'The easiest thing is to react. The second easiest thing is to respond.
In our busy lives, we are prone to react or respond to situations. Of course, in many situations, we simply have to deal with the things that pop up in our lives, but just responding and reacting can easily become daily habits. We should not forget that we have a choice: to initiate something new instead of just trying to battle with life at every corner.
Why is reacting to a situation easier than initiating something new?
It can be scary
Initiating something new can be a scary thing to do. Think about making the first move, starting up a new project at work, volunteering or trying to pitch a new, weird idea with the risk of looking ridiculous in the process.
We tend to keep to the well-known paths of reacting and responding because starting something new always comes with a chance of failure (and possible loss of image). Initiating something new feels risky to many.
Using our busy schedules as a shield
Since initiating is a scary thing to do, we tend to hide behind our busy schedules. It can feel safe, sure, but is it a satisfying way to live our lives? We all have duties and responsibilities, yes, but honestly, how many of our appointments and planned actions are really necessary and interesting? And - more importantly - do we really want them to run the course of our lives?
Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.
Some of us might not hide behind our busy schedules, but simply feel too overwhelmed to even entertain the notion of initiating something new into our lives.
In this situation, it can be even more important to make time to initiate something new, something that springs from your own heart and brain. It can help us retrain a sense of purpose and direction in life instead of feeling victimized by our Outlook Calendars, the public transport schedule and needy family members.
Feeling 'lived' by our life can rob us of our energy, turning us into a grumpy and unhappy people, which ultimately will not do anyone any good. We'd be grumpy colleagues, impatient parents and uninterested partners. We should remember that our lives are quite short and time passes quickly. We shouldn't forget to try and take charge of the course we'd like our lives to run.
Take time to think, plan and act
So part of learning to initiate and develop our own course, is learning to say no to things that aren't important - or necessary - to us and spend our valuable time and energy on things that are worthwhile to pursue. I once read that if we want to know what the future will look like, we should look at what we are doing & thinking about today. That is exactly why it’s so important to take time to review, evaluate and initiate.
Sort out your priorities
Does not the very word 'creative' mean to build, to initiate, to give out, to act - rather than to be acted upon, to be subjective?
It is not a selfish thing to ask for a little time out to sort out our priorities. Our friends, family and coworkers might be disappointed when we take some time for ourselves, but we can explain to them that it is also an investment.
Simply explain to them that initiating something new and reaching out of our comfort zone, can bring us so much. It rewards us with personal growth, inspiration, creativity, new friendships and a lot of joy, which in turn will be reflected on your loved ones and your (professional) environment.
But it’s still risky..
It is. That's basically also the fun of it. Overcoming fears, finding the edges of your comfort zone and learning to stretch them. Being able to surprise yourself and others. It's the juice of life. It doesn't even have to be big. Also small changes count. They count a lot. And might be a start to something larger.
Just remember that if you happen to fall flat on your face, there are always kind people around you to help pick you up and dust you off again. Don't take yourself too seriously. Go out and start something new.