“Be proactive” is a good advice, if you’re not used to taking responsibility for your life and taking actions to make your life better.
I used to think, though, that that meant “make things happen.” If certain issues need confronting, confront it. If there are problems to solve, then solve it. Do it now, don’t procrastinate.
But I am starting to see that there is a next level here.
Once you master your basic proactivity, then you move on to the art of preparing to attack, then wait.
My kids got me to play Shadow Fight 2, a martial art battle game. Like any good games, you can learn the skills and get better at it. By that, I don’t mean just upgrade your weapons and armor. That alone will not take you far. You need to learn the skill of how and when to utilize various moves, to damage your opponent quicker than s/he damages you.
My son was showing me yesterday how I shouldn’t just attack any time — I need to look for an opportune time. Like right after when the opponent strikes at you. Block/parry their attack and then strike back.
This applies to many other places in life. If you need to have a tough conversation with someone, just barging in may not be the best approach. You may make an appointment ahead of time, or you wait for a good window, where both you and the other party have the time and the mindset to hold the discussion. If you have a problem to solve, then do all the preparation, get ready to solve — then wait for a good opportunity to apply that solution. For example, if you need to work on your roof, you don’t go on it at night or while it’s raining (as long as it’s not super urgent). You look for a good condition to do a roof work. But it’s best if you get all your tools and materials assembled, so you are ready to strike when the opportunity presents itself.
This is not a good advice if you’re still dealing with procrastination. It’s applicable only if you’re ready to move on to the next level, after you become fully capable of taking proactive actions. But if you know you are the owner and creator of your life and you proactively go about changing, improving and solving problems, then knowing when you take the action can make a huge difference, after you figure out what needs to be done.
This concept applies so many places. If you got a story or experience that relates to this, let me know.