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How important is being flexible to possible changes?

Life changes all the time, whether we like it or not. How important is it to be able to break the plan we have and let life run its course so that we can pursue our goals with more focus or in a different manner? #theatre #flexibility #risk


Good question, Tadeo! I am looking forward to answers! Angelina P.

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Stephanie’s Answer

Change is about the only constant in just about any field. It is extremely important to be adaptable to change and keep up with the changes - whether it is technology or the applicable laws/regulations or advances in your particular field. As someone who used to not be a fan of change, I will honestly say this - change incurs growing pains which no one likes at first but then there is the growth and as a result being truly great at what you do. Being open to and inviting of change will only help you personally and especially professionally.

Stephanie recommends the following next steps:

Make one small change today (create a new dish, do a new exercise video) and see how you feel. Remember the positive energy it brought next time you come across a change.
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Daniela’s Answer

Hi Tadeo,


Clinical psychologists often talk about how flexible thinking is an important part of good mental health. It helps people succeed personally and in their relationships.


But, what is flexible thinking? Take a look at the different types below, so you can see how you're doing in this area, and where you may be able to level up.


Optimism vs. pessimism


If you're a flexible thinker, you consider a range of different possible consequences of your actions rather than only considering an optimistic view or only considering a pessimistic view.


For example, if you're thinking about switching from a salaried job to freelancing, you wouldn't only consider the likely upsides or the likely downsides, you'd consider both.


Flexible thinkers also consider optimistic and pessimistic explanations for other people's behavior. For example, maybe lack of hearing back from someone indicates a problem, but maybe it doesn't. If you consider both of these scenarios you might make a choice to followup to check if there is a problem but you avoid the emotional pain of automatically assuming something negative.


Really flexible thinkers can adjust their general tendency to be positive or negative based on the which is more helpful in a given situation. For example, if you're in a situation where you need to give yourself a push to "go for it," you might find it helpful to imagine an optimistic outcome.


If you know you tend to be too optimistic or too pessimistic, you factor this in when you're thinking about things, as a reminder to yourself to consider the other side of the coin.


Perspective taking


For example, there's a common couples therapy exercise that involves describing a topic of conflict from your own perspective, your partner's perspective, and a neutral observer's perspective.


It's important that you don't assume that your way of looking at something is the way everyone looks at it. When you can see that other people look at situations different ways, it helps you not jump to inaccurate conclusions.


For example, recognizing that your view isn't the only view would help prevent you from launching a product feature that you like but other people have no interest in. You wouldn't automatically assume other people would love it as much as you, without testing that assumption.


Understanding rules of thumb don't always apply


For example, you might have the belief "If you want a job done right, you should do it yourself."


Flexible thinkers can recognize this as a belief and that it doesn't apply in every situation.


Considering situational explanations as well as personality explanations


For example, if your partner doesn't take out the trash despite reminders, are they dispositionally inconsiderate or are they absentminded currently due to stress they're experiencing at work?


Flexible thinkers can see how both types of explanations can contribute to behaviors. The same applies when evaluating your own behavior. For example, did you binge because your self control needs some work or because you got too hungry?


Recognizing your biases


For example, you have a thought that you're "not good enough" but you can recognize this as an anxiety thought rather than automatically assuming it's true.


There may be other situations in which you're overconfident. For example, you think you're probably a better stock picker than the average investor. However, if you're a flexible thinker, you can recognize that is a pretty common type of overconfidence bias.


Recognizing that thoughts and feelings often don't last


Flexible thinkers don't assume that how they feel now is how they're always going to feel. For example, you feel intimidated in trying to wrap your head around a subject now but you recognize you'll likely feel more confident over time as you gain more experience with the topic.


Balancing long term and short term desires


When you're in situation, you can think about your long term goals and your short term goals.


Not putting too much weight on feeling certainty or uncertainty


Feeling uncertain about something isn't necessarily a bad sign. Feeling certain about something doesn't necessarily mean you're right. Flexible thinkers recognize this.


Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-practice/201409/become-more-flexible-thinker


Best!


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Elena’s Answer

Hi Tadeo,

I have worked in IT for over 20 years and the only thing that is constant is change :) one must be flexible in order to thrive and grow.

