I have been reading, watching, and listening to self-help material for quite a while now. I noticed that there are two types of change that happen to us personally. They are external change and internal change.
External change occurs when something has changed in the physical/material world because of something we did. For example, if you went to the gym and achieved your ideal body, or you saved and invested money in able to buy a new house, those are external changes. Basically, it’s the change that gives us visible results in the real world.
Internal change on the other hand is change that happens to us mentally or emotionally. Examples are having a more positive attitude or learning a new skill, like playing a guitar. It is something you have inside of you, wherever you go, there it is.
Which one is more important? I think they are both important, only because they affect each other. How? I’ll give two examples:
Alisa who is always broke decided she wants to save money for the future. So she decides to put some money aside for her savings account each payday. In two years she saved enough money to buy a new car. She buys the car (external change) she always liked, and because of that her confidence grew (internal change). Alisa’s new found confidence allowed here to enter other ventures such as starting her own business.
One day Larry stumbled upon a short youtube video of a self-help author making a motivational speech. He was quite inspired by that author’s speech, that he decided to buy and read one his books. After reading that book he felt so inspired that he decided to read all of that author’s five books. But he didn’t just stopped there, he read books, watched videos, and listened to recordings of other self-help authors. After two years, Larry is now much smarter and has definitely a better outlook in life than before (internal change). Larry then decided to write his own book and conduct his own self-improvement seminars. Since Larry is good, people bought his books and attended his seminars. Larry then earned enough money to buy his own dream house (external change). Because of that one youtube video, not only is Larry is living a more prosperous life, he also makes the lives of other people better.
As you can see, both changes (external and internal) are important. If you’re reading self-help books/posts that focuses on only one type of change, it might be a good idea to expose yourself to books/posts that deals with the other type of change. Because they affect each other 🙂