Most people have a purely reactive way of using their intelligence under normal circumstances. Things happen, problems present themselves, and then the brain is engaged to deal with the situation. So when most people are in grocery store pushing a cart and making a beeline for the frozen foods, they deviate from a line they’re on when confronted with another person on that same line. It’s the normal sort of reactivity.
I’ve realized that I am well outside the norm in terms of my mental processes. I approach situations by understanding them systematically, observing the underlying patterns. So when I am in the grocery store, I observe the traffic patterns and pick the most efficient route through them to the foods I need. I’m very pro-active in using my brain to make my actions more efficient and effective even in the most mundane tasks.
It’s unfortunate that as a society we are so prone to reactivity. Had we understood our nation’s economy systematically, watched for the patterns that could cause problems, and pro-actively taken action to prevent it, we might not be in this situation that we now have to react to because there is no other option.