Proactive and reactive are very important terms when it comes to the type of lifestyle you choose to live. In fact proactive behaviour is influenced by a lifestyle choice, whereas reactive behaviour waits for choices to be made and then responds – hence the reaction part.
The basic difference is therefore when the actual action takes place. Adequate steps are taken and measures put into place by the proactive person before something happens therefore preventing problems from occurring or spiraling out of control. However the reactive person responds after something has happened by which time it is mostly too late to prevent the full impact of an event which if anticipated, could have been easily averted.
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Proactive and Reactive Thinkers
Proactive thinkers anticipate what will happen and plan adequately with self-initiation towards change. This way of thinking can encompass an all-inclusive lifestyle type of living or be perhaps mostly used in the workplace. This is a positive type of person not afraid of change and willing to take responsibility for their life decisions and choices rather than blaming circumstances. This type of behaviour has been identified by researchers as being positive and geared towards a successful lifestyle. They are in fact, excellent problem solvers.
Reactive thinkers on the other hand behave in almost the opposite manner. They wait for life or things to happen to them before taking any steps. The main problem with this type of behaviour and way of thinking is that these people never really face up to their responsibility as they are in a constant battle to resolve the previous issue. They are never really in a position to resolve their problems as they are always being bombarded with new ones because they still haven’t resolved the previous issue. This situation often makes the reactive person feel as though they are stuck in a rut. This person does not prepare well and may well blame external factors as the root of their problems.
Differences between Reactive and Proactive thinkers in terms of their learning:
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Reactive Learner: Accepts things as they are. Waits to be taught. Functions in habit. Defends their position. Does Enough. Has veneer relationships. Accepts goals. Lacks sense of meaning. Avoids weaknesses.
Proactive Learner: Asks Questions. Seeks learning opportunities. Functions mindfully. Appreciates others’ positions. Goes the extra mile. Has trust relationships. Creates goals. Seeks a sense of meaning. Builds and acts on strengths.
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