Pillar #5 - Adaptability

How we respond to stress and build healthy margins into our daily lives.

Adaptability for Change

How do you feel right now? No really…what are you feeling right now? What do you do with the things that you feel? How do you respond to challenges in your life? What can you do to prepare yourself to best use future challenges to fuel your personal growth? What is your relationship with your finances? What steps can you take to improve your financial health? What does it mean to build healthy margins into your life (finances, time, etc.)? How do you typically respond to stressful situations? What could you do to better manage and utilize the stress in your life to enhance your well-being?

Communities supporting the Adaptability Pillar

The only constant that is assured in life is change, and changes are happening on an ever continual basis. What may have been true yesterday may be completely wrong and irrelevant today. Stress typically arises when we are resistant to those changes. Many people have a view that stress is something “outside” of them that makes them feel dis-ease; however, as long as we continue to shift the blame to something outside of us, we never take responsibility for how we actually feel.

As Holocaust survivor and world-renowned neurologist Viktor E. Frankl once said, “Between stimulus and response, there is space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Being responsible for how we feel inside and how we respond to outside information is critical to our well-being. It does not mean that we dismiss how we feel or simply let others “off the hook” for their actions. On the contrary, taking responsibility for our feelings means that we are able to be fully present with whatever feelings and emotions we have and can effectively communicate to others what we are feeling. Awareness and communication about your feelings are not about trying to change or fix them in any way. It is simply an opportunity to acknowledge your current state and to allow whatever you are feeling to continue to flow by not resisting it. As the old saying goes, “Whatever you resist persists.”

Time management and a healthy financial life are critical factors to a balanced and highly  adaptable lifestyle. For many, time management and finances become a major burden of stress in their lives because they have never learned how to allocate appropriate energy in those areas. Many people live in fear about their financial situation because they are continually living beyond their means, and this creates immense stress. An adaptable approach to finances looks at the reality of where things are and adjusts lifestyle choices in order to use those finances wisely. The same can be said about time management. Many people struggle being late or rushing from place to place. Adaptable time management (as well as finances) builds in healthy margins and buffers to account for any unforeseen changes that happen.

The essence of adaptability is about how we respond to change so that we can best use it to fuel our growth. For all of this includes becoming aware and in tune with our feelings and emotions. Emotional intelligence is an opportunity for us to explore ourselves and examine our inner workings. This is a critical aspect of mindfulness and self-knowledge. When we take the opportunity to learn about ourselves, we learn about how we operate optimally in every aspect and relationship in life. Enhancing our adaptability helps us to respond in the most optimal way in every circumstance of life.

When changes arise in life, I use my adaptability to optimally and accurately respond and grow.

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