Being Adaptive

Habits are good, but what would life be like if there were only “habits”? Boring! You don’t want to be a robot spending most of your life following programmed behavior patterns, do you?

Habits are good to free our brain to execute more noble and challenging tasks such as “adaptation”. That’s what make us humans so special, we can be amazingly good at that.

Most people are anxious about adaptation because it’s usually seen as a threat, causing us to feel insecure. However, when seen from a different perspective adaptation can be fun. Video games are all about new challenges and adaptation, and people love them, so, why not try some of that in real life?

You had planned a short weekend trip to the country side. Your goal was to be at “This Cute Little Town” before noon. You’ve made a perfect plan: what roads to take, where to stop for gas…and if you are like Jack Nicholson in “As Good as It Gets”, you had even planned “when to play your favorite songs”. It’s 10:30 AM, you’ve been driving for 3 hours and you’re now half way to your goal, …then you find out that Highway 83 has been blocked because of a landslide! What do you do now? Get angry? Cry? Give up your trip and go back home?

Well, the most important thing is to realize that your original plan WON’T WORK anymore, but there is no reason to despair. Now it’s your chance to exercise some of your “adaptation muscles“: if Highway 83 is blocked, what can I do to reach my goal (“This Cute Little Town”)? Are there other roads? Which one should I take?

Successful people have good habits, they know what their goals are, they are determined to reach their goals, they make good plans, but what really sets them apart is that they are very adaptive! They embrace new challenges and quickly adapt to the new conditions.