How do you love when you don’t love?
This is part of a conversation of Stephen Covey with one of his clients. He shares it in his book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. And I must admit that it resonated with me very strongly. The answer in bullet points is as follows:
- Love is a verb.
- Love (the feeling) is the result of the verb.
- Reactive people make love only a feeling.
- Proactive people make love a verb. It is actualised through their loving actions.
- Then love, the feeling, can be recaptured.
Bottom line is we can choose to be proactive and decide on what happens to us or simply go with the flow and see where life takes us (or let others choose for us).
Since I don’t want to give others the power of deciding what happens in my life, I have will be proactive and take action.
But.. where do I start?
I am a trained project manager and planning for a project is extremely difficult if we are not clear about some key things. We need to be able to answer the following about the project (in this case, our lives):
- What is important? Personal development, helping people, cooking, contributing to important causes, etc.
- What is my role? Who do I want to be? A good partner, a renowned professional, etc.
- What do I want to achieve? Build my own business, be someone people go to for advice, have a relationship built on trust and communication, etc.
- What skills/resources do I need to get there? Improve my empathic listening, prioritising better, learn about accounting, etc.
The answers to these questions provide your road map. They are a solid starting point to any action you take in life because it will be aligned to who you are and what you want in life.
The next important piece of this is to be clear on the things that are within our control. Accept the things we have no control over and focus the energy on those we can control. Think about your current situation in life, at work, your feelings, your relationships… what can you do NOW that will have a direct impact on any of those?
This is very important to think about, particularly in times when we may feel powerless or hopeless.
Next week I’ll begin the 30 day proactivity challenge. It consists on the following:
- Identify the things I have influence over and spend most of my energy (if not all) on those.
- Make commitments and keep them. This is meant to strengthen the feeling of self control.
- Think about my responses to my own situations and what I should do about them.
- Use my imagination to exercise my freedom to choose. What would I do to get the results I want?
- Be a role model not a critique
- Be part of the solution, not the problem (problem solving)
- Admit my mistakes promptly
- Work on what I can control, on myself
I hope you decide to join me in this challenge – and don’t forget to share your experience in the comment section below!