Idea 003: Proactive vs Reactive

I was having a meeting with my bosses N and S and looking into some key figures of the business. N asked the source of some figures which he thought might be wrong. While I was replying to N that I would get back to him later, S already proactively confirmed the source was correct.

Proactive work attitude is excellent

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This is not the first time S proactively do her work. Actually she always takes actions immediately when she needs to work on something.

She once told me that she always worked in this way because she would forget the work if she did the work later.

Throughout these years working in this society, people used to say that we need to prioritise things because we have too little time to do too many things. Unless it is urgent, we should do the highly prioritised work first.

This reminds me of one of my friends, P, who is so keen on travelling to different countries and proactively schedules different trips without hesitation when she has time.

Both my friend P and my boss S shows proactive mindset when it comes to things that they like to do / they have to do. I believe that this is the right mindset whenever we are employee or entrepreneurs.

Reactive work attitude might be harmful

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H, who is my fellow colleagues, is working in technical team. He is maintaining our back end system with his teammates, and my work strongly relies on the data and reports that are generated from that system.

H is one of the colleagues working on those data and reports. There were several times when I actually asked for some questions on the data stored and the reports generated, H got back to me that he just followed the instructions from my predecessor and he knew nothing.

Although I know this is the practice of some of the technical people – they just work on the instructions without offering opinion proactively, I do appreciate some proactive opinions.

If I were him, I would ask as many questions as possible to my predecessor and share my opinions on whether it worked and met the need of my predecessor. Next time when someone new has come, I could share similar opinions to him / her to meet his / her needs as well.

Always proactive

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It is not just about work. When it comes to personal development, we also need to act proactively.

There are MANY self learning materials available online, and we will not have access to them if we don’t find them proactively. Eventually, we will miss out a lot of useful materials to improve our lives or our capabilities.

For example, there are a lot of people who earn a lot are willing to share their experience and mindset. I am not saying we can always replicate their success, but it is worth to learn from them. If we don’t proactively look for those materials, we are just one of the normal guys living a normal life.

Let’s think about it – we all have on average 80 years to live, and it is too short for us to do whatever we want to do. If we can do thing proactively, we can achieve a lot more than we can now.

That is why I write my blog – to share what I have learnt from others, consolidate the knowledge I have learnt and make good use of them.


If you want to know more about what I have learnt from other successful people, you can click the below link. This could the one of the life-changing articles for you:

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