porcupine lounge

Musings of art, truths and subsistence living

Adapting to change: an essential life skill

I was ten years old when I arrived in Australia. I came from a third world country and I just assumed everything was going to be great when we got to a developed country, but I didn’t accept the change straight away. I don’t know how to explain it, it just seemed like a different world and at times I felt like this entire country is the most fragmented and broken society on the basis everyone is so divided from race, ethnicity, religion and wealth.

Throughout my teenage years, my impressions of this country was not a good one at all. Everyone seemed to be in such a rush all the time like the planet was edging on even closer to another arbitrary point in time, to which we tend to fixate and dot upon with such ferocity. People seemed to be so caught up on the hamster wheel of mundane things to do that they felt so important, they did not even care to acknowledge their own insignificance in this world. Can’t we take notice that the quiet ideas that keep us awake at night may just be more meaningful than the deadlines that split our lives up into a clutter of uselessness?

Leaving one’s country and starting over in another country is not as simple as it might seem, it has its own ambivalent feelings. In a new country a lot of the certainty that you previously took for granted has gone. Everything is different, from the language, the social norms, the physical environment and of course the food. Because of our need for certainty, this constant barrage of newness became so overwhelming for me and it quickly ate away at my confidence. It’s an irrefutable fact that life changes are stressful. And we were taking on the whole lot, packing up, throwing out, leaving family and friends, saying goodbyes, letting go of everything familiar, relinquishing many important things that had given us a sense of our worth, our purpose in life and who we are. Although I was just a child, I felt a massive wave of confusion and anxiety as I thought of how I will ever be able to re-invent myself in an ‘alien’ environment. So I had to do something about how I felt. It became apparent to me that this move brought about a new challenge for me; my ability to adapt to change. To live in a new environment with a different set of values and cultural expectations whilst remaining true to myself.

This realization soon proved to became an essential skill in my life. I am a firm believer, that people who are adaptive are able to organize their thoughts in ways that generate appropriate and positive actions. Adaptive abilities are necessary as changes occur in individuals whether it be in their personal or professional circumstances. This essential life skill has helped me in many ways. In my old profession within the corporate industry, I found this skill to be of so much value; if you wanted to progress, you need to be flexible and open to change. Over the years, I have made some huge transitions in my life. The main ones being the transition to a more conscious and ethical lifestyle and the more recent one, moving away from the city’s rat race to live a more peaceful, self sufficient life in the country. My ability to adapt to change has made these normally difficult and confronting transitions a lot easier to deal with, physically, mentally and emotionally.

If we are adaptive to change, we are able to react to unexpected events or unconstructive actions in creative ways. We are able to focus our mind in new directions and make choices based on our desired outcomes. We are more open to change, knowing it is the set of the sail that matters – not the direction of the wind.  We can see shades of gray, and entertain multiple realities which is an evolutionary advantage.

“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.” – Charles Darwin

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This entry was posted on April 8, 2012 by in RANDOM MUSINGS and tagged , , .

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