By understanding the difference between external and internal resources, we can learn how to increase resources without increasing our consumption reliance on them.
External resources are the things we use or rely on to do our jobs, meet a challenge, or respond to a need: they are structures, objects, fuel, materials, technology, tools, mechanical assistance, and so on.
There are many types of external resources, but all share one trait: regardless of their origin or form, they are limited.
Natural resources become depleted, physical materials are consumed, mechanical apparatus require energy and fuel and wear out over time. In addition, acquiring external resources almost always involves an expenditure of sorts, either financial or material.
There is a limit to the supply and longevity of external resources and constraints in terms of access—every thing has to reside somewhere. Employing external resources relies on having access to them.
Most importantly, vulnerability and risk increase when there is an over-reliance on external resources to provide solutions. In moments of urgent need external resources can be unpredictable.
Internal resources are the capabilities we acquire over time: experience, knowledge, technical skills, perception, ability, insight, and so on. They are investments we make in ourselves.
Internal resources are not confined by the same limitations as external resources. There are always more abilities and skills to acquire, more insight and experience to be gained.
Most importantly, the value of external and internal resources changes with their use. External resources decrease in capability and value as they are used and exhausted—physical resources become depleted with use, mechanical resources exhaust with time.
Internal resources, however, increase over time. As they are used, they grow in ability and value. Internal resources provide freedom and agility—they are always with us and ready for use as needed.
As our internal resources increase, so do the capabilities of our external resources. Honing our ability to see external resources in terms of what they could be and could do beyond their current state increases their ability to meet our needs.
By increasing our internal resources, external resources increase their capacity without necessitating an increase in their consumption.
If learning more about external and internal resources interests you, my book “This Could…” might be of interest. Whether you want to look into it more or not, be mindful of opportunities to increase your internal resources. This will allow you to do more with your external resources and will decrease your reliance on them to meet current and future needs.