GIVE, INSPIRE, ACT. These are our first three values at Omika.
This month our focus has been on “ACT: be proactive and go the extra mile.”
We value action because acting upon our thoughts and intentions makes all the difference. It is the difference between hope and giving hope, the difference between wishing and making it happen, the difference between dreaming and living the life you really want. When we take action, we take control of our own lives, make our dreams a reality and make a difference in the world around us.
Today, Melody (our Founder) will share with you three books that will help you be proactive and go the extra mile.
- How to Motivate, Manage and Market Yourself – Lisa McInnes-Smith, Daniel Johnson, Winston Marsh
Each of these books are a little old school, they aren’t new – but then again, being proactive is not new either! I was around 12-14 years old when I came across this book at home. My parents had moved to Australia just before I was born, they taught us to value education, work hard, be honest and giving. I loved books, some of my favourite memories were in quiet, dusty libraries and later, at university I loved exploring every floor of Fisher Library.
In our home, books of our own were a rare treat, I am glad that this book was one of them. This book changed my perspective – for the first time, I became aware of the idea that we control our own thoughts, actions and attitudes. To be honest I don’t remember the rest of the book, what I truly took to heart was the fact that I was in control – my thoughts, attitudes and actions didn’t have to be at the whim of other people’s behaviour or events around me – I could choose my own attitude, I could choose how to behave – I didn’t need to react to everything around me.
The French Stick Method is such a beauty – whenever you are feeling dismayed or discouraged about a big challenge or obstacle, remember, we don’t eat a French stick in one bite – we cut it into smaller pieces and eat it piece by piece.
You can find a copy of this book on Amazon.
2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey & The 7 Habits for Teens – Sean Covey
These are two, world renowned books. I’ve listed them both, because personally, I prefer the version for teens! It’s easier to read, explains the same concepts, it even has illustrations and shows you how to make it happen. I first came across these books on my first interstate flight – when I was sixteen, I was on my way to Darwin for the National Sister Cities Conference, and my chaperone pushed the book towards me and highly recommended it. If you haven’t read this before, you absolutely must! Your local library will have a copy, you can also find them online and in bookstores – guaranteed, someone you know has a copy!
The first habit in the 7 Habits is “Be Proactive”. In a nutshell, it means we act, instead of being acted upon. We choose how we act, instead of reacting. We focus on the things we control/influence, instead of the things we cannot.
For example, compare a bottle of soft drink, and a bottle of water. When you shake a bottle of soft drink and take off the lid, it explodes – this is similar to a reactive response, based on impulse. On the other hand, if you shake a bottle of water, take off the lid – nothing happens – this is us, when we choose our own reaction, instead of letting other people and other things determine our behaviour. Sean Covey said, “Proactive people are like water. Shake them up all you want, take off the lid, and nothing. No fizzing, no bubbling, no pressure. They are calm, cool and in control.”
Proactive choices are based on values – think before you act. For example, I value my health – therefore, when my alarm goes off at 5.30am for a workout, I don’t say “I have to get up”, I say “I choose to get up”. If you value education, and you spend Friday night studying, don’t say “I have to study tonight”, say “I get to study tonight”, or “I am studying tonight”. Take ownership over your choices. When you mess up, don’t say “it’s just the way I am”, say “I can do better than that.” When you’re faced with an obstacle, don’t say “There’s nothing I can do”, say “Let’s find a way.” When someone is making life difficult, don’t think “you ruined my day”, think “I’m not going to let you ruin my day”.
The 7 Habits for Teens shows us another way of looking at it:
So how can you be proactive? Take action – don’t wait for things to happen… if you have a dream, what do you need to do to make it a reality? If you know someone needs help, don’t wait for them to ask, just do it! If you’re about to lose your head because someone cut into your lane, just pause, take a breath and don’t let it get to you – it’s not worth it.
It’s your life: Be in the driver’s seat, don’t be a passenger.
You can read more about being proactive here. https://www.stephencovey.com/7habits/7habits-habit1.php
Juliette Jones, an Aussie 12 year old pitching in to find a cure for Motor Neurone Disease.
Gustavia Lui, from New Zealand: from foster child to shoe designer.
Images: Monash & Amazon