Easter was celebrated all over the world this past weekend. I spent time with family and friends, enjoying each other’s company and eating great food. My faith is a huge part of my life, so I also spent considerable time reflecting on the life, death and resurrection of Christ. I also looked at his disciples, the transformation that took place in their lives in the days that followed the resurrection, as they moved from being unproductive to turning their world upside down.
I found myself asking questions like: What made Christ so impactful? What changed in the mindset of the disciples to make them world-changers? What does it take for any of us to make a lasting impact in our world? As I sat in my living room thinking on these things, I concluded that the most important answer is rooted, not in behaviors or spirituality – though these are crucial and empowering, but in how we choose to live out our existence. As I compared these biblical people to less impactful people, I discovered three groups of people – each with varying levels of impact and success.
First, there are active people. Active people are busy people. They get things done. They appear productive because they have “to do” lists that are a mile long and, by the end of the day, most items – if not every one – have a checkmark next to them that signifies their completion. They are heavily involved in activities at home, community, church, and career. They sleep little and work hard. They accomplish many things yet, at the end of the day, they still feel unproductive. They confuse busyness with productivity.
Second, there are reactive people. They are the “firefighters” of life. They constantly move from crisis to crisis, difficulty to trial, seeking to put out fires that seem to be burning up everything around them. They feel they have no time to focus on the things that are “important” because they are always dealing with the things that are “necessary”. They want to achieve a successful life but feel like they are constantly fighting just to maintain the status quo.
Thirdly, there are the proactive people. These people have a clear sense of where they are going. They know that mishaps will happen along the way. They are aware that failure is the asphalt on the road to success. They are aware of their strengths and weaknesses, delegating the things which they don’t need to do and are not skilled to do. They cater to their strengths and the vision of where they are going, no matter the length or difficulty of the journey. They properly evaluate and forego immediate gratification for the purpose of long-term gain when appropriate. They live life on purpose for a purpose, catering to their calling rather than succumbing to the circumstances.
We all find ourselves in any one of these stages at one time or another. That is just a fact of life. The question is: where do you spend the majority of your time? Is your lifestyle overall one that is active, reactive, or proactive? We want to live the majority of our time in a proactive state for there we will be productive, fruitful, and fulfilled.
You may be asking, “What about inactive people?” That is another whole separate topic that we will cover in Part 2. Let me preface it by saying there are no such people. Check out my next blog as we uncover this concept.
What are your thoughts? Do you have additional insights? Leave your comments below. Thank you – I value your insights.