Habit 1: To BE Proactive and Understand Response-Ability

Good morning AMAZING Team members, loving family, curious visitors, dedicated blog readers, hamlet of Adairville, state of Kentucky, and beautiful world!!! WOW!! There are no words to describe how INCREDIBLE I truly feel and think and act this morning, I am on FIRE for Jesus Christ and being positive, happy, enlarging, and supportive!! 🙂 I went to bed at 10:12 last night, read my Bible for a minute or two, then turned the lights out, slept GREAT and had a few strange dreams, then woke up just before 5:00 AM, laid in bed for about 15 minutes thinking about life and God and Jesus and how fortunate I am to a be a VERY strong Christian man living in such a wonderful free country, got up and urinated, went into the kitchen and drank 22 ounces of good clean super oxygenated triple filtered reverse osmosis water, did arm and neck rotations and 22 pushups and some air squats and back stretches, made a very small cup of coffee with some organic cane sugar in it, then came into my office and did a post on Sober Veterans page on facebook and dropped a link to our site for them there, read all of Matthew Chapter 7 in my Holy Bible, prayed down on my knees, and now here we are in this post!! Before we get to Habit 1 from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and being proactive let me touch on what I read in my Bible, in Matthew Chapter 7 verse 6 we read “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you”. That verse has always made me curious but we can see where Jesus is calling people who reject Him and His teachings “dogs” and “swine” or pigs and these are heavy words coming from the Lord. As much as I love dogs and I did grow up on a pig farm I certainly do NOT want to be one but I have met many people who talk, think, act, and live like them and most of them NEVER mention God and Jesus or the Bible to me…is that YOU brothers and sisters, I sure hope not because we all need redemption, repentance, hope, faith, salvation, and ever lasting eternal life. If you know me and you plan to “rend” me let me forewarn you here and now…you are dealing with a VERY strong Christian man and your task will NOT be an easy one…and when you are done dealing with ME you will deal with God and He protects me so you may not enjoy what transpires at all…just be aware of that.

I have just turned on some Christian morning piano music and it is lovely, so calm and relaxing and peaceful…helps me get more centered. So, when was the last time someone said something negative to you or blamed you for something you did or did not do? Happens pretty often to those of us who sometimes choose to expose ourselves to toxic, hateful, mean, bullying, reactive people right and many times we don’t even want it…they just seemingly appear out of the woodwork and there they are, in a store, at the check out counter, at school, in the workplace, living next door, in your family, in your romantic relationship or who knows where. These people are what Stephen Covey (Author of The 7 Habits) calls REACTIVE instead of PROACTIVE and I just love Habit 1 because it is the first of 7 and the foundation for all the rest of them. Be proactive, that is Habit 1, and many people may find it very challenging at first especially if you have experienced any severe trauma as a child or have controlling, mean, hateful, spiteful, childish, accusing, negative, pseudo Christian, reactive parents especially if they are not into personal growth and reading wide and deep literature. We learn about the “Social Mirror” in Habit 1 and how when people say negative things to us they are usually disjointed and out of proportion and more often projections rather than reflections…projecting the character weaknesses of those giving the input rather than accurately reflecting who and what we truly are as a humans.

We then learn about the 3 different types of determinism which are genetic, psychic, and environmental and the gap between stimulus and response. After the definition of proactivity is explained we start to read about reactive people and it is not good trust me and I would know because I spent a large part of my life thinking, feeling, talking, and acting that way but since I have found The 7 Habits and started implementing them in my life I have been changing and it is amazing and such a tremendous journey I am on. If you have a really good memory you can read the 7 Habits a couple of times and then start using them in your life but Stephen Covey instructs us to keep the book handy, read it often, and teach it to others…he is right in saying that because from a psychological and practical standpoint they are quite challenging but they are called habits for a reason. Learning to replace a lifetime of destructive and negative experiences or thoughts or feelings that may have become entrenched in us takes work and growth which can be painful but getting outside our comfort zones is what we are all about here at R.E. White Consulting and we want and pray the same for you and you can take that check to the bank and cash it.

If you want to see if someone is reactive or proactive then the next time you feel you are being mistreated and you KNOW it and it’s actually REALLY happening you can test them and text them or phone them or walk up to them and call them an asshole or tell them they are ignorant or that they don’t know anything or that they do a terrible job at work and explain to them WHY you are saying this. Me personally I have a pretty direct approach sometimes and I am a full grown MAN but if I know someone is very fragile I might tone it down a bit, depends on the situation and how well I know the person and some people do carry guns or can be extremely vindictive. The reactive mind will become very defensive or protective, perhaps upset or angry, they may withdraw and shrink or might even be verbally abusive or violent so proceed with caution in your test but do it because you will learn much insight into your friends or coworkers or family members and yourself. I know this sounds counterintuitive or opposite of what we are supposed to do as Christians but if you want to get on the right track of good strong mental and emotional health and well being and to confront toxic people then it is very necessary. The Bible says in Proverbs 27:17 (KJV)Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend”, so we are SUPPOSED to confront our friends and family members if we care about and love them, there is no growth or true wisdom in completely agreeing with everyone all the time, opinions and thoughts are what make us unique as adults and humans and we should all feel free to express ourselves if we live in a civilized house, relationship, family, work space, town, or world. If we actually love people will will not let them be dull mentally, we will help to sharpen their minds…this is the walk of a REAL Christian…it is to teach and instruct and lead with the word of God and the Bible and good books like The 7 Habits and Boundaries and with our tongues and the pen and our words and blogs and posts and comments and most importantly our ACTIONS!!!

