I’m sure you have known people, and you may even be one, who goes from crisis to crisis. They always seem to have a problem of the week, and ordinary events for others become serious traumas for them. They live their life as though they were making snowballs and rolling them down a snowy slope. They start with something small and easy to manage, but end up with huge boulders.

This is like Sad Sammy, who forgot to put gasoline in his car and then get stuck on his way to work, lost his job for not getting there, couldn’t pay his rent, and ended up living homeless on the street, all because he didn’t stop at a gas station on time.

Then there was Hungry Hanna who didn’t pay her electric bill and threw away the warning turn-off notice. She felt depressed because she couldn’t pay her electric bill so to help her feel better, she went shopping and bought enough food for a month, but the next day her power was turned off, and all her food spoiled.

Sammy and Hanna were living their lives reactively. Rather than being proactive and taking care of small problems, they waited until their problems became huge and unmanageable. Then Sammy and Hanna had to react to the problem, trying to fix it. How much better off they would have been if they had been proactive, and taken care of basic day to day problems up front. Putting gas in your car, paying your bills, and getting to work on time are all part of normal everyday activities. People who fail to proactively take care of their basic needs end up living in a reactive crisis mode, spending all their time and energy picking up the pieces rather than preventing the problem in the beginning. Living a reactive life promotes relapse back into your addiction. Setting small everyday goals and completing them helps you stay in a proactive state. Take care of problems at the top of the hill, when they are snowballs, rather than pushing them down the hill and waiting for them to become boulders.

It’s not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what’s required.
Sir Winston Churchill
British politician (1874 – 1965)



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