Life Zemplified – a healthier, wealthier, joy-filled simpler life with an abundance of Zen-like moments
Life is full of change. Sometimes we welcome it. Other times we try to ignore it. Some of us even fight it.
All of the personal and professional changes we may encounter with our – marriages, children, grandchildren, death of family members, divorces, housing, education, career, business – can be exciting, challenging, sometimes sad or scary, and even maddening.
But the life changes we accept and embrace are the ones we can grow from, becoming stronger and more resilient.
Our willingness to welcome and implement change is what spurs our successes, separating us from those unable to adapt.
A quality said to be essential to the success of many, is the ability to adapt to a continuously changing environment.
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
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
- Better leaders in our organizations, our homes, and our communities.
- Better able to handle life stages and career transitions
We bounce back from adversity more quickly. And finally, we’ll be happier and more satisfied with life, as we no longer struggle with feelings of helplessness or hopelessness.
Adaptability Increases WellBeing
“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
An individual with high flexibility is:
Those with high-versatility are:
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 challenges. 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 other 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.
I’ve faced numerous changes in life and think I’m pretty good at adapting to them. although, my tense shoulders and family sometimes told me otherwise.
But, with some recent changes occurring and more and bigger changes on the horizon as we get closer to my husband’s early retirement, I’m focusing on increasing my flexibility, versatility, and adaptability muscles again.
When I left my job in February 2018, I took on childcare duties for my granddaughter and launched a new business with two new websites. As a result, I ended up not taking care of myself as well as I should’ve been.
Now, my granddaughter’s been joined by a baby brother and my daughter has been able to secure a position working from home, so my regular childcare responsibilities have ended.
Time to make some essential changes to increase my wellbeing.
Full posts to come on the specifics, but here is an idea of what I’m addressing for a healthier, wealthier, more simplified life with many Zen-like moments:
- Renewing my focus on my food and fitness routines #YoungerNextYear
- Reviewing our finances and filling our money buckets for the various stages of our retirement plan #FI #RetiringSlightlyEarly
- Spending more time and experiences with family and friends #Connection
- Stretching out of my comfort zone for growth and creation #AlwaysLearning
- Further minimizing our belongings to prepare for downsizing #GettingRidOfStuff
- Striving for a more simplified life with Zen-like moments #Simplify
- From Zen Habits:
- Do one thing at a time.
- Do it slowly and deliberately.
- Do it completely.
- Do less.
- Put space between things.
- Develop rituals.
- Designate time for certain things.
- Devote time to sitting.
- Smile and serve others.
- Make cleaning and cooking become meditation.
- Think about what is necessary.
- Live simply.
- From Zen Habits:
Are you currently in the midst of change or hoping to make changes soon? Would you describe yourself as adaptable or do you need to improve your skills in this area?