Stephen Covey’s book covers what he defines as 7 critical habits for highly effective people. This is not the first time I’m mentioning this book, and it won’t be the last, because this is a cornerstone book for me.

This week, we’ll be going over the 7 habits. One at the time.

The first habit is called “Be Proactive”. Proactive people don’t blame circumstances or conditions for their behavior. Instead, their behavior is a product of their own choices, rather than one based on feelings. Basically, being proactive means recognizing that in order to make things happen, you need to act.

It starts by detecting in what kind of mode you are, and perhaps the clearest indicator is the language you use: “he makes me mad”, “that’s just the way I am”, “I just don’t have the time” are all things that point to a reactive approach instead of an proactive one.

Proactive language: “I can do …”, “I will …”, “let’s look at alternatives”, “I control …”, are signs that you’re taking matter in your own hands.

Step one: detect reactive behavior. Step two: turn it into proactive language. Step three: act.