Adaptability is the quality of being able to adjust to new conditions. Most degrees will be useless as we progress in this decade. Most jobs will be replaced by machines, adaptability is the only key to survival right now. If we try to hold on too tightly, before we know it, everything will escape our grasp. Conforming may help us survive, but learning to adapt is the way to thrive in an ever-changing world. The choice is yours.
Life is not for the rigid, when it calls for flexibility you will either bend or break. No matter how straight life may seem, at times it’s gonna ask you to bend. Life is all about adapting and adjusting. There are moments when silence will be a strength and there are moments when speech will be considered a strength. There are moments when letting go will be a weakness and there are moments when letting go will be bravery.
That’s why life has no rule book because each situation calls for a different response to it. It takes wisdom to discern what each moment requires. We can never plan adequately for every possible thing that comes our way in the future because the future is uncertain. Therefore what we need are skills that can help us adjust to face anything that comes and those are adapting skills. This is the survival kit of living. Build a strong internal response system against any external events if you want to cope.
How do you adapt?
1. Learn to let go
Human beings struggle to let go. Be it a relationship, another person, a career, a job, or any circumstance, human beings find it difficult to let go of what they are used to. Let go of the ideal you are used to. Do not cling to solidity, everything is bound to change. Develop a mindset that clings to nothing. An adaptive mind is a mind that is always at home and rarely does it get frustrated or anxious about anything.
2. Focus on the present moment
We make situations worse when we replay the past in our heads or what we think is ideal. We can meet the present moment with calmness if we can stay in the present. That means being mindful of when our mind is stuck in the past or speculating about the future, and returning to the present as much as we can.
3. Figure out an appropriate response
Respond appropriately. Once you accept the reality you can respond appropriately. Acceptance of reality doesn’t mean you do nothing. When we respond in anger or frustration, we only compound the problem. Responding calmly and compassionately means we’re going to be able to deal with anything that is in front of us, whether it’s a crisis or a loss or an angry loved one.
4. Find something to be happy about regarding the change
Reality can suck if we want it to be different or we can’t accept it for what it is, or be grateful. It takes practice to be grateful because it’s hard to be grateful when you feel things are not okay, or you’ve lost a job, or a loved one or you’re battling illness. This is the reality you have, not the ideal you wish you had. And it’s a reality that contains beauty if we choose to see it. This skill makes us much more at peace with whatever we need to deal with.
It is a sad reality that we all want stability in our lives. We want a solid income, work routine, daily routine, and relationships. A solid version of ourselves, and everyone else around us. We want those close to us to be solid, dependable, and stable. We want our relationships to be solid and trustworthy. We want our health to be solid, not subject to injury and depression, and illness. We want everyone else to be solid and not die or get sick. Of course, our rational minds know this is not always possible, but still, this is what we want. Solidity! Unfortunately, we are grasping for something solid in a river. There is no solidity, just fluidity.
See the beauty in everything, the immense, profound awesomeness in every little thing. When we hold on to things fail to realize the incredible things that change can bring. Sometimes you can’t control anything so all you have to do is control your emotions about it. Without the ability to adjust you will always live a disappointed and frustrated life. Charles Darwin said in On the Origin of the Species that it’s not the strongest or most intelligent of the species that survives but the one that’s most adaptable to change.
Progress requires flexibility
The world is everchanging, and people, including ourselves, are dynamic. Our minds, our emotions, our perspectives, everything! Controlling change is like trying to control the way the wind blows. We can only adjust our sails. Currently, we face tremendous technological change and we need to adjust. Many jobs have been replaced by machines and if we fail to adjust as human beings, it will be too challenging for us. Unlike in the past when you would get a qualification and use it for the rest of your life, in this century, you need to keep upgrading and updating your qualification or else you will find yourself jobless. Technological change has brought tremendous opportunity for innovative organizations, but it is also driving to extinction companies that fail to adapt. It is not the biggest or more financially stable ones that will survive but the ones that manage to adapt to the exponentially accelerating pace of change.
In a game where the rules and goals are constantly changing, the long-term winners aren’t those who simply try to make it to the next level but the ones who continually adapt. As Nokia said, the problem is not that they did something wrong but that they didn’t do anything and due to that, they were replaced.
The same happens with us as individuals if we fail to adapt and adjust. Those who will ultimately survive in the coming years will be those who embrace change. With the willingness and enthusiasm to adapt. We must actively and continually adjust our core mindset and culture to embrace adaptability as individuals, organizations, and as a society.
The same adaptability that allowed us to progress from cave dwellers to builders of the modern world enables each of us to move forward and progress as individuals. We are all leaders if not of governments, organizations, and corporations then of our own businesses, our own families, and our own lives. Adaptability and intellectual flexibility are keys to survival. The only real advantage humans have over other species from planet Earth is their adaptability. The ability to accept and cope with changing conditions, and their ability to adjust to fresh challenges.
Nothing lasts for long unless it responds nimbly to changes in its environment. Either you adapt or you die. Self-development should never be a static concept but a dynamic one.
I would love to hear from you about how you are adapting to the current changes in your life so please, leave a comment for me below, and if you found this useful please share it with others and subscribe to the site.
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