Proactive decision making has become a bit of a buzz term over the last few years, but do not let that detract you from its importance. Being proactive in your lifestyle means taking conscious, self aware decisions, that directly impact your life rather than leaving your fate to chance and circumstance.
Anyone who is serious about personal development should consider proactive decision making to be among the most potent tools in their arsenal.
You are more likely to spend your time engaged in activities that are work not leisure orientated. Or, if you are not in work, you may spend a lot of your time looking for work.
Yes, work does seem to dominate our waking lives. For people that are lucky enough to love their jobs, it does not feel like work. But work does not just mean paid employment, think about all the everyday tasks you have to do such as housework, shopping, parenting, even your interests are all part of the natural human desire to fill their time up with as much meaningful activity as possible.
People who are really depressed are noticeable by their absence from enjoying meaningful activity. Keeping yourself occupied is one of the best barriers for preventing boredom and depression creeping into your life.
When we feel like we are being useful, we get a natural high. The type of activity we enjoy is dependent on the individual. On the one hand there are people who are focused on careers, but on the other there are those who prefer working on their personal life and relationships.
Before deciding on how you are going to be more proactive, it is important to sit down and assess what means the most to you in your life. There is no right or wrong answers here, so don’t start thinking you are heartless if you pick career, for example, over personal life. Of course if you have responsibilities, then you need to factor these into any decision that you make.
So, what are the things to consider if you are looking to be more proactive with a career? Well, you should consider as many options as possible, but do not broaden things too far beyond your capabilities.
Building a career may involve other things beyond working for a company, for instance, self employment or consultancy work. Think about where your expertise lays and what opportunities are available for you out there.
Are you working to earn more money? Or perhaps you are motivated by other things such as job satisfaction, building a happy home or being healthy. The chances are you want more than one of these things. If this is so, you need to figure out how to get your work life balance right.
Even if work is just something you ‘do’, you probably spend a fair amount of time doing it, therefore, consider how work fits into your lifestyle. To what extent does your job mirror your core values, match your skills and provide you with the opportunity for growth.
Do you feel challenged enough by what you do? Where do you see yourself in five years time? All good questions, and all need a patient and honest approach to answering.
You may, for instance, feel like you are coasting along at work at the moment. Perhaps your strongest skills are so closely matched to your job that you find it too easy. If you want to move out of your comfort zone, consider a move to an area that is unfamiliar to your level of expertise.
To many of the decisions we make in a work context happen without much in the way of conscious thought. If you are working for a company, think for a moment about how you ended up in that role.
What made you choose that particular line of work; was it because at the time it was ‘just a job?’ Since so much of our decision making gets made due to circumstance, it is nice to think in a way that involves us taking active decision making. The quicker you begin to take stock of the way you make decisions; the quicker you begin taking control of your life.
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