“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” – Jimmy Dean
In an episode of Chopped, the popular cooking contest on Food Network, one of the participants dropped a large portion of his finished dish on the floor.
The rules of this high-stakes competition – along with kitchen hygiene – forbade him from serving the fallen pieces.
He had less than eight minutes before the round ended. He didn’t have enough ingredients or enough time to recook his meal.
He could have thrown up his hands and quit.
But he didn’t.
He rose to the challenge by making sure that the remaining portions of his dish were delicious and plated perfectly.
He not only won this contest, but also became the Grand Champion of that season.
His success demonstrated the power of adaptability.
Adaptability not only fetches you $50,000 in a cooking competition, but also plays a crucial role in your business and life.
Following are five reasons why being adaptable will help you stand apart:
1. You will form more meaningful relationships.
“Adaptation is a profound process. Means you figure out to thrive in the world.” – John Laroche
Adaptable people are attentive, intuitive and sensitive. They are attuned to the moods and manners of others, and mold their own behaviors accordingly. Their empathy draws others towards them, which leads to amenable conversations and authentic collaborations.
As an entrepreneur, you can become more adaptable by truly, attentively listening to your clients and colleagues. Their constructive feedback will fortify your offerings, increase your visibility and result in mutually-satisfying associations.
For flourishing biz relationships, strive for #FlexibleResponsiveness!
2. You will strengthen your divergent thinking skills.
“An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.” – Edwin Land
Divergent thinking – a key tenet of creativity – allows you to explore, evaluate and extract multiple solutions for a single problem.
But how can you perceive a problem from various angles if you are not open to new thoughts, new beliefs, new emotions and new experiences?
Adaptable individuals treat life like an exhilarating adventure, and deftly blend into any situation. Their insatiable curiosity and propensity for taking risks give them an edge with regards to innovation.
You can hone your divergent thinking skills in several ways. Read books that are unrelated to your industry. Pursue a hobby that’s out of your comfort zone! Assess your ideas from the points of view of those who disagree with you.
Deliberately embracing the unknown and the unusual will nurture your imagination and cultivate a culture of innovation.
3. You will react to changes more effectively.
“There can be no life without change, and to be afraid of what is different or unfamiliar is to be afraid of life.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Those who are adaptable thrive in an unpredictable landscape. Instead of wasting time and energy lamenting against adverse situations, they take proactive measures to make the most out of life.
Adaptable people are confident, controlled and composed, which prevents them from chasing fads. However, they are also not averse to making impulsive decisions that provide meaning and/or enjoyment in their lives.
The business realm is unpredictable, with fluctuating technologies, trends and tastes. If you wish to be relevant and relatable, you have to become comfortable with change.
4. You will cope with troublesome situations better.
“Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain.” – Vivian Greene
One of our friends was abused by her psychopathic ex-husband for over a decade. She gave up her identity to get away from him. Cocooned in that darkness, she found the courage to rebuild a sparkling future. Today, she is a respected content marketer who has earned multiple accolades.
She epitomizes adaptability.
Adaptable people do not wallow in self-pity. They refuse to remain stuck in the past, and will seldom use lame excuses to avoid discomfort. Every time they get knocked down, these progressive minded visionaries find the courage to get back up and “change what’s not working.”
The journey of entrepreneurship can feel demanding and distressing. But moping, or being self-critical, will only prolong your gloom.
Be gentle with yourself. Break down your big goals into smaller chunks. Take one step every day to move towards your vision.
Never forget that YOU control your decisions and your destiny.
5. You will be happier.
“Happiness is a state of mind, a choice, a way of living; it is not something to be achieved, it is something to be experienced.” – Steve Maraboli
Judging by the motivational quotes and pearly white teeth that are sprinkled across social media feeds, it is easy to wonder whether you are the only person to ever feel unhappy or unmotivated.
Don’t fret. You are not alone! Yet, do not should ignore your negative emotions. Sorrow lends meaning to happiness; a storm lends beauty to a rainbow; darkness lends clarity to light.
Adaptable people are genuine about their feelings and able to heal more easily and effectively. Guy Winch, author of “Emotional First Aid: Practical Strategies for Treating Failure, Rejection, Guilt and Other Everyday Psychological Injuries“, believes that not only do those who are adaptable manage their emotions better, but also they “prioritize the need for a positive experience.”
You too should wholeheartedly honor each one of your emotions, from frustration to excitement, and consciously seek out happiness.
Take some time out to participate in fun activities: go for a walk, play with your pet, listen to music, watch your favorite TV show, listen to the sounds of nature or JUST BE.
When you open your heart to joy, it will happily accommodate you.
Adaptability is not the most celebrated trait; but it is vital to a rewarding existence.
So the next time Facebook changes its algorithm or Google throws out another search penalty, don’t sneer or sob. Smile and think of them as fun challenges.
Go with the flow and enjoy your life!