Perhaps you are looking for a life that is calmer, more predictable, and something you can count on. You like to know what is going to happen next, and you are happy about that. But, if you have lived long enough, you have probably already learned that just when you think you know how things are going to go, something happens that throws a monkey wrench into your plans and knocks you off-center.
How can you learn to be more flexible and go with the flow?
1. Accept that life is often unpredictable. The nature of life is ever-evolving. It becomes easier to deal with the unexpected when you periodically remind yourself that there will always be some level of unpredictability that surrounding life. Life is what it is.
2. Keep an open mind. Often, when things don’t progress as you had hoped, it does not always spell catastrophe. Start looking at changes in your schedule as welcome detours. Moments when you can think about things differently, pursue a different course of action, or even do the same thing in a different way.
Become willing to experience a pleasant surprise in every new situation. For example, perhaps you were stoked about eating at your favorite Thai restaurant with friends. But they outvoted you this time, Sheldon (Big Bang Theory), and they wanted to try something new, perhaps an Indian restaurant instead. You are pretty sure that you will not like it, but you won’t know for sure until you have tried. Loosen up!
3. Look at unexpected changes as opportunities. When something unforeseen happens, you might be presented with a chance to do something you would not have ordinarily tried. You may even discover a special talent or skill that you have been carrying around inside of you. Let life’s magic happen.
4. Change your paradigm. Who says you always must go bowling every Wednesday night? You might meet a whole new group of friends at the sushi bar this Wednesday. When something does not work out as you have planned, you are being given a gift to do something completely different.
What new idea can you come up with to have some fun, or experience something new? Embrace the novelty of a changing situation.
5. Always have a Plan B. If, for instance, you are planning on going to the beach with your sister, whom you haven’t been spending much time with lately, consider all the possibilities ahead of time. What if the temperature drops or it rains? Rather than experience an unfortunate event that will ruin your day, work out a back-up plan ahead of time to ensure that you will still have a great time together.
For example, you could agree that if it is too cold or raining by 10 a.m., you will instead meet up at the rock-climbing gym or bowl a few games.
If you consistently set up a Plan B, you will rarely be truly disappointed. Being adaptable has built-in rewards.
6. Accept new people. Although you may see yourself as liking only a certain type or group of people, such as professionals, those who drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or love The Game of Thrones, wouldn’t it bring some freshness into your life to welcome some new people into your world?
The more adaptable you are, the more you will be surprised and fascinated by your life.
Acknowledging the unpredictability of life, keeping your mind open, and viewing a change in plans as an opportunity will contribute to being more flexible. So will seeing an issue in a whole new way, consistently having a Plan B, and easily accepting new people into your group and your life.
Take steps now to increase your adaptability factor and experience the more passionate life you seek!