Yesterday morning, walking up the gravel driveway under the 200-year-old Oregon White Oak, something in me shifted. I woke up feeling pretty low. Sara and I had an argument the night before, and it was one of those rare ones that have a disproportionately strong impact on me. As I was passing under this majestic tree in my early morning walk to my little office up on the hill, I was actively working with my internal state.
Increasingly, I’m realizing the power of internal state and how it really is the crux of personal development. It really defines our life experience, and whether we react unconsciously or respond intelligently to situations we find ourselves in. Two people — in the exact same situation — with different internal states may have two very different experiences. They will react or respond, do more good or more harm, learn or learn nothing, do or do not… in very different ways.
It isn’t the situation that matters most. It is our internal state. And we totally lose sight of this in the very moments where we most need to remember it. This was where I was at with regards to this conflict with Sara. And fortunately, as I passed under the fresh new oak leaves of the summer, I knew it.