There are many events and moments we go through where we begin to question things about our life. Could be a wedding, a funeral, a vacation, or just simply sitting in the silence of your own home. For me, it was a recent family gathering that led me down the path of examining what affects our love, peace, and happiness. My conclusion: both internal and external factors!
In the business world, these factors often dictate the failure or success of an organization. Internal factors are the internal strengths and weaknesses that an organization exhibits and can affect how well a company meets its objectives. Their ‘people factor.’ Their culture.
External factors are often looked at as outside influences that may impact the business’s strategic goals and financial objectives. Changes in the market. Competition.
Let’s take a moment and consider how internal and external factors are playing out in the success or disappointment of your love, peace, and happiness. External factors are the influencers that come from your environment. This could be the people you surround yourself with, the communities you associate with, your restaurant scene, tennis club, beach, park, etc.
Internal factors are the emotions and characteristics that reside inside of you. Emotions of joy, happiness, love, peace, pleasure, sadness, fear, anger, worry, loneliness. Characteristics such as being authentic, trustworthy, nurturing, guarded, prideful, judgmental, resentful, etc.
Resource after resource will confirm that internal factors are what drives fulfillment. While there is truth to this and often shows how we are showing up and living our lives, let’s also be real and address that external factors play a very large influence on our perceived success and happiness.
You may be saying to yourself, “I can’t always change who I am around,” or “I didn’t choose my family.” This is true, however, how you allow this external factor to nourish your life is your choice. Georgia O’Keeffe said it best, “It is only by selection, by elimination, and by emphasis that we get at the real meaning of things.”
When you take a moment and reflect on your surroundings, on a scale of 1-10, how is your environment feeding you with love and happiness? If your answer is lower than what you desire, what’s one change/commitment you will gift yourself with to ensure you move the needle up a notch?
When I did this for myself, I realized I was allowing one person, in particular, in my life to strip me of my energy and joy. While I knew they physically or even intentionally were not stripping me down, I knew my reaction to their energy was catabolic for me. I also knew I couldn’t just jump ship from the relationship; however, I did take a few steps forward to ensure I was not completely depleted when I walked away from them. Once I became aware, it provided me with the power to choose how I wanted to embrace my time and energy.
I choose to no longer try to fix the person or the situation they are in. I chose to provide them with love and hold the space for them to release their emotions without taking them on as my own. In doing so, I am able to honor my own needs and feel more accomplished and joyful for honoring myself in those moments.
Take a look at how your current relationships are nourishing your soul and how you’re maybe nourishing theirs. Are you receiving love and extending love to others? What’s one way you could look at serving a relationship with someone differently?
What are you providing for yourself to spark joy in your life? Your answer should be giving you a big smile on your face, and if it’s not, reevaluate. If you are struggling with even recognizing what you are doing to ensure your happiness, challenge yourself right now to schedule or plan something that you know will bring a smile to your heart and your face.
When you begin making changes to your external factors, your internal factors get the nudge to start making changes to accept and commit to the success of living a life of fulfillment. Honor your commitments to self and others… be fed by your environment; not drained by it.
“Your life does not get better by chance; it gets better by change.” –Jim Rohn