Winner Takes All: Exceptional People Teach Us How to Find Career and Personal Success in the 21st Century

By Noelle Nelson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER EIGHT
BE FLEXIBLE, BE WILLING TO
CHANGE
Where Am I Relative to Where I Want to Be?
What Adjustments Do I Need to Make?

A willow survives a storm by bending, and buildings survive earthquakes by moving with the Earth's movements, not against them. It seems to be a law of nature that surviving turbulence requires flexibility. That which is too rigid, breaks. So too for human beings. In the chaotic times ahead, flexibility will be essential to survival. We can predict neither the timing, direction, nor magnitude of the changes we will see in the years to come, we can only predict that they will come, and thus make ourselves ready for them. Readiness cannot come from knowing what the changes will require, the Future being Unknown, readiness can only come from how we approach those changes.

"How very poetic," you say, somewhat sarcastically, "but what does it mean to me? Flexibility is the opposite of rigidity, I got that, but what else?" Flexibility, in the sense used here, means sensing when changes are needed, and being able and willing to make those changes. "And what, pray tell, does that have to do with my success?" you ask, seeking more specificity. "Everything," I reply. "In order for your success to be solid and sustained, you must be able to adjust continually to the rapidly changing world we live in. Otherwise, your success, even if you attain it, will be short lived." "More work!" you exclaim, despairing. "Not really," I reply, "just a few guidelines to keep you steady on your success course."

-167-

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