Some people respond to small, irrelevant changes with all grace and agility, while others have trouble accommodating on short notice.
Camus famously wrote that there are people who suffer flexibly and others who suffer stiffly. The former are acrobats; the latter are virtuosos of sorrow.
Think of someone you know from each category. Next, pretend your plans with that person have slightly changed in the eleventh hour.
One friend immediately allows the flow of the current take them where it will. They say a hearty yes to life, even though they know that it will devour them.
The second friend, however, resists the rushing river of change. They stick their fingers in their ears like a petulant child frozen in the face of an uncertain future.
Whom would you rather spend the weekend with?
Odds are, not the person who tries to manipulate the world to coincide as nearly as possible with their desires. You want the acrobat. The one who suffers flexibly. Because the other guy is bloody exhausting to be around.
Software companies are masters of this process. They named it agile development, which focuses on adapting quickly to changing realities. Rather than make massive iterations every twelve months, the product evolves a little bit every two weeks. The feedback loop is small and tight and light, and that allows the technology to grow incrementally better without a large investment of resources.
Having worked at a tech startup myself, it’s quite an elegant process. Even as someone who worked in marketing and not in development, the ethos of that process was transformational in my own development as a human.
It introduced me to an unsuspected well of agility inside myself. It helped me learn to get comfortable with small changes. It taught me that it’s better to make small consistent gains, than it is to make large ones that disappear quickly.
And it showed me that life’s little, irrelevant changes don’t actually mean that I have consented to the annihilation of a part of myself.
Just because the meeting got moved to next week doesn’t mean my identity will evaporate.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What zaps your commitment to your priorities?
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