I shared a story a while back about about a girl I met in DC, that was depressed by the fact that nothing in life was ever fresh, and shared a few thoughts on ways out of this perspective. In truth, I now know that the core reason that she felt that was was that she was trapped in a self-imposed bubble of security, and was living her life reactively instead of proactively.
Let’s bring this idea out in a concrete way.
The last day of my trip to Ireland, I scheduled a one day trip to Belfast to visit and learn more about the history of the Irish conflict up there. I paid for the trip, and went back to the hotel, having set my alarm to wake me up at 7:15AM, excited for the trip the next day.
Well, power plugs in Ireland, have a little switch by them, and I forgot to turn mine on, resulting in the alarm losing power in the middle of the night, and I woke up at 10AM.
When I realized what happened, I was faced with a decision. I could reactively live, which would result in bemoaning my pitiful fate, or I could proactively live, and take the attitude that my life was taking a different path than I had expected. The subtle difference in attitude is what allows life to be exciting and free vs. stale and constricting.
Further, I would argue that reactive living comes from a position of fear and desire for security (which does not exist), whereas proactive living comes from a perspective of adventure and confidence in one’s self.
On a personal note, I realized that what I have loved about traveling around, has been that it allowed me to live proactively, and upon deeper introspection realized that my life in Atlanta was highly reactive. This reactive attitude, brought me down, and depressed me when I was home. However, a small change in attitude to extend my proactive living attitude to my time in Atlanta, charged me, and brought passion back to my life.
I will note that I found that achieving this attitude comes about through finding inner self-security and living bravely, so if you find you have trouble with proactive living, give these topics some thought as well.