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Robyn Wheeler

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Adapt or Perish- Be Flexible
12/10/2011 7:59:41 AM

Are you rigid or flexible? Flexibility encourages happiness. Rigidity makes life difficult and perpetuates anger and unhappiness.
Adapt or Perish-Be Flexible
Are you rigid, inflexible and insist on everything being done your way? If so, you're cheating yourself out of being the happiest you can be. Individuals who are flexible and “go with the flow,” not insisting on everything being done their way, are happier than those that can’t or won’t “go with the flow.”
Let’s take a small, trivial situation as an example. Have you ever known anyone who has to have the toilet paper roll on a particular way on the spool? You know the old “under” or “over” debate. Some people place the roll with paper coming off on top and some put it on so it comes from the bottom. And some people don’t really care which way it is put on at all. So, let’s look at who’s happier.
If you always have to have a roll put on a particular way, you’ll find that you’ll be disappointed if you live with a roommate or spouse who doesn’t put the roll on exactly like you do. Will you get mad? Change the roll to go your way? Will you mention it to the other person, informing them that they put the roll on “wrong?” If so, think about these things: Does having a toilet paper roll on a particular way really mean that much to you? Is it softer one way and not the other? Is it more effective one way or not the other? Does your way make it better in any way? Does your “hinny” get cleaner with the paper one way and not the other?
The person who put it on opposite of the way you do is not wrong, just different. Maybe you say “It’s easier to reach and to