Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Be Proactive, Part 2

A second point raised by Stephen Covey relating to being proactive, is to understand the scope of our actions. Covey distinguishes between the Circle of Influence (things you can do something about) and the Circle of Concern (things over which you have no control). Proactive people focus their energy on the Circle of Influence, working on things they can affect, which leads to positive energy and an expansion of their influence. They don’t focus on the circle of concern. Worrying about things we have no control over, is wasted energy.

In contrast, reactive people focus on the Circle of Concern, such as external conditions and the behaviour of others, leading to negative energy and a decrease in their effective influence. If you are, for example, spending all your time on social medial, consuming the work output of others, you will end up following the furrow they have ploughed rather than creating your own.