It was the best of times, it was the worst of times: if a simple comma can come along and completely change the direction a sentence is going, how can anyone expect the chaotic system we call life to not be subject to continuous disruption?
As much as we’d like to never acknowledge our constant state of transformation, change truly seems to be the only constant of the human existence we can never rid ourselves of: bodies age, minds grow, souls evolve.
Most humans do not have an easy time of it, and helping people to resist change has proven to be a lucrative business. Financial advisors try to keep the numbers going up, never down. The entire beauty industry is predicated on making us stay the same. We even invented an entire insurance system to help us cope with the fear of rainy days.
Although you cannot step into the same river twice, you can certainly learn to adapt to, and even anticipate, varying circumstances. As the hero of your own life’s story, you must be aware of what you stand for: what are your values? What do you desire? What are you willing to compromise? Do you have the courage it takes to achieve?
Before disruption hits, a clear awareness of the self is crucial, as to not violently depart from one’s truth when circumstances become dire. But even when the powers that be are not throwing nails in front of your tires, it seems that adapting should be practiced as a skill in its own right, especially by making continuous, incremental improvements to one’s self.
If that seems a bit abstract, consider this: by practicing continuous adaptation on yourself and your own behaviors, when life tries to yank the carpet from underneath you, you’ll already know how to fly.
Finding areas of improvement is not difficult, especially if you are willing to ask your family, friends, and colleagues for their genuine feedback. Nobody likes to be criticized, but it is essential to accept their complaints and see them in a positive, constructive light. After analyzing their feedback, you’ll be able to identify what behaviors you should modify, and then practice, practice, practice.
We must accept that resistance is a natural reaction to change, and that, as leaders, we have a responsibility to not only deal with disruption ourselves, but also to help guide others through their fears and concerns. New realities take time and effort to adapt to, especially if behaviors need to change. Actions do speak louder than words, but takes much more time and energy to adjust because they need constant, deliberate practice.
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