If you are not in the process of becoming the person you want to be, you are automatically engaged in becoming the person you don’t want to be (Dale Carnegie). A lack of action or choice is a decision. Leaving our life open to the influence of others is giving up our personal power. By becoming passive and waiting for “something to happen” we inadvertently encourage and accept the status quo. To become the person we want to be, to have the life we want to have, we could take action–deliberate and intentional action. Being proactive means to put into motion the actions needed to move toward a specified goal. To be reactive means to simply respond to what happens around us. Reactivity is more stressful and crisis oriented. Reactivity perpetuates the victim stance or role. Taking steps to protect ourselves, preventing things we don’t want to happen, and facilitating what we want to occur takes planning and a willingness to implement steps and choices. With decisions come responsibility and acceptance of a role in the outcome. On the other hand, not making a decision is, in fact, a decision with no less responsibility for the outcome or consequences. It’s easier to blame others for bad outcomes when we refuse to make a change or take a stand. However, in reality, no one is to blame for our life or circumstances but ourselves. Sure, things do happen beyond our control however the response to those things are well within our control. Additionally, we do have options that can increase the positives in our lives as well as decrease the negatives. While focusing on things beyond our control is only going to produce frustration and stress, there is always something we can exert influence and control over thereby improving our own changes of success. Take responsibility for life and exert influence and choice when able. Whether we succeed or fail, we will almost always feel better about ourselves when we try rather than just sitting back and waiting for life or others to decide for us. Give it a try.