You may feel that the modern environment of dynamic change tests your ability to adapt and let alone grow. A world in flux requires a fundamental change, one that accepts constant change as the new normal. April Rinne challenges you to find your superpower: eight counterintuitive, yet well-supported practices that will help you rethink your relationship with change. Rinne contends that everything you do influences how you deal with change. Integrating the author’s essential mindset shifts into your daily life provides you with the adaptability you need to push forward.
Change is the new normal now, so learn to adapt to it
Change is all around you. With the economy in constant flux, the pandemic, new weather patterns and social tensions, the future no longer feels predictable – even though it never was. Some changes, such as a new job or a new relationship, may be welcomed. But most people prefer the predictable future. You may feel anxious and out of sorts, not only as a result of the uncertainty and fear that unexpected change brings, but also as a result of how quickly change now occurs. Change has become the new normal, so learn to adapt to it.
People take personal paths or scripts that define their values and assist them in planning their futures. These scripts fail in an ever-changing world. Furthermore, these scripts do not prompt you to consider what you truly desire.
Accepting the “theory of flux” assists you in adapting to a changing world:
- Embrace to accept the mindset of flux. Allow yourself to see change as an opportunity rather than a threat. Find and embrace the core values that guide you, such as faith in others, trust, or a belief in diversity. Recognize your ability to grow.
- Develop superpowers to alter your perspective of the world. For example, instead of trying to control the future, learn to let it go. Alternatively, aim to build a portfolio of career interests and accomplishments that will allow you to be flexible in a changing job market.
- Write a new personal script based on eight flux superpowers that will help you adapt to changes and uncertainties.
Integrate eight flux superpowers into your life to help you adapt to change. First, “run slower.”
Slow down and learn that responding quickly to everything rarely yields the best results. Because the outside world is constantly changing, you must pause, be present, and make wiser, not faster decisions.
FOMO (fear of missing out) is a concept that society promotes. And in today’s nonstop world, you miss a lot. Trying to keep up with everything, on the other hand, it makes stress and anxiety which prevents you from seeing what you truly value. Instead of working to better yourself, you may set goals for yourself. When you pause, you direct your attention to yourself; you slow down, add more value over time, and increase your chances of success.
You should take the following three steps to focus on the present:
- Practice patience – For example, condition yourself by waiting for an appointment without filling the time with meaningless activities such as social media or online gaming.
- Make a “not-to-do” list instead of a “to-do” list – This will help you decide where to invest your valuable time.
- Create moments of silence to notice the world around you – for example, go to a park or a lake and let the natural world capture your attention.
Second, learn to “see the invisible.”
Your childhood and cultural norms have conditioned you to see only a small proportion of the big picture. You grow up with a strong focus on goals and values, which you combine with societal expectations. However, when change occurs and disrupts your long-held perspective, you lose your equilibrium. The more limited your perspective, the more unbalanced you feel. Expand your vision with your second principle to see beyond what is in front of you.
Product marketing is an example of how today’s culture teaches people to focus on what is visible. It encourages people to consume and trains them to see only their own needs and desires. It also deceives you into not realising how relentless consumption drains your finances and harms the environment.
You can more easily shift with the winds of change if you have a broader perspective. Furthermore, you will notice opportunities and innovative solutions in the margins. You position yourself to navigate the waves of uncertainty when you see more options. Recognize that you have the ability to change your mindset. Examine each opportunity with curiosity rather than judgment.
Third, “get lost.”
Many people feel unmoored in today’s dynamic environment as they attempt to navigate a sea of change and uncertainty. People used to associate being lost with failure. Similarly, business leaders direct their employees to stick to a plan and see “getting lost” as a threat to efficiency and productivity. However, when employees deviate from the given path, organisations benefit from increased creativity and innovation because these employees see opportunities for inventive and diverse thinking.
Applying your third superpower, get comfortable getting lost. This includes heading outside of your comfort zone and considering alternative viewpoints in order to see alternative paths forward. When you are shaken by change, you gain perspective; you see opportunities and can more easily change direction. Many people are afraid of getting lost, but you can improve this flux superpower by doing the following:
- Consider your emotions when actually faced with change, and what happens if you change your immediate response.
- Travel with only a dreamy plan in mind and see what happens.
- Ignore your GPS and observe your surroundings without the assistance of technology.
- Wear a blindfold to magnify your senses and increase your awareness.
- Recognize that becoming disoriented improves your ability to adapt to uncertainty.
