This article is about the importance of living a proactive life. This is not a call to be aggressive or self-absorbed. It is a suggestion to take control and responsibility for your thoughts, actions and the results they produce.

Here are some quotes and comments to encourage your efforts toward self-sufficiency and accomplishment.

• “If it is to be, it is up to me.” Who but you knows your true wants, needs and desires? Who but you can have the vision, set the goals and do the work required for what you want?

• “Don’t wait for your ship to come in. Swim out and meet it.” Pursue your dreams actively. Do something positive and progressive toward your goals each day until you realize them.

• “Good comes to those who wait, but only that left by those who hustle.” is a corollary to the last quote by Abraham Lincoln. This showed his awareness of the difference between patience and passive waiting.

• “Plan your work and work your plan.” Brian Tracy says only 5 percent of the entire population has written goals. He also reminds us only about 5 percent of the entire population ever becomes financially independent. Do you think there is a link between the two? Have a written plan for your life, priorities and goals. Without it, everything remains a vague idea in your mind. A goal is just a dream until you write it down. List the major parts of your life. Ask yourself, “What do I want to accomplish in each of these areas?” Then write goals and manage your time to let you focus on accomplishing those goals. Approach your life in a step-by-step way. Accomplish big tasks in small steps.

• “A big shot is just a little shot who keeps on shooting.” Frustration, setbacks and discouragement are simply a part of life. How we choose to respond to these challenges often determines the outcome of the situation. Be positive. Look for solutions. Don’t give up.

• “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” Lao Tzu. Many view life as a journey. It is an easy analogy to understand. We travel from place to place, from job to job, from experience to experience. However, we live years made of months made of weeks made of days made of hours. Concentrate on what is important this minute and your hours will likely be full and successful.

Your life is just that, your life. You are responsible for how you respond to every situation in your life. You cannot control all of what happens. You can control how you act or react to it. Take control. Be in charge. Increase your chances of having a full and fulfilling life lived on your terms.

Tim O’Brien writes continuing-education courses and presents seminars on stress management.

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