Internal development – the decisions and actions you can freely take to dismantle the dictates of your past experiences – will always precede external awareness.
Your capacity to gracefully and constructively accept and engage with the external changes that come into your life is positively correlated to the degree to which you’ve done your internal work.
This is crucial to understand because every day you do not act upon this knowledge is another day you employ an operating model that was once relevant but is now obsolete.
Think of it this way: people were driving and crashing their cars for a long time before seat belts, safety glass and air bags showed up. Those inventions don’t prevent the crashes, they limit the human damage. What was once a sure fatality is now a few bruises and an insurance hassle.
Your internal work will equip you, just like those safety features, to make contact with change without it turning into a wreck. If it’s good enough for your car, surely it’s good enough for you.
DAVID BERRY is the author of “A More Daring Life: Finding Voice at the Crossroads of Change” and the founder of RULE13 Learning. He speaks and writes about the complexity of leading in a changing world.