Covey says that “reactive people build their emotional lives around the behaviors of others, empowering the weaknesses of other people to control them” and I don’t know about YOU but that is heavy stuff and I do NOT want it in my life and I WILL call people out on this when they keep saying negative things to me and so should you my friend. Are you weak or strong today? Can you do a single pullup? How about pushups? Can you run a mile? How about the 5K? Can you do a marathon? Do you read your food labels? Are you height weight proportional? How many steps do you get in every day? Do you live with hateful mean reactive controlling people? Are you stuck at a dead end job? Are you a corporate slave drone? How much debt do you have? Did you read your Bible today? Do you drink water every morning? How much alcohol do you drink? Do you watch porn? Are you a flaming feminist? Are you a control freak? Do you watch violent movies? Do you bully your husband or wife? Is money your primary goal all day? Do you talk to your coworkers about God and Jesus? Are you afraid to commit? Do you live above your means? Is comfort holding you back from real growth? What do you stand for? Are you an awful neighbor? These are all great questions only you can answer my brothers and sisters. When dealing with reactive people we have a few choices, we can either talk to them and deal with them, or put them on hold for a while which is many times the best thing to do so we can respond with intelligence and love and care at a later time, or we can completely remove them from our lives forever and burn that bridge and never look back.

We learn that in the 7 Habits “the ability to subordinate an impulse to a value is the essence of the proactive person” and that reactive people are driven by feelings and circumstances and conditions and their environment. “Proactive people are driven by values, carefully thought about, selected and internalized values”. In order to do this we must figure out what our values and principles really are, and if you want to be on the right track, in my opinion they need to be Christian values and for me those are things like honesty, integrity, strength, hard work, health, fitness, forgiveness, giving, understanding, prayer, transparency, devotion, commitment, planning, goal setting, living debt free, acceptance, tolerance, patience, tithing, sobriety, not defiling my body, coming out of the main stream, living in the country, driving within the speed limits, not tail gating, standing up to bullies, voicing my opinions, not letting a woman control me, working out, running, honoring my mother because she is worth doing that and is a real Christian, remembering the people I came from, continued education, having my own business, and much much more. It also includes being responsible for myself and my own actions and words and understanding that I am able to choose my responses and remembering that there truly is a “gap” between stimulus and response and to use it and to let it help me slow down and grow mentally and emotionally and spiritually. I know a lot of people who think before they speak, and many more who do not, the reactive people are usually the ones who don’t think before they respond, and this is very important that we slow down so we can be more proactive. I have heard some people and money grubbers like Dave Ramsey say ignorant things like “adulting is hard” which is completely wrong, being an adult and mature and wise is NOT difficult, in fact NOTHING is difficult if we tell ourselves it isn’t…the choice is up to us…stinking thinking WILL make your life and relationships and world really smelly and negative and hateful and awful.

We get what we put out my friends, we are what we think and eat, we attract what we say and what we write, and if you want to be a winner you will be positive and stop blaming people and the world and being reactive. Today is the very FIRST day of the rest of your life, what will you do with it, lay in bed with the covers over you head or keep your mouth shut and let the world beat you down even more or stay stuck in a negative situation or relationship or household or friendship OR will you learn to stand up for what you believe in and your values and ideals and principles? Learn to stop being a pathetic little helpless victim and stand on your own two feet and be an adult and GROW and see if things don’t get better for you….read your books and read broadly and deeply with great literature, block off that time and run those miles, and learn to say NO to yourself and the haters that may be in your life. At the beginning and ending of every day what we need to realize is that almost ALL of our problems are INSIDE of us and not outside, we all guard the gate of change within us, only we can open it and walk through. Change is the only constant in the world, the more you attempt to make it static and stationary the worse your life will be, learning to roll with the changes is how we survive and eat and earn and learn and grow. God bless you, thank you for being here, you are a tremendous person never forget that, and please leave a comment for us or share this on social media as it will greatly help us. Have a wonderful day because I know I sure am…going to kill a great 5K today and or hit the gym for sure!! Now GO GO GO GO GO TEAM!!!! We hope you enjoyed this ad free post and that it lifted you closer to God and Jesus and the truth and health and fitness. Forget about the money for a while today and reach for something much higher, go for truth and morals and dignity and transparency about what YOU really feel and think and who you really are. Semper Fi do or DIE!!!!

Marc White USN-RET MCP CEO

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