Didn’t I mention earlier how proactive people, the ones with drive, are creating opportunities? You can prepare all you want, but this world doesn’t roll out the red carpet for you in the form of opportunities. You’ll stumble across a few without trying much, but don’t expect a buffet of options. That’s reserved for the ones who kick in the door at the local Chinese buffet, storm into the kitchen, and cook the dishes themselves so that the restaurant has what they want. This is probably why you hate your local Chinese buffet, because it doesn’t have what you want. So go create it (in life, not in the buffet).
If you constantly wait for life to happen to you (reactive) and not for you (proactive), you’ll always wonder why life bamboozled you like a snake oil salesman from the Wild West. If you want something, go get it.
Otherwise, I can guarantee you one thing: you’ll miss every shot you don’t take.