Fourth, “start with trust.”
There are numerous examples of trust: businesses required n ondisclosure agreements and parents warn their children about stranger danger. This mistrust replaces optimism with fear, crushes curiosity, harms relationships, and impairs people’s ability to adapt to change. Using your fourth superpower, replace the old script of mistrust with the assumption of good intentions – begin with trust.
Trust requires responsibility, as well as the assumption that others share this responsibility. Online encyclopaedias like Wikipedia, microfinance programs in underserved communities, open-source software, and car- and ride-sharing platforms are all examples of functional trust today. Begin with trust in your new script by taking the following flux mindset:
- Stop hiding your information and start trusting others with it – In the workplace, this means encouraging an open and cooperative culture. This includes assuming good intentions in your personal relationships.
- Make vulnerability a part of your mindset – This strengthens your relationships and gives you the resilience and flexibility to adapt to change in your personal and professional life.
Without trust in others and yourself, the ubiquity of change is more than unsettling; it can break you. Rethink how you relate to others and start with trust.
You can never satisfy the goal of always having more. So fifth, “know your ‘enough’.”
A consumer-oriented culture makes the belief that “more is better”. They also leads people to believe that they can never have enough power, money, choices, or success. This desire for more ignores two fundamental ideas: having more leaves many people with insufficient resources, and having more does not lead to a greater sense of well-being, self-esteem, or internal satisfaction. By extension, the desire for more tangible things overlooks intangibles like fresh air, compassion for others, and time. Rewrite your definition of “enough” in your personal life and as a business leader using your fifth superpower.
Recognize that adding more to your life does not increase your sense of satisfaction when rewriting your script. In fact, in a world that is constantly changing, knowing what enough means to you opens your eyes to what truly matters, brings greater contentment, and feeds the adaptability you require. Consider subtracting from your life instead of adding to it to find your enough:
- Unsubscribe from magazine or phone app subscriptions.
- Break off a toxic relationship.
- Items you don’t use can be sold.
- Take a day off from meetings.
- Leave clubs or hobbies that no longer interest you.
People require genuine relationships, support, and a generous spirit – aspects of life that the competitive spirit of more impedes. Concentrate on what constitutes true wealth – not something you hoard, but something you share – and how having enough can make you whole.
If you want to learn more about the word “enough”, check out our Essentialism Summary Book.
Sixth, “create your portfolio career.”
Create a “portfolio career” using your sixth flux superpower by finding work that motivates you and draws on your diverse skills. For example, one might work in marketing for ten years before opening a yoga studio. A successful lawyer may leave her practise to produce documentaries. A project manager from a scientific research organisation may collaborate in a pottery studio. You no longer need to define your career by your job title; instead, let your interests inspire you to pursue multiple career paths, sometimes simultaneous. The ease with which businesses shifted to remote work conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, demonstrates the allure of portfolio careers.
Make a portfolio career out of your skills, expertise, and passions. Combine these to find your niche and use your unique set of interests to meet needs in the workplace. Seek out opportunities both within and outside of traditional workplaces or industries. Create a professional identity that reflects your interests and values.
Seventh, “be all the more human (and serve other humans).”
Technology pervades every aspect of your life, but its benefits come at the expense of human relationships. You may, for example, feel isolated, witness online bullying, and use technology to escape the world. Change your relationship with technology and reconnect with others to use your seventh superpower. Recognize the value of collaboration and human relationships, and share your vulnerabilities when faced with uncertainty and change.
In today’s society, the complementary forces of yin and yang have shifted. Yang energy represents dominance and control, while yin energy represents service and nurturing relationships. A society cannot reach its full potential unless these interdependent energies coexist. A rigid attitude toward change and uncertainty will fail. In times of transition, people want and require a harmony of yin and yang elements, which will promote:
- Human connection and shared humanity have increased.
- Leaders who work together to support team members and their efforts.
- Organizations that value diversity and inclusion.
You cannot control the future, so eighth, “let go of the future.”
Others teach you early in life that if you plan ahead of time, work hard, and make the right decisions, things will go as planned; however, no one can predict the future. You have control over what you do, but not over the external factors that may influence your results. Learn to let go of your future and live for today by using your eighth and final flux superpower.
Recognize that you do not have control over the future. Concentrate on what you can influence: your reaction to unexpected change and uncertainty. Change your mindset: instead of fearing change and imagining the worst, embrace it and imagine the best. Begin each day anticipating the positive and concentrating on the present.