John Lennon is quoted as saying: ‘Life is what happens when you are making other plans.’
Indeed, Life continues to throw curve-balls at us: from the Covid, tragedy, familial and cultural tensions, financial uncertainty – as well as the cumulative stressors of daily life, multitasking, keeping up with technical literacy, and information overload.
Midst all the unrest and turmoil, it seems useful to consider the principle of flexibility in the natural world, as observed in how water overcomes the obstacles, the rocks in the river, by flowing around them.
Adaptability is described as the ability to adjust to new conditions, quickly shift plans in changing environments. In the workplace, it’s the ability to rapidly learn new skills, find alternative solutions, ways of operating in response to changing circumstances.
Adaptability implies flexibility, resilience, the capacity to meet and manage stressors, with less emotional reactivity and more balanced physiological responses. Frequently, the lack of adaptability is reflected in disregulation of the autonomic nervous system, (ANS), our ‘internal thermostat’, which regulates
physiological and involuntary functions. There may be an imbalance, or adjustment issue between the ‘fight or flight’ arousal response (Sympathetic Nervous System) – when action is required – and the ‘relaxation response’ – when regeneration, restorative rest, is needed.