We use a filtered water pitcher in our home. Our pitcher has two reservoirs. The top reservoir is where we add water, and the bottom reservoir is where the filtered water goes. The top only holds a fraction of what the bottom can hold. To keep the bottom full, we have to fill up the top many times, and the filter's slow pace means we have to wait a significant amount of time to fill the pitcher up once it is empty.
In our marriage, we can be reactive and attempt to fill our spouse's pitcher, but as much as we fill it, the filter can only process a certain amount of water. If we are having problems in our marriage, reacting may be of help for a time but there is limited bandwidth.
In business, we can't expect our client relationships to maintain themselves. Over time, clients will feel empty and they will start to wonder and question the partnership.
We can't resolve these with a quick fix or a silver bullet. For long term change and growth, it requires us to consistently be adding water to our pitcher.
Reactivity says, fill it up only when it's empty. Reactive is a roller coaster of emotions and stress. Reactive never allows us to become full. Reactive is always a step behind.
Pro-activity says, fill up the pitcher every time we use it. Proactive is consistent and healthy. Proactive is always a step ahead.
Like the pitcher, we also have limited bandwidth for giving and receiving. To live a life of thriving, this requires us to be pro-active in maintaining what is important to us.
Are you being reactive or proactive in your life?