If there’s one thing you need to be good at, even though you may not know it, it’s to be adaptive.
Adaptiveness is a necessity these days as the world is changing literally every minute. Trying to keep up, stay up to date, change yourself at the same time, and still have the time to enjoy life, is impossible. You’ll either end up depressed, physically and emotionally tired, stressed out, anxious, or without having reached any goal due to the number of goals you’re after and the many tasks on your to-do list.
The solution lies in learning how to be adaptive.
Once you do that, you’ll simply go with the flow, and easily get used to any new environment, life change, unexpected situation, bad news, or else, and still be productive and happy.
Not being adaptive is quite obvious, because the consequences are always the same.
You experience any type of change, and because it’s something new, you need all your focus and energy to get used to it. Which means leaving behind all your business and personal projects.
When uncertainty knocks on the door again (meaning, when you realize that anything in life is uncertain and you can never know what’s going to happen next), you not only get anxious, but neglect your health, can’t sleep at night, can’t concentrate on anything important and your work performance is poor.
Over time, and because uncertainty won’t go away and things will keep changing without giving you any time to realize what’s going on, this might cost you your job, relationship, health, or peace of mind. Or all of these.
You don’t want that. No one does.
Luckily, it’s not difficult at all to be adaptive.
Once you are, life will be a crazy ride and nothing will scare you anymore. You’ll keep working on your goals, being productive and on top of your game every day, and quickly feeling comfortable with every new place you’re at, every change in your environment, the new people in your life, the new habits you’re trying to develop, and so on.
To be adaptive is to be free of the fear of failure, to let go of the insecurity of the future, to be action-oriented and focused on the now. And, most importantly, to know deep within that whatever life throws at you, you’ll keep doing what feels right and you’ll just adapt to the change.
So, let’s talk about how to be adaptive. Here’s what I’ve found to work:
1. Keep an open mind.
There are two sides of every story. But if you stick to what you’ve always considered right, you’re not only missing out on a lot, but also letting change take control when it happens.
Open-minded people survive in the long run, because anything that’s different from what they’re used to, is just another aspect of life, point of view, opportunity, or explanation for something. They accept it and keep living their life.
So expand your horizons.
The benefits of that are surprising, actually. You’ll learn how to accept other people’s differences and even be interested in their lifestyles and mindsets. That helps you learn more and connect on a deeper level.
What’s more, an open mind helps you avoid arguments and people will be amazed by your ability to accept anything you see, hear or experience.
There’s a more existential aspect to that too. Because you’ll let go of all your self-limiting beliefs, you’ll acknowledge the fact that you know nothing. And that’s something most people struggle with.
But truth is, the more you learn, the more you see how much you don’t know. And while that can be a scary and depressing thought for some, it’s actually a human trait. Admitting it and still becoming a lifelong learner is one of the smartest ways to live life to the fullest.
Usually, the principles we live by end up keeping us from evolving.
In this case, though, you’ll welcome change in your life with an open mind, will be adaptive by never considering something as the only truth, but knowing that there’s more to it and thus leaving room for improvement and knowledge.
2. Take care of yourself.
When change happens, don’t forget to make time for yourself, to eat well, relax enough, empty your mind from anxious thoughts and negative patterns, stay active, and do things you enjoy.
It’s easy to forget that your health comes first in times of adversity and change.
Make sure you do your usual routines, though, so that you find some comfort in them. Drink plenty of water, maybe even more. Stretch, take breaks during work, and turn to your spiritual side too by meditating, journaling your thoughts or going for a walk to quiet the voices in your head.
That will help you be adaptive and stay healthy while experiencing a change.
3. Keep a few things in mind along the way.
First, know that everything is temporary. That makes our journey much easier if you think about it this way.
Even the hardest situations pass. So if you stay positive and don’t react to things that don’t depend on you, you’re much more likely to turn your life into a pleasant experience.
Change is necessary. Be adaptive by understanding the importance of change.
It’s why we’re able to live such a comfortable life these days and be able to do anything we can imagine. And to keep evolving as a species and make the world a better place.
Things will keep changing. The best you can do is learn to change with them.
4. Stay present.
When things around you are changing fast, turn to mindfulness. It always helps.
That means reconnecting with your inner self to find some peace in the chaos, slowing down instead of being in a rush every day trying to keep up, spending time in silence and doing nothing, instead of trying to get everything done.
In addition, leave the past where it belongs, nothing good ever happens if you go back to it. Don’t rely on the future too much either. It’s too uncertain to ever feel prepared enough.
So make sure you spend all your time in the present moment and focus on taking action. Be it a step that will take you closer to a big goal of yours, spending time with loved ones, or working on something meaningful.
If you keep these tips in mind and do something to be adaptive, change won’t be a problem anymore and you’ll learn how to quickly adapt and even thrive in an uncertain environment.
That’s a pretty useful skill these days.
Do you consider yourself adaptive? How do you define adaptiveness?