Updated: Dec 23, 2018
Do you react to the events happening around you or do you take initiative to prepare for, participate in and/or plan for it?
Do you take an active or passive role? Do you think in terms of the present or do you look to the future, anticipating outcomes and preparing for the consequences?
Do you make a decision only when you have to, when you’re backed into a corner or when you’ve put it off for as long as you can? Or do you make conscious decisions as part of a larger, long term plan?
Active means "doing something." The prefix pro- means "before". So if you are proactive, you are ready before something happens
Proactive people are constantly moving forward, looking to the future, foresee challenges and making things happen. They’re actively engaged, not passively observing. Being proactive is a way of thinking and acting. A proactive person is better equipped, as he has expected the challenges in advance and kept the solutions ready.
Reactive person thinks, ‘I’ve got chest pain, Maybe I’ll go to the doctor.’ Proactive person thinks, ‘Even though I have no symptoms, I want to live a long, healthy life so I have embraced the life-long habits of healthy eating and regular exercise.’
Certainly, there are times when one has to be reactive. But then, in those situations there is no choice. However, being proactive is always beneficial as way of life. The person's ability to be proactive is expected, appreciated and provides a clear advantage in the workplace.