We don’t always like it, but certain circumstances in life will force us to change or pay a heavy penalty. When we recognize these moments and make a change, we call this a responsive adjustment to circumstances we don’t control.
Even though it happens on a regular basis, waiting for life to force you to change is not a wise approach. Stay ready to do it but don’t make it your main strategy.
Your main strategy for personal change is better built on proactive adjustments. These are not triggered by your circumstances or environment. These are scenarios where you’re not forced to change by something beyond your control, you choose to change because of what you gain.
Proactive adjustments originate within you. They start with a goal, desire, objective, or standard. It’s entirely up to you. I call this a proactive adjustment because you initiate it before the need arises. Whatever you recognize and however you recognize it, you willingly and proactively adjust yourself in order to improve.
This kind of change can be difficult for people because of the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” There are simply too many things in life that if you wait until they’re broken it’s already too late. You’ll lose them, lose in the arena, or lose yourself.
This kind of change can also be frustrating for people because other people often don’t understand the reason for changing or agree with the approach. When other people are questioning or doubting you, it can lead to second-guessing, self-doubt, and chasing approval instead of improvement.
The bottom line is most adjustments you’ll undergo will either be responsive, initiated by things beyond your control, or proactive, initiated by you to improve something without being forced. These two scenarios, and all their iterations, make up the majority of your personal change.
But they don’t necessarily capture the most important and impactful types of personal change. Yes, they happen frequently. Yes, they’re necessary. Yes, you want to be strong at both skills.
However, there is one final type of adjustment that is the most powerful. You’ve already experienced it at least a few times, possibly by choice, possibly by chance. And you’re guaranteed to experience it again in your lifetime. Likely more than once.
I’ll explain tomorrow. See you then.
Everything is training for something. Do the work.
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