When it comes to accomplishing anything, one of the critical components always discussed is consistency. When training for triathlon or marathons, I learned that sticking to my coach's program was essential. Not only did it help prevent injury, the habits I formed became building blocks, each more and more challenging over time. Combined, these helped me get to a level that I need to participate in Ironman 70.3 events or slug out a 26-mile run.
That being said, one of the more powerful skills that I have become reliant on through the years is adaptability. Failure to understand this or adequately prepare for it leads to something known as "the Seneca Effect."
"Increases are of sluggish growth, but the way to ruin is rapid." - Seneca
That is - building something of value takes time, and shit falls apart fast.
When things do go south (and it eventually will), you need to shift into different ways of thinking. Being resilient and bouncing back from misfortunes and viewing them as opportunities to learn is critical.
Stoics always teach that you can only focus on what you can control, and you can't dwell on what happens to you in life. You only can control how you respond.
Some ideas to help you build up skills around being adaptable:
- Ask lots of questions from diverse groups
- Pain and suffering is often due to attachment - allow yourself to have a backup plan and let go!
- Leverage your personal board of directors
- Check your emotions at the door
- Constraint results in freedom. I love this one - prepare by introducing artificial constraints into your ecosystem (you cant use certain technologies on a project, etc.)
Another thing that is important to understand is that when you get to a certain point, effort doesn't help anymore. It can have adverse effects. Look at how many climbers on Everest die because they just can't let go of the summit, or how many athletes injure themselves because they are trying to be consistent with training, not giving themselves time to heal.
Yes, persistence and consistency are two virtues that will help you achieve goals and be successful, but having a path and being flexible when shit goes south is how to keep yourself in the game.
From "Letters of Note":
In 2006, a group of students at Xavier High School in New York City were given an assignment by their English teacher, Ms. Lockwood, that was to test their persuasive writing skills: they were asked to write to their favorite author and ask him or her to visit the school.
5 students chose Kurt Vonnegut; who turned out to be the only author to reply. His advice, "make your soul grow" is timeless.
Thought of the week
This weeks "Deep Links"
Here are a few of the articles and videos that resonated with me over the last week:
- The key to managing in life is adaptability. In "Persevering When Your Run Turns to Crap" and how runners know 'that once you get through the pain cave, there are great things about to happen on the other side.' Excellent advice in here for all - More
- "Why Craftsmanship Matters" goes along the theme of this week Makoismon consistency and how to achieve the status of craftsman requires consistent long-term investment. Worthy advice for any part of life - More
- "Idea Storming" is another fabulous article from Adventures in Life. This week, they explore the 'act of creation and how ideas feed each other - More
- "What Becoming a Parent Really Does to Your Happiness" dives into 'research has found that having children is terrible for quality of life'.. I'll post this link and let you decide for yourself - More
- While I have enjoyed Nutella, I never realized that 400,000 tons of the stuff were made annually from a global supply chain. In "What Nutella Teaches Us About Global Supply Chain Risks," read more about the consequences that they now face between 'global struggles like the fight against climate change and the drive to stamp out human-rights abuses' - More
- Easy one to file under 'no thanks,' but "Do look down: Scaling one of NYC's tallest skyscrapers" explores New York's craziest new attraction that you will never see me try - More
- This one is fascinating - "The Libraries of Famous Men: Bruce Lee" looks at 'the reading life of Bruce Lee' and talks about 'some titles he's known to have read, enjoyed, and learned from' - More
- "Revisiting 'The 4-Hour Workweek'" examines the classic book from Tim Ferriss and how it predicted many of the new opportunities and challenges that face remote working today - More
- I'm a huge fan of IA Writer (I'm writing this in IA Writer now) and have been enjoying their perspectives on writing they publish on their blog. In "On Apps and Coffee," they explore that "apps are not coffee but coffee machines" - More
Closing this week out with a rare 1977 interview with Sir Alec Guinness talking about his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Great stuff.
Be well. ✌🏻