Cockroach Theory : Be Proactive

A good lesson to teach our students is about Being Proactive.

There are 2 types of people in this world and they are either Winners or Losers and it all boils down to the individual as to whether he or she is Responsive or Reactive.


cockroach theory


The Cockroach Theory

In a restaurant, 4 ladies decided to dine in for a lavish meal. A well-dressed waiter comes along and passed the ladies each a menu so they could choose which set meal they’d like to have.

Outta nowhere, a fat flying cockroach landed on the edge of the dining table and the ladies started to freak out. All 4 of the ladies were on their feet, jumping around and screaming hysterically. The screaming and frantic reactions caused the cockroach to fly and land on another group of table of ladies. The same thing happened to the other table and more ladies started jumping on their seats, complaining and screaming away.

The waiter, in a non-chalant and calm manner, approached the cockroach, stomped on it in a split-second, picked it up and threw it away in a nearby rubbish bin. Problem solved.


Question – What is the main difference between the group of ladies and the waiter?

The ladies were being Reactive whilst the waiter was being Responsive.

The waiter chose to be Proactive and had the ability to respond and handle the current situation. He did not waste any time waiting for solutions to come but chose to respond with a practical situation. Life goes on and problem is solved.

Life did not go on for the ladies in the restaurant. They were stuck in a timeline where the cockroach ‘appeared in their minds’ for the next couple of hours. Sometimes days.

For the waiter, life goes on and he moved on. He had a sumptuous meal with burgers and pizzas, talked about the little happy things in life and cycled back home happily listening to his favorite songs in his MP3 player after work.


If everyone around us is Reactive, then nothing much will be done. The timeframe will still move on and yet, nothing will change if we choose to be reactive, reacting by whining or complaining or crying. The situation would still stay the same UNTIL we approach it the Responsive way – Do something about it. Take a step back, plan and reflect on your next course of actions and take action. (Or you can wait until someone else does something and wait.. and wait.)


Take for example – one fine day, you are making your way to school on foot. While walking towards school, you decided that it’ll be good to take a shortcut and take the dirt track and through some unforeseen event, you step on a pile of dog crap.

How would you react? By blaming the dogs who crap on random areas? By taking a screenshot of your shoe (with crap) and complain over social media FB and such? Then whine over the issue in school and wait for solutions to come?

Or would you respond to the situation, move on and find a solution like finding a used cloth or wooden plank and slowly remove the crap off your shoe. A running tap of clean water is readily available nearby in many places, in school, multi storey carparks etc.


Respond, Settle the Issue and Move On.

Wow. The feeling of having full control of your life is wonderful.

Respond to the situation with a practical action instead of complaining and whining about it.

Don’t be a negative force. It’ll only bring the team down and only attract more negative losers. Guess what? The positive forces will naturally move on and steer away from negative people. Positive people would only attract positive outcomes and positive happenings. That is why positive people are always happy and successful in their lives no matter what rank or status they have.

Respond and don’t React to the situation.


Reactive people –> Loser Mentality.

Responsive people –> Winner Mentality.


Students, you will have satisfaction and when you take charge and control of your lives. Create your own luck and lay the path to your own future.


The best teacher in this world is yourself and only you and we, tutor-educators will always be there, clapping and cheering you on through times of ease and hardship.


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