In its most simple form, I think of flexibility as a must have attribute for my day to day work. It's important when we work on our own as well as with/for others that we are able to adjust, adapt and change direction as necessary in order to achieve our individual and team goals. As for me, I come to work prepared every day with my list of things to do. Every day there are things that come up that make me re-evaluate my list and re-prioritize my objectives; things that become priorities. Understanding how to juggle priorities and become flexible to get these done is a critical part of business.


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Stephanie’s Answer

Change is about the only constant in just about any field. It is extremely important to be adaptable to change and keep up with the changes - whether it is technology or the applicable laws/regulations or advances in your particular field. As someone who used to not be a fan of change, I will honestly say this - change incurs growing pains which no one likes at first but then there is the growth and as a result being truly great at what you do. Being open to and inviting of change will only help you personally and especially professionally.

Stephanie recommends the following next steps:

Make one small change today (create a new dish, do a new exercise video) and see how you feel. Remember the positive energy it brought next time you come across a change.
Saved!

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Jessica’s Answer

It is extremely important to be flexible especially in the work environment. In many industries the only constant is change, and you need to be ready to pivot at any time while keeping your composure. If you appear to be unreceptive or unwilling to change, employers may decide to go with another candidate during an interview, or replace you at your job with someone who can better adapt to change. Flexibility spans across all portions of life, and the more flexible you are, the easier it will be to adapt to life changes.

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Elena’s Answer

Hi Tadeo,

I have worked in IT for over 20 years and the only thing that is constant is change :) one must be flexible in order to thrive and grow.

In its most simple form, I think of flexibility as a must have attribute for my day to day work. It's important when we work on our own as well as with/for others that we are able to adjust, adapt and change direction as necessary in order to achieve our individual and team goals. As for me, I come to work prepared every day with my list of things to do. Every day there are things that come up that make me re-evaluate my list and re-prioritize my objectives; things that become priorities. Understanding how to juggle priorities and become flexible to get these done is a critical part of business.


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Andrew’s Answer

Good afternoon. Flexibility is basically a career requirement right now. It's very important to be flexible because priorities can change in an instant and that will require a change in focus. And to be able to do that successfully, you have to be flexible. It can be stressful, but with time, it can become second nature.

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Andrew’s Answer

Change is always inevitable in all aspects of life whether it be personal or professional. The key is being able to adapt and take on each "change" as a new opportunity to learn and grow. Resisting change will make the process more difficult and one should capitalize on each opportunity as a stepping stone to ultimately achieve your goal. From personal experience at my current place of employment, I've been moved to totally different teams twice within my organization which was different from the role I applied for. I was able to learn something new on both occasions and it kept things interesting during my time there.

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Michelle’s Answer

Hi Tadeo!

I agree with all of the answers given here. Solid advice from so many different people, from different walks of life, and in different fields.

Change happens all the time ... sometimes you notice it and sometimes you roll with the punches without even thinking twice because you've learned how to adapt so seamlessly. It is CRITICAL to be flexible and adaptable in all facets of life, not just the professional environment.

I can tell by how you worded the question that you are probably well aware of this already. The only thing I will add is to say "yes" to opportunities even though they may not be exactly what you were expecting. When doors open, you must be willing and ready to walk through them. If any given opportunity isn't for you, take the initiative to expand the role to include more of what you, personally, bring to the table. If your needs are still not
being met, pivot to a different opportunity, taking with you all that you have learned from the previous one.

One last thought for you ... in your question, you used the term "break" for your plans. I encourage you to view your plans in more fluid terms. For example, your plans will always be slightly modified or amended to better fit where you are in life. Your plans will be "updated" to meet you where you are - and where you want to go in life.

I hope you're able to take all of the great advice provided in these answers with you as you make and "update" your plans. Best of luck to you!

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Bill’s Answer

Tadeo - the probability that life is NOT going to go the way you plan it out is pretty much an absolute. Your ability to overcome and adapt to that adversity how you will set yourself ahead of others.

Adversity will come at you in a multitude of ways: learning your wife or girl friend is pregnant, learning a loved one has become ill, learning you have become ill, working in a role for a 3 to 5 year period of time when you realize you've picked all the low hanging fruit and need to reinvent your ways.

You having the ability to overcome and adapt to what is thrown at you from not only your employer, but life itself is very important and will help you mentally work through the adversity. Each time a roadblock is placed in front of you, another door/lane opens that can lead to something better and greater that you never thought possible.

Good luck on your future endeavors and I hope this helped answer your question.

Bill

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