Week 2: Seven Habits
Day 8: Habit #1 – Be Proactive
The first of the 7 Habits is about taking the initial steps in being responsible for your life. In a community where reactive people are affected by their physical environment, the proactive person chooses their behavior. The proactive person understands that between the stimulus and the response is the power to formulate a willful response.
Such a person works on the things they can do something about. Gaining an awareness of the areas in which we expend our energies in is a giant step in becoming proactive and realizing you are the programmer of your life.
Proactive people recognize that they are “response-able.” They don’t blame their upbringing or environment for their behavior. They know they choose their behavior. This was the mark of Abraham we read of in the Torah and midrashim. In the midst of an idolatrous situation, he chose to seek G-d
Habit 1 is about becoming a principle-centered person – standing apart from the emotions of situations and from other factors to evaluate options – the mark of a leader. The leadership quality of Habit 1 is about “doing the right things.” As we will see, Habit 2 differs from leadership in that it is “management” – “doing things right.”
Habit 1 and Chesed do not operate in a vacuum. Often people get into managing with efficiency, setting and achieving goals before they have even clarified values.