Today it’s all about being adaptable. Specifically, how the trait or skill of adaptability increases wellbeing. Taking a look at its use in the areas of finance, fitness, food, and fun.
A quality said to be essential to the success of many people, is the ability to adapt to a continuously changing environment. Further, experts say our capacity to adjust to a variety of different circumstances, is essential to enjoying a happy and satisfying life.
“Our ability to have life satisfaction, to be happy [and] to have good relationships really depends on our ability to adapt.” ~ Guy Winch, Ph.D.
Many of us would admit to being typically resistant to change, while others fully embrace it. Does that mean some of us are born with the adaptability trait? Probably. But, according to Dr. Winch, “everyone can learn ways to be more adaptable.”
You may not be very adaptable if:
- You don’t embrace change quickly, often fleeing from it
- When asked to make changes in your current role you get angry or frustrated or find yourself leery and pessimistic
- You are uncomfortable living with the tension of the unknown; hate ambiguity
- You feel the need to control all outcomes
- Others have or would describe you as stubborn or a control freak
- You find yourself always competing with others on intelligence, looks, clothes, money, or status
- You often feel it’s your way or no way
- Others find you unapproachable
- Feelings of discontent are common for you
“Being willing and able to adapt your behavior increases your ability to communicate and build relationships with other people. It combines flexibility with versatility. Flexibility is your willingness to adapt. It’s your attitude. Versatility is your ability to adapt. It’s your aptitude. People with adaptability are both flexible and versatile.” ~ Tony Alessandra
According to Alessandra, an individual with high flexibility is confident, tolerant, empathetic, positive and respectful. Those with high-versatility are resilient, visionary, attentive, competent and self-correcting.
Adaptability Increases WellBeing
When we are adaptable, we stay calm and persisting in demanding circumstances. Embrace new challenges enthusiastically. Deal with setbacks quickly and positively. Easily see the bigger picture. Create and enjoy win-win relationships.
With the ability to adapt we are more valuable to our employers and our spouses or partners. We are better leaders in our organizations, our homes, and our communities. We’re better able to handle life stages and career transitions.
We bounce back from adversity more quickly. Finally, we’ll be happier and more satisfied with life, as we no longer struggle with feelings of helplessness or hopelessness.
To increase our flexibility and versatility, and therefore our adaptability, we can practice:
- Accepting. Understand that change happens and accept new tasks and projects with a positive attitude. Be helpful and cooperative.
- Learning. The more information you integrate into your knowledge base, the more you have to draw on when faced with new circumstances and challenge. This increases your intellectual flexibility and ability to keep on open mind in the face of change.
- Creating. Seek out new ways of doing things, experimenting with how you tackle responsibilities and challenges. Adopt differing methods and approaches to solving issues and meeting varying needs.
- Suggesting. Speak up and offer new ideas and solutions. Be ready to provide other recommendations if the first suggestion is not embraced.
- Being Receptive. Keep an open mind and actively listen to others ideas, knowledge, and experiences. Look for positive nuggets of information that you can use to achieve new roles and responsibilities.
- Being Spontaneous. You never know what opportunities you might miss if you keep a closed and rigid mindset. Try changing your plans at the last minute. Accept a last minute invite. Drive a different way home. Learn improv.
- Embracing. Practice staying calm and accepting when unexpected changes occur. Strive to find ways to make changes work instead of looking for problems or reasons why they won’t work. It initially may require a strong will and discipline to accept change, but it will eventually become natural with time and practice.
- Altering. Where can you alter your schedule or current priorities when changes occur. Build margin in your schedule for quickly making adjustments when unexpected things happen. Any schedule that is too tight does not allow for fluctuations, leading to additional negative feelings when faced with change.
- Volunteering. Tacking on a new role that requires flexibility is a great way to grow in this area, by expanding our knowledge and skills in a variety of ways.
My Recent Experiences
We’ve just become accidental landlords. To make that happen, we needed to stay calm, think creatively, learn more about rental real estate, suggest ideas, and be spontaneous.
Additionally, we needed to evaluate our financial confidence, weigh our level of empathy against our level of tolerance.
We excavated money from our emergency/opportunity fund and now need to replenish them. We signed on for additional debt we previously didn’t plan on, thereby potentially keeping ourselves handcuffed to our jobs for longer than we want.
However, had we not been flexible or attentive to our family members situation, they might still be homeless.
We must now remain resilient and attentive to rebuilding our emergency funds.
My husband, John, and I were training for a Spartan Race this fall. Unfortunately, I’ve reactivated an old shoulder injury that took me out of the race this year.
We’ve adapted by changing up our fitness routines. We are also participating in a couple of 5k race events over the next 1 1/2 months instead and rescheduling our Spartan event for next year.
Life got a bit crazy and busier the last month, and my usual routine was jumbled. Initially, I made some mistakes with my eating and didn’t always eat the way I know I need to so that I avoid migraine symptoms. I suffered some consequences and quickly realized I needed to adapt my schedule and food preparation to prevent any further issues. Today I’m back on track and better prepared for some upcoming travel taking place later this year.
Believe it or not, John and I don’t always agree on what to do for fun. He’s a car guy, and I read books and spreadsheets. But we’ve learned to try new things together to build our relationship. Recently I joined a fantasy football league, and he read a personal finance book.
While I was not predicted to win any fantasy football games, I did win the first week. My challenger claims that was due to the Tampa Bay game being canceled, however, a win is a win, and I’m taking it.
This weekend we are participating in another car show. There’s also a home tour in the city it’s being held in, and you better believe he’s attending that too. 🙂
Here are a few articles I enjoyed this week, I hope you will too!
This post by MySonsFather, sparked today’s post – Am I Hurting My Kids By Creating Too Much Stability For Them?
Wall Street Physician, guest posted at Physician On Fire this week, and showed us how adaptability with our finances might look in retirement – The Rollercoaster Ride of Retirement: How to Survive Market Meltdowns
In the light of the Equifax debacle, be sure and read this post from Kathryn to protect yourself – 10 Simple Ways I’m Protecting Myself Against Identity Theft
Are you a go-with-the-flow type or a my-way-or-the-highway type? Do you think you are born with the ability to adapt or can it be learned? Let us know in the comments.
Wishing you another wonderful weekend!
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