Be Proactive
Last month I challenged you to write your mission statement. Have you completed it yet? It is not easy, is it? Once you start wrestling with who you really are and what you want to accomplish in life, the multitude of options seems overwhelming at first. Think about it, ponder your possibilities, and you will soon be able to boil down your dreams, goals and thoughts into a mission statement. By the way do you know the difference between a dream and a goal? A goal is a dream with a deadline!

When you think about your choices in life, you should readily see that you have two choices in responding to life and the events that come your way. One you can react, or two, you can proact. Being proactive, means that you are creating a break between the event or stimulus that comes your way and your response. During that break you think through the possible responses and then choose the appropriate one. Your ability to create the gap is the key to being proactive. Often we are so programmed to give an immediate reactive response to every event, that we rarely find ourselves choosing the appropriate response.

The last of all human freedoms is our ability to choose our response. You can take my liberty by binding me, taking me hostage or imprison me, but you cannot take my freedom. I must give that to you. An inspiring author and lecturer, Viktor Frankl, was taken captive and placed in the living hell of Auschwitz. Viktor began observing his fellow prisoners and found that many would immediately give up after arriving. Often they would die before they were killed by the troops. Others he observed, refused to give up hope, they simply chose to live, no matter what. Often Viktor was placed in front of firing squads and they fired over his head. He teaches that he would take his mind to the pleasant experiences of life, leaving the horrific experience of the moment to those who were experimenting with torture. We can learn much from Viktor. I highly recommend his book, Man's Search for Meaning. We too can choose our response in any given situation.

Our ability to act is preemptive to being acted upon by others or the economy. Simply put, the best way to deal with our future is to create it. Being proactive when viewed through a computer paradigm, means that we are the programmer of our own lives. Yes, events come that we cannot predict, but we still responsible to act upon those events. Your mission statement is the program for your life and in future articles we will deal with running your program.

Being in the livestock business requires a great deal of proactive thinking to be successful. Reactive thinkers are soon blown away by the winds of uncertainty. The great producers are those that have the ability to proactively think on a continuous basis. Think about it, proactive thinking is future centered and works out of your imagination, while reactive thinking is centered on the past and focuses on your memory. Where is the greatest chance for change and success? The future! Some reactive breeders select a new set of genetics after every show, in hopes of finding future winners. Usually they are frustrated and never find that winner as they are always a generation behind the leaders who create a new set of winners. Other reactive breeders look to see what sire has been hot in the past and try to get him or at least a son, then they breed all their females again trusting that he will once again give them winners as well. Frustration is often again their lot, as they were simply reacting to a past success rather than focusing on the future and the possibilities that could come from moving forward with sound selection and imaginative breeding. Standing back, it would appear as those these folks are chasing their tails! They are viewed as radicals, (someone who has lost their direction and doubled their speed). On the other hand, there are a few individuals who have the unique ability to look into the future and see the rewards of genomics (selective breeding). Do they ignore all of the historical information available? Of course not, however, they use that information to move forward with new genetic combinations that may be based on either line breeding or hybrid crosses, in either case they create the prepotent genetic combinations that transform future generations.

The best way to deal with your future is to create it and by moving towards proactive thinking and action, one can find new levels of success and satisfaction in all facets of life.

Boyer Land and Livestock
Tom, Carrie & Maren Boyer
Coalville, Utah