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Life is not static. Consequently, we must all adapt to new situations. This does not mean we have to accept or like the situations, but we must adapt to them. It is our choice to adapt in positive or negative ways. If we don't adapt, then we run the risk of letting change control us. I always tell my students that we cannot control what life throws at us, but we can control our response to it. This response is our adaptability.
Change is always unsettling to some degree. Some people approach change as an exciting opportunity to see new places, meet new people, and do new things. Others are paralyzed at the thought of these things. Some changes are a choice, of course, but others happen whether we've prepared ourselves or not. Because of that, we must develop the ability to adapt when changes happen.
Ever since the studies of Darwin, we have understood how essential to survival adaptation really is. After all, those creatures who are not able to adapt to changes in their environments have perished. Likewise, people who are not able to adapt to changes in their personal or work environments rarely do well. One obvious example exists regarding all the technological changes that have occurred in recent decades. More and more, older generations are left behind as they encounter difficulties in learning how to use modern devices. Personal and professional growth always involves change and adaptation.
I think this depends a bit on what your life is like. If you somehow manage to get through life without experiencing serious change, it will not be essential to adapt to new situations. However, my life, at least, has been full of changes. For example:
I went to three different grade schools and was home schooled two different times. I left home when I was 12 to start boarding school (9th grade). I went to three high schools in Chuuk, Micronesia, Honolulu, Hawaii, and then Boise, Idaho during my 4 years of high school. One year after living in Micronesia, I was in Chicago.
And that only brings me up to the time that I was 16 and 8 months. Since then, many more things have happened (including such small things as getting married, having kids, and becoming a stay-at-home dad.
I don't think life usually comes the way you expect it to. So you have to be able to adapt.
Adapting to new situations is absolutely essential to any kind of success or happiness in life.
There are so many ways to explain this, and so many examples that can be given. What strikes me lately is that I change so significantly as I move from year to year and decade to decade. Yes, I am the same person that I was in high school and earlier, but so much has changed--not only in the world but in me.
I simply do not have the physical energy that I once had. I've got a lot more brains, but not quite the same ability to read and study for hours at a time. I am miles ahead of my adolescent version in terms of social ability.
All of this requires me to approach things differently. I used to approach many challenges head-on, with great bursts of energy being spent in "Lone Ranger" style.
I can't do that anymore, and I wouldn't want to. I've learned to attack a project in smaller segments and I've learned to accept guidance and assistance from others.
By the way, I'm not all that old. But even reaching the ripe old age of 49 has forced me to adjust to new situations, the most important one being my age itself.
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