- July 28, 2020
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”
This is a quote I read early on in my personal development journey that helped me develop the attitude to persist no matter what. If an obstacle gets thrown in your way, adapt. Avoid the obstacle, plough through it, find the hidden opportunity in it, whatever you have to do.
Life itself is a series of random moments you can’t predict whatsoever, so your best shot of living a great life depends on the way you react to these moments. You want to become as adaptable as possible — build knowledge, implement that knowledge, and iterate over time. Instead of trying to predict what will happen, become someone who is ready for anything.
There’s another quote I love from Marcus Aurelius about this attitude:
“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.”
You have the power to adapt to whatever life throws at you, even if you don’t always feel like the most capable person. Why? Because you’re a human being.
You’re a part of the most adaptable species on planet earth. From a physical perspective, humans are nothing special. We’re actually quite weak compared to most animals. But we thrive because we’ve been able to adapt and create technology that overcomes our physical limitations.
We’ve adapted as societies during harsh times. Think World War 2 where we shifted our production capabilities overnight to facilitate the war, ushered in a new era of women into the workforce, and (for some at least) came out of that era with a booming post-war economy.
We’ve adapted our belief systems over time to deal with injustices, e.g., the fact that many African Americans fought in the war yet didn’t come back home to rights. We aren’t at the finish line, but the attitudes and beliefs of many people in the country have radically changed, in a good way, over a relatively short period of time,
And here we are now in the middle of a pandemic. On the one hand, there’s been tragedy, sadness, and loss. But there has also been adaptability and innovation.
I’ve read stories of alcohol manufacturers switching over to hand sanitizer production just like that. Many companies have transformed into 100 per cent remote work with no plans on reverting back. Online business and e-commerce have soared.
Again, there are still a ton of negatives and downsides to what’s going on right now – death, small business closures, unemployment, social injustice, etc. But I am betting long on our ability to adapt. I have to because any other worldview leads to the type of results I don’t want to see in the world.
I believe there are enough people out there who will use this time productively and wisely to offset those who either can’t or are unwilling to try.
That’s where you come in.
The times we’re in have given you two options- choose to adapt or let adaptation happen to you. Adaptation isn’t always positive. Going from working 40 hours a week to being on unemployment watching T.V. all day, drinking, and gaining weight is an adaptation. Choosing to spend your extra downtime working on meaningful projects is also an adaptation.
One is capitulation. The other paves the path to a better future.
I’m not one of those people who say you must succeed at all costs and spend all your spare time during the pandemic working on yourself.
But, it’s been four months now. Doesn’t seem like this will be resolved anytime soon. So which way is it?
You still have a massive runway ahead of you for the rest of 2020.
Personally, I’ve made a few decisions:
- I’m opting out of the culture war altogether – The conversation at this point seems redundant and counterproductive. I never thought it was productive, but the discourse is at an all-time low. People shouting at the other side, changing zero minds in the process. No thanks.
- Politics can wait until the election – Just work on yourself, your career, your business, your life, your family, etc. Then vote when it’s time to vote. No need to bathe in political outrage for the next few months. You know who you’re voting for anyway as the choices are quite stark. So, just leave it alone.
- Love and knowledge only – I’m cautiously optimistic that reason, logic, positive thinking, and education on how to build a better future can still make an impact on a small pocket of society, mainly people like you. So I’m putting all my focus on people like you and letting the chips fall where they may for the rest of society.
Let’s level up and adapt together.
Let’s plot moves that make the world a better place both for us and the people around us.
In a world full of lost, aimless, and sad people, let’s lead by example and show them the power of choosing the right reaction regardless of what happens.
Maybe they’ll follow suit.
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