1.

Adaptable people experiment

To adapt you must be open to change, which means you must have the will – emotional tolerance, mental fortitude, spiritual guidance – not only to face uncertainty but also to smack it in the face and press on.

2.

Adaptable people see opportunity where others see failure

To adapt is to grow, to change, and to change you must forego what you once believed to be ‘right’, classify it as ‘wrong’, and then adopt what you now believe to be the new ‘right’. If you don’t, you stagnate. This is something that not only individuals but organisations struggle with – habits that have defined their success in the past rather than questioning whether or not those same habits will continue defining success in the future. Chances are, they won’t. If they did, then Blockbuster, Borders, and every other company that failed to adapt to a ‘new right’ (i.e. new reality) would still be in business.

3.

Adaptable people are resourceful

You can take away a person’s resources, but you can’t remove resourcefulness. Rather than getting stuck on one solution to solve a problem, adaptable people have a contingency plan in place for when Plan A doesn’t work. In other words…

4.

Adaptable people think ahead

Always open to opportunity (see below), adaptable people are always on the lookout for improvement; minor tweaks that will turn ordinary into extra-ordinary because they’re not married to the one-size-fits-all solution.

5.

Adaptable people don’t whine

If they can’t change or influence a decision, they – yup, you guessed it – adapt and move on.

6.

Adaptable people talk to themselves

But not in a weird way. When they feel their blood pressure rising, their teeth coming together and their fists clenching, they flip the ‘mental switch’ through self-talk. Engaging in positive self-talk is the single greatest habit you can learn for yourself.

7.

Adaptable people don’t blame

They’re not victim to external influences because they’re proactive. To adapt to something new, you must forego the old. Adaptable people don’t hold grudges or eschew blame needlessly but instead absorb, understand and move on.

8.

Adaptable people don’t claim fame

They don’t care about the limelight because they know it’ll soon burn out. Rather than wasting effort on a temporary issue, they shift their focus to the next obstacle to get ahead of the game so that when everybody else finally jumps on board, they’ve already moved on to the next challenge.

9.

Adaptable people are curious

Without curiosity, there is no adaptability. Adaptable people learn – and keep learning. Curiosity enables growth; it pulls you along, as opposed to willpower, which pushes you forward. Willpower only lasts so long as you like being pushed. Does anybody like being pushed? Didn’t think so.

10.

Adaptable people adapt

How’s that for defining a definition with its own definition?

11.

Adaptable people stay current

If you want to adapt to change you must know what to adapt to and why it’s important. Communication is at the heart of everything we do, and adaptable people realise the impact their words, tone and body language have on others, which is why they plug-and-play according to the personalities involved.

12.

Adaptable people see systems

No, not systems of stars or galaxies What we mean is adaptable people see the entire forest rather than just a few trees. They have to, otherwise they would lack the repertoire of context from which their decisions are based to adapt.

13.

Adaptable people open their minds

If you’re not willing to listen to others’ points of view then you’ll be limited in your thinking, which means you’ll also be limited in your adaptability. The more context you have, the more choices you have to position you towards change.

14.

Adaptable people know what they stand for

The choice to change isn’t an easy one; however, neither is the choice to remain the same. Choosing to adapt to something new and forego the old requires a strong understanding of personal values; it’s knowing what’s important to you – and what isn’t – that cajoles you along the pathway of adaptability.

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