On being adaptable

We humans are experiencing a very strange time right now and I think we can all agree that this event will have everlasting ramifications on almost every aspect of our lives.  I believe that some of the changes will be very positive and some perhaps not so much – time will tell.  

In light of this reality we find ourselves in it makes me contemplate how we must now, more than ever, learn to be adaptable and cultivate the ability to go with the flow and change quickly. Adaptability to change is going to be a very useful skill to have and there are a lot of really great books out there that offer up tools on how to achieve this skill. One that I’ve got on my “to read” list is AdaptAbility: How to Survive Change You Didn’t Ask For.   

I have a sense that there are business owners of all descriptions who at some stage during this challenging time may make the call to adjust their whole way of doing business or perhaps even make the jump to a new career based on new arising societal changes.  

Change is inevitable, the only constant in this life, this world, is change. Every breath we take we are a different person and the more we accept and surrender to this fact the less stress, anxiety and fear we will have.  When we accept that change is inevitable we can more easily respond to challenges with clarity of thought. 

As you know I have a great interested in numerology and astrology – I’m also fascinated by personality tests such as Myers Briggs and Insights. Because of these interests, and with respect to all that is going on right now I have a) a pretty good sense of my self and what makes me tick and b) an awareness of others and what makes them tick.  

Because of my personality “type” I know that for the most part, I find change stimulating. Also the idea of being in a room full of people brainstorming and coming up with ideas and solutions to a problem is an exciting prospect for me.  On the flip side, I know that spending long periods of time focusing on detailed work isn’t exactly a stimulating prospect … I can do the detailed work if need be but only for short periods of time.

The person on the complete opposite spectrum to me would want to take time on their own to analyze the details and research all the options in depth. This person would not be comfortable with having to make split decisions and would find being pushed to make quick changes disconcerting and stressful.

With this current situation pushing people into potentially very uncomfortable places it is interesting to see the different ways in which we respond/react. Will we struggle more or will be struggle less, will we look at it as an opportunity to shake things up, will we see things in a positive light and seek solutions or will be focus on the negative and only see the problems?

Surrendering to changing situations can help manage those stressful anxious feelings that can sometimes overwhelm us. If you’re someone who typically struggles with change but would like to become more adaptable to help cope, you could try making some small changes in your day-to-day life. For instance, if you always walk or drive to work/ grocery store/ rec centre/ friends house the same way each time, maybe try taking a different route from time to time. If your immediate response to a suggestion from friend, manager, partner is “no” or “I don’t think so”, maybe try saying “yes” or at least “I’ll think about it”. Look for circumstances in your life where your go to response would typically be to dig heels in and switch it around. You might surprise yourself and you may find that you become more willing and accepting of changes than inevitable come your way. In stressful and challenging times becoming a little less stuck in usual patterns can help us to see beyond our fears.

Those are just some thoughts that have been swimming around in my brain while being essentially house bound. In my next post I’ll be sharing my journey through adaptability with respect to property development.

I hope everyone out there is doing well and taking care of yourself and loved ones (human and furry).

NOTE: The example that I presented above with respect to personality types is a generalization of only two types. It is important to never pigeon hole anyone based on personality tests… they’re just tools to help us better understand our self and others … and ultimately to best serve our self and others with more understanding and compassion.