With Great Power Comes Great Adaptability / by Chel Wolverton

"Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change. "  - Stephen Hawking

a·dapt·a·bil·i·ty the ability to change (or be changed) to fit changed circumstances


Most of my life I've faced one challenge or another.  Nothing special, plenty of people have faced darker roads. A host of them came from making bad choices in the midst of the challenges I faced which lead me not so elegantly to another bad situation. As a result of all the challenges, I learned to adapt quickly and you can too.

Whether you need to adapt because of the decisions you made or because of the decisions someone else made or a situation that nature caused, the first lesson to learn is that change is inevitable.  There is no way to avoid change and the chaos that comes with it.  Don't try sticking your head in the sand.  It doesn't work.

You want to quit your job and do something that makes you happy.  But you live in fear.  You're tired of what you've been doing the past decade and want to try something new.  But you stall on asking for the help you need to make it happen.  A competitor came up with that innovative new idea faster than you.  But you dismiss the concerns of your smartest employees pointing out the signs until it's too late.

Instead of ignoring what's happening or running around in a panic-induced purple haze with flying invisible pink monkeys, here are three ways you become more adaptable so such things don't throw you entirely off your game?

  • Just make the f---king choice already.  There's only so much you can debate before you can do before making a choice. Yes, give yourself time to enter the witness state, but then choose a path.
  • Don't waste time asking "Why?".  Does it really matter?  What happened, happened.  It's what you do next that shapes the future.
  • Do not underestimate kind, loyal, and punch-you-in-the-face-with-the-truth friends to keep you straight. They'll keep you from making foolhardy decisions out of snap judgement.

The biggest mistake often made when faced with choices that challenge and scare us is to fight with reality. Fighting will only make acceptance harder.  The faster you accept the change the more quickly you can adapt to a new situation.

Don't make the excuse that you can't handle what's happening.  All of the life challenges you've experienced up until this moment have conditioned you to be able to handle whatever may come with more grace than you think is possible.

Even though developing adaptability takes much strength, courage and fearlessness, paradoxically, the more adaptable we are, the stronger, more courageous and fearless we will become.And when we learn to adapt we gain the ability to face anything, a warrior's strength that will allow us to fight off the real villains when they come calling.

This post first appeared on christopherspenn.com