24 Aug 2010
Life is full of change. That is a fact, so one of the most powerful traits you can have to ensure success is flexibility. Far too many times in life, when difficult things threaten, your response can be automatically one of fear. Fear leads us away from flexibility and thus away from coping in a way that would help us. In the past several months, this blog has looked at fierceness as a way to address and overcome fear. Flexibility is a major component of fierceness.
Flexibility is a curious component of fierceness. You may think of aggression or steadfastness more readily with fierceness, but flexibility must be there as well. There are many squirrels in my yard and they are fierce in their determination to eat my bird seed. Flexibility comes into the picture in many ways – squirrels dangling off feeders by the hind legs, pursuing new branches and routes to access the food regardless of the barriers I create, and the ability to instantly give up the quest, at least temporarily, whenever my dog…Molly the WonderDog arrives on the scene to scare them away. And yet despite the best efforts of both me and Molly the WonderDog, the squirrels do not quit. They are indeed flexible and in many ways also very fierce.
HOW MUCH AND WHEN DO YOU BEND?
There is a famous old quote that goes something like, “Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.” Change is a part of life. You may be increasingly aware of this as the pace of change has accelerated in the past few years. History has lessons for us about creatures (dinosaurs), people (Aztecs), corporations (Woolworths) and even civilizations (the Roman Empire) that were unable to adapt to change. Flexibility allows you to stay current with change and still thrive in your life. Without flexibility, you are rigid and can become stuck, even paralyzed.
People who fail to thrive in life will often be able to tell you all the reasons they did not thrive; the obstacles in their way and the events that stole their opportunities. The sad fact is that there will always be things that go wrong in all of our lives. Flexibility allows you to continue to progress and to find ways around obstacles so that your goals do not vanish or become dreams that could not come true. Flexibility allows you to still have the muscle you need to press on with what you want.