For all of us in leadership roles, we need to pause from time to time\u00a0to make some key assessments.\n\nWe need to think about our self, our job, our\u00a0commitments, our families, our health, our spirits, our energy and many more things that make us who we are. Then we need to consider how all of that impacts our lives. Then consider how it impacts the lives of those around us. This\u00a0reflective\u00a0exercise is a sobering and cleansing process. This introspection can really be a spring cleaning for our minds, bodies, and souls.\n\n\nI like to call it recalibration.\n\n\nLet's face it, the demands on your time and your life can get overwhelming. In today's tumultuous market, we really never know from day to day what may come next. If we let the pressure of these demands\u00a0mount without routinely asking ourselves some basic questions, we run the risk of spinning off into some other orbit we never intended.\n\n\nI like the old adage of the frog in the kettle. The story goes that if you drop a frog in boiling water, he immediately jumps out. But if you set him in cool water and slowly add heat until it comes to a rapid boil over time, you will get frog soup; he will boil to death. I don't know about you, but I certainly don't want to be like the frog that doesn't sense the perils in life creeping up on me\u00a0before it is too late without my noticing!\n\nReact or Respond?\n\nI suggest that one of the most essential questions we can ask ourselves is this:\n\n\n\nAm I managing my world, or is my world managing me?\n\n\n\nAt the core of this idea is the challenge between being proactive or reactive. Here is an illustration to make my point. If a doctor prescribes medication and\u00a0my body\u00a0reacts when I take it, it is a problem. Yet if my body\u00a0responds to the medication, I am going to get over or through the condition.\n\n\nJust like with the medicine, being reactive to things in our world \u2013 circumstances or stimuli \u2013 really will not help the situation.\n\n\nOf course, there are things that may happen that are totally unexpected. Yes, we have to deal with that. But we can do it powerfully. My point is that we should not let everything that happens become a point of reaction.\u00a0In reality, we have the capability to do something \u2013 to be proactive with what may come.\n\n\nProactive people are better positioned to be managing their world, whereas living re-actively allows the events of the day to manage YOU.\n\nIntruder Alert!\n\nYou may think you have developed the best plan in the world to attack the next chapter of your life. (OK, maybe just the next few hours). Then, before you know it, the very first person who walks into the office seems to blow the whole plan out of the water.\n\n\nWhat do you do? Don't react! Allow, no, force yourself to pause and process the matter according to your plan. This is how you manage things rather than let things manage you.\n\n\nIs it easy? Of course not! That's why we so often feel overwhelmed or drained at the end of the day. Even if you are successful at maintaining focus on your plan, it likely will take\u00a0substantial energy and effort.\n\n\nThe good news is, those people who have been able to adopt a discipline for doing this find it becomes easier to do with practice and momentum over time.\n\n\nAnd this has an impact on others as well. If your outward aura is true to this inner control, the people around you will start to get the picture. Their demands will become less intrusive, and they will eventually learn they cannot get "the rise" out of you they once might have achieved.\n\nLife is a Self-Help Journey\n\nMaybe the self-help books are not as popular as they once were. The truth is, this journey we call life is full of self-help moments. Rather than waiting on others to pitch in or hoping that circumstances may change, we need to take control of our own destiny.\n\n\nAt each and every step of the way, ask yourself,\n\n\n"Am\u00a0I managing my world, or does my world manage me?"\n\n\nWhere do you stand? Are you more inclined to be in control of the things happening around you, or have you just been reacting? How would you describe the leadership at your organization? How can you introduce more ways of being proactive rather than just reactive?