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#IntentionalPositivity: Who’s REALLY in Control?

Jun 13, 2018 11:21AM ● By Laurie James

Have you ever thought about the difference between being proactive and reactive? If you are proactive, you make things happen, instead of waiting for them to happen to you. If you are reactive, you wait for things to unfold before responding. In other words, when you are proactively on purpose, you can make things happen and control your destiny—when you react, you are letting others control your destiny.

In our personal lives, we tend to be reactive, as that’s how we came out of the womb—listening to our parents and trusting that they knew what was best for us. I am STILL reacting to my mother when she tells me how to do something!

In work, however, we have the option to be proactive, and chances are, that is why an employer hires us. Don’t be afraid to be in control on the job, even if you’re not the boss! Control isn’t about rank, it’s about preparation and planning. Develop a PLAN of action to keep yourself in check:

P – Prepare your goals. It sounds easy enough, but when was the last time you took some alone time to reflect on where you are and where you need to be? Goal posters, vision boards, and other ways of keeping your eye on the prize will DEFINITELY help you stay focused on your plan!

L – Learn all you need to know about what direction you’re heading toward. If you want to attend graduate school, find out what that will cost and how you can leverage money for scholarships or other funding. Look into housing, books, other expenses, etc. Then consider ways to make this dream a reality.

A – Attitude creates altitude, especially where goals are concerned. There are three basic ways to achieve long-term goals: 1) Visualizing your goals; Remaining consistent with tried and true activities; 3) Maintaining a positive attitude in everything you do. The outcome may not come to you at the speed you wish. However, visualization, consistency and positivity WILL get you moving in the right direction!

N – Never give up!! Winston Churchill made these words famous in a commencement address. This is such an easy message that has clarity and purpose. Cling to this mantra, and you will succeed.

Footnote: When you embrace this process, you must accept that everything may not go completely as planned. If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail! Taking the necessary steps to put a solid plan into place WILL get you closer to your ultimate goal.

Laurie J. James is one of the only 12 Master Career Directors globally. She co-founded and presided over the Professional Resume Writing and Research Association from 2000-2004. PRWRA rebranded to Career Directors in 2005. Laurie has created 10,000+ job-winning resumes in her career. She is a credentialed resume & LinkedIn profile writer, seasoned public speaker and award-winning career image coach. Visit her at