Take a moment to reflect on your life up to this point. Seriously. Start from your early childhood and work your way up to where you are now.
Life can be described as a constant change of environment, relationships, skills, and ideologies. Notice how every 5 years, it seems as if you are made into a completely new person.
Early on, you learn the basics. Next, maybe you move to a new town or start at a different school. In the next stage, you refine your outlook on friendship, you may even form new perceptions of the world itself. Eventually you move into adulthood, where change continues: new relationships, responsibility, careers, and so forth.
One prevelant trait you have and always will rely on is adaptability.
Some may presume intelligence, courage, or loyalty as the greatest human trait. However, I find adaptability to have a much stronger presence and impact.
It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change — Leon C. Megginson
Our lives are not concrete ; they are ever-changing phases of reality. We constantly address change in the information we receive, in the status of our relationships, and in the settings we belong to. The presences of change comes in many shapes and sizes.
What it really means
The definition of ‘adapt’: to make something suitable for new purpose; to become adjusted to new conditions
What if you couldn’t become suitable for new purpose? What if you had an incredibly hard time adjusting to the new? How would your life change?
I’ll tell you — it wouldn’t! Your life would remain the same. No more growth or progress. Change would stop you in your tracks. To me, that’s the end of a happy life which makes adaptability truly essential.
The ability to adapt is sort of like a super power. Adaptability allows you to carry on a conversation with anyone.
It’s true. No matter the difference, the adaptive person finds a way to make the conversation work. They understand the importance of adjustment in tone, word choice, and expression based entirely on the person.
This creates the flexibility that’s necessary for sparking new relationships. No one makes friends with someone stiff as a board. Or someone with a narrow mind. We don’t make friends with people we find no common ground or interest. Being adaptable creates a connection! It’s the ability to turn the knowledge you have into something useful for the situation at hand.
We all bring something unique to the table. When we share our perspectives, experiences, and feelings, we expect others to grasp those thoughts, understand them, then respond in a helpful or positive manner.
Your ability to create that response is a testament to how well you adapt; it’s a powerful way to form a bond.
Our professional lives demand adaptiveness at a much higher rate. We are consistently challenged to adjust in the workplace. Whether it’s a new task, new clients, or new team members, we have to ride the waves of change.
Majority of the time, it’s in the job description. It’s disguised as “analytical skills” or “decision making.”
Have you ever heard an interviewer say “name a time you had to think on your feet?” They want insight as to how well you can adapt.
What can you do
So, I’ve talked about the importance of adaptability. Now you’re asking, “How? What can I really do?” As with most things, it starts with realization; the knowing that something is important.
Being adaptable is straightforward: Adjust yourself to what’s going on. Always look for new information and allow that to impact your actions / reactions. Try to find what your environment requires out of you. Understand your goal and anticipate how the elements around you will affect your pursuit of that goal. Use the variables to your advantage!
It sounds vague, but that’s really what it’s all about (I’d like to see someone explain how to be courageous).
Take it forward
Add adaptability to one of your treasured traits. Carry the importance of this trait forward and use it as a springboard. Look to build on it and incorporate it into your life.
Ask yourself from time to time, “Am I being adaptive? Am I making the most out of this scenario, with what I have?”
Above all else, be mindful of it because trust me, you’re going to need it.
Thanks for reading! Happy Thanksgiving!