Many of us would remember the story of a grasshopper and an ant. While the grasshopper lazed around during summer, the ant worked hard collecting food grains and storing them in its house. When the grasshopper enquired, the ant said, “I am storing food for the winter when there will not be anything to eat!” The grasshopper laughed over it saying winter is too far and there is no need to worry now.
When winter came the grasshopper did not find anything to eat. He died due to persistent hunger.
The story tells us a lot about the importance of being proactive.
How can we become proactive? Here are some ideas:
• Ask yourself: can I do some of the tasks ahead of time or at least initiate them early. In most cases, the answer will be yes. A friend of mine gets a tutor for his son during the summer vacation and makes him complete some crucial subjects such as Mathematics, much ahead of the next academic session. As a result, the child is already ahead of his peers when the session starts. He gets very good grades. This builds his confidence and he is able to do well in other subjects as well, plus he has time to pursue his favourite sport.
• Think and write down the steps that need to be taken to accomplish a task. This helps in organizing your schedule and plan better.
• Never lose sight of the important things in life. We often get so busy with work that family and friends get neglected. Even at work, we often remain busy doing day-to-day urgent tasks rather than addressing issues that need to be looked into in order to make improvements in systems, policies or practices. I have already written a post on ‘Doing important things in life’.
• Don’t leave tasks half finished: Often we start something but due to some reason or the other, don’t complete it. And, at times this gets forgotten. Coming back to the unfinished task takes much longer than to finish it in the first instance.
Proactive people don’t wait for things. They anticipate challenges, look for opportunities and take action in advance. This attitude makes them successful and enhances their influence. To conclude, winter is never too far: be proactive.