The greatest present that we can give ourselves is by living in the "Present". This thought provoking idiom from "The Bhagawath Gita" has got profound consequences. Living in the present means being aware of ourselves and the surroundings in which we live. It also means having a "Horse Sense" and being proactive. As our responsiveness to world increases, our intellect broadens to encompass the cosmic brilliance. Being proactive is nothing but knowing what to do, when to do and how to do. It means controlling situations and making things happen, rather than waiting to respond to situations after it happens. Pro-activity comes through experience and through consciousness.

Being proactive is like switching on an electric bulb. The electricity is there, all the time. But unless you switch on, it will not shine. Similarly, the knowledge is there with us, all the time. But if we do not know how to use it effectively and pragmatically, it will be of no use. The repertoire of knowledge that we possess needs to be processed to anticipate situations and incidents. When we take our small kids outside, we tend to be naturally proactive. We will carry an umbrella - anticipating a rain , food - thinking that they will get hungry during the journey and all those nitty gritty things which we think will be required in case of an exigency. But how often we become proactive like this in our lives? How often do we conscientiously perform a task? Just imagine applying the same philosophy to the minutiae of our personal and official lives. Processing of information is a continuous process. The aim should be to make the output impeccable, refined and sensible.

If we take the lives of successful individuals who have rewritten their life histories, we realise that they were all proactive apart from being great visionaries. Dhirubhai Ambani was a mere worker in a petrol pump from where he rose to become one of the most revered and successful icon in business industry. Kersan Bhai Patel used to go around on a cycle selling his home made washing power until he set up Nirma. From mere individuals they gravitated to become legendary business men as they were able to perceive the changing environment effectively. They could sense the transformation and acted as catalyst for riveting changes in the lives of a million people. Being flexible, adaptable and experimental paves the way for proactive thinking.

In the Corporate World, being proactive differentiates between success and failure. Knowing the pulse of the market and designing products and services in tune with the changing taste of the masses are hallmarks of successful firms. Anticipating the change is one of the pre-requisites for surviving in this competitive era and we need to always think one step ahead of our competitors in terms of strategy, innovation, responsiveness and service. A photographer always carries his camera along with him so that he can capture nature's splendour wherever he goes. In a similar way we need to use our intellect and the repertoire of knowledge that we possess to take proactive and judicious decisions.

If you're proactive, you don't have to wait for circumstances or other people to create perspective expanding experiences. You can consciously create your own.

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