Being Proactive, Not Reactive
When someone plays with fire and gets burned, hopefully they learn their lesson, and stay away from it. When a guy is warned that doing something isn’t the best course of action but does it anyway, he gets angry, and once again has learned their lesson to not do it again. At least every person out there has made the mistake of doing something they may regret, regardless of being cognizant of the consequences. That’s not the issue I have with learning through failure: some lessons unfortunately have to be learned firsthand.
The problem I have is when a person repeatedly makes the same self destructive decisions, and then is frustrated that the same results. A person who is wholly reactive doesn’t make it very far in life. They are mostly the type of person who is amazed at the new phone coming out or a new pair of shoes that look the same, and especially the person who always happens to end up in a relationship with the same type of dysfunctional partner time and time again.
It takes considerable effort for someone to actually understand that acting without any thought is exactly why they don’t make much headway. To look inward requires effort, something that many people are willing to conjure up. Many won’t do so until they are in the later half of their lives, with nothing to lose.
For the love of anything, don’t be that person at 56 who realizes that they wasted their lives on mistakes with nothing to show for it. Understand that many things that are worth it in life take time to see to fruition, and most don’t take forty years to get there. Protecting yourself from strenuous legal problems will be easier to deal with if you acted accordingly over twenty years prior, believe it or not. Another way to avoid problems later on is to not be a person that doesn’t take advantage of others in such a way that will scar the victim -and you- for a lifetime (looking at you, Hollyweird).
The more proactive you become, the less people will hear about you. Many people are drawn to conflict and drama, and if you are someone who doesn’t embody either of these you will be looked at by individuals with prying eyes who are more than willing to bring both concepts right to you, free of charge.
I take pride in being a mostly proactive person (at least 86%; the rest is recklessness). Sometimes I feel I may have paranoia in how I deal with certain situations, but when I look around and see how others are stuck in emotional tug of wars with their former significant other with a child in the middle, or not being able to get to work because of no car, or still dealing with an issue that happened over a decade ago, I think otherwise.
Imparting knowledge like this won’t reach everyone, and fewer will even practice it, but at least no one can say that no one told them.