Are you trying to survive Covid-19 like the rest of us? “Man versus wild” star Bear Grylls can teach us a thing or two about surviving! Unlike most boy scouts that are taught to be prepared and hope for the best, Bear Grylls is different. (And, it is not just because he drinks his own urine on television. Ewww!). Above all else, he trusts his instincts in the moment. This is his Adaptability® on the balcony!
Bear is known for saying, “the line between life and death is determined by what we are willing to do.” By focusing only on the action in the present moment, he quells any anxiety for the future (ex: If I do this, I won’t be able to do that.) or depression from the past (ex: If only I did this, I would not be here). He takes things one step at a time. He does this frequently in the wild, but I have also witnessed it in everyday life.
Once on a live radio show, Bear alienated his well-prepared host by bringing a guest and changing the previously planned conversation. Bear said he was spending the day with a pediatric cancer patient and thought how great it would be to include this young hero into the greater conversation on heroism. That’s his Adaptability®! He is going with the flow. But, for others that prefer structure and do not handle sudden change well, like people with executing talents of Deliberative®, Consistency®, or Discipline®, this could be an assault to a script or plan they spent days preparing. Does this classic clash of structure v. flexibility ring a bell for anyone? Sometimes, depending on our talents, this clash between structure and flexibility can even happen within our own minds.
Considering the new normal of quarantine, Adaptability® could be the most helpful or most harmful talent to have. It just needs to be channeled the right way. On the balcony, it could help you adjust to a new at-home work setting well. But because you live in the moment and respond instantly to environment, it could be also very distracting and difficult if you have tiny children or roommates running around while you are trying to work. Your energy will be divided to all the things happening then and there. If you are experiencing this Adaptability® basement, my tip is to set up a work time and space that will prepare your whole life for success. Since you are so flexible, don’t worry about conforming to typical work expectations. Find what works for you. Perhaps 1-hour work stretches with intermittent 30-minute breaks is what you need. If so, then advocate for it! It might mean a longer work day, but it could also give you more life balance by affording daytime to exercise, eat, and check in with family. Life balance is essential to work productivity for you, so go for it!
Are you someone that wants to adapt to your new normal but aren’t high in Adaptability®? Don’t stress! There are lots of you. The wrong way to go about this would be trying to all of the sudden be adaptable. That does not work to your talents, and can be like putting a round peg in a square hole. Married to someone with Adaptability® at 34, I know this all too well to be true. Sudden changes will always be a pet peeve for him. Instead, get creative with your top 10 talents. For instance, my husband is high in Strategic®. When a change occurs, if he can take a moment, return to the drawing board, and develop a new game plan, he can adapt well.
Learning about ourselves and our own strengths can empower us to best respond to any situation… or be adaptable. Find what works for you and try it out!
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