In a world that changes overnight through technology and social media, it is hard to keep up with the changes let alone adapt so quickly. It seems a new world greets us each day with new information and new crises. How do we move through these changes? Often I find myself wanting to cocoon and binge watching Netflix. I want to zone out and not think of all that is happening around me. Probably healthy at times, but not as a regular diet.
I heard a wonderful TED talk by Natalie Fratto, Three ways to measure your adaptability and how to improve it. Although she focuses on the workplace, these three measures are easily transferred to our personal lives. The sign below shows how the Fish and Wildlife services have adapted their signs to accommodate non-english speaking visitors to the Redwoods.
As you read through these three measures, ask yourself, “How do I react to change and its inevitability?”
- WHAT IF—Ask yourself what if questions. Develop different scenarios for possible unexpected change. What if I am without electricity for three days? What if I am stuck on the freeway with all lanes closed due to an accident? What if my child is sick at school and I can’t get away from work? Parents could make a game of what if’s with their children–creating all kinds of scenarios.
- UNLEARN—An active unlearner seeks to challenge what he/she already knows. I continue to unlearn old beliefs and attitudes that keep me stuck in old ways of doing and seeing things. Unlearning creates a beginner’s mind-set–something we all need to return to if we are to navigate this changing world.
- EXPLORE—Infuse exploration in your life by being in a state of constant seeking. Let go of needing to know the answers and be willing to find new ways to experience life. As a left-hander, I am currently exploring using my right hand for many activities. I have not tried eating and writing yet, but I am brushing my teeth right-handed, watering the garden right-handed and other activities . It is difficult and frustrating and challenges my brain to be flexible.
All of these ideas help to exercise your adaptability muscle, something that is mandatory for our changing world. I hope you enjoy practicing some of the above measures.