I view the current social climate following the 2016 presidential election as a giant bat signal in the sky for the emergence of the Adaptation Mindset.
We need it now more than ever.
If people are unwilling to learn, adapt, and evolve, we as a species are doomed to failure.
Let’s take a look at the definition of adaptation:
“the act or process of changing to better suit a situation”
I think we can agree that the situations we find ourselves in are always changing, right?
So it only makes sense that adapting to new situations would be a valuable skill.
You could even argue that it’s a mandatory skill if you want to be happy and successful (at the same time).
After all, the inability to adapt to changing circumstances will inevitably slow or prevent your success and happiness in life.
Fortunately, there’s a simple solution — the Adaptation Mindset.
How to Adopt the Adaptation Mindset
Open your mind to what’s possible.
Do not allow yourself to ignore the information that’s right in front of you.
Do not fear change — embrace it.
Always be learning and always be adapting to what you learn.
Keep Your Mental Software Updated
Things are changing quickly.
The smartphone has replaced television.
Twitter has replaced journalism.
We just elected our first president through memes and social media.
The opposition lost because they were operating on outdated mental software.
Rather than facing the short-term pain of updating their software, they figured what worked for so many previous years would surely work again.
That’s never the case.
Failing to adapt to new information is the downfall of all major organizations — from business enterprises to great empires.
Blackberry failed to realize that people actually wanted to use touchscreens on the phones they used for business. And the political establishments of the U.K. and U.S. failed to realize that their people were ready for a change.
Both seem obvious now because the outcomes forced people to explore information they previously dismissed. Turns out the answers were right in plain sight all along.
Once you settle for old information and refuse to update your mental software, you’ve initiated the decline — there is no way to make progress with old data.
When you think you’ve got it all figured out, you’re more lost than ever.
Choose an Adaptable Identity
Playing the game of identity politics will always lead to personal demise no matter which side you’re on.
When your identity is tied to a set of ideas or theories, you run the serious risk of putting your identity in jeopardy when circumstances change and new evidence is presented.
However, if you identify as a truth-seeker, your identity adapts to new information because the truth is constantly changing.
I’ve said it countless times, and this is another reminder — people and organizations that define your identity are doing so to control you.
That’s not always a bad thing, by the way.
The appeal to identity is powerful and effective. When used with the intention of a positive outcome, you can benefit greatly from identifying with a group or label.
However, as you know, intention is overrated.
That’s why I usually avoid identifying with any particular group, even if I support them.
Life is cyclical and the same groups that lift you up today will send you crashing down in a burning inferno tomorrow.
Only the truth will set you free. When you care more about facts than feelings, you don’t take things so personally and you find it much easier to go with the flow.
Find the Upside
Now let’s say you’re collecting the data the world is presenting you.
You’re updating your mental software to reflect the world we live in, not the world we talk about.
Your identity is your own and not up for sale or to be influenced easily.
That doesn’t prevent the circumstances of life from throwing a haymaker to the jaw when you least expect it.
The final key to the Adaptation Mindset is an unwavering ability to find the upside in negative circumstances — or to create upside when it doesn’t exist.
People you love will die.
Sources of income you once had will be lost.
Shitty neighbors will move into the apartment above you.
People you don’t like will be elected as the president of your country.
With the exception of losing a loved one, I say “boo-fucking-hoo!”
Life is too short to worry about what’s fair and how you thought things would play out but didn’t.
All you have is now and what happens next.
99% of the time you can find a positive upside in a negative situation if you simply look for it.
When your loving mother who never harmed a soul dies unexpectedly of cancer, your only option is to create an upside.
It’s not fair and it’s not easy, but that’s just the way it is.
It’s a simple truth and you have to adapt to it or perish.
That’s why you see people who suffer terrible tragedies go on to become advocates for a related cause.
The cynic looks at that and says “they’re just trying to cash in on their mother’s death” but I look at that and see the Adaptation Mindset in its strongest form.
When you’ve adopted the Adaptation Mindset, eventually you get tired of adapting to everything that happens to you and you start creating the circumstances that force the world to adapt to you.
P.S. If you want to adopt the Adaptation Mindset, you might like my book because adapting is a habit.
What do you think? Do you agree, disagree or have any thoughts to add? Let me know in the comments below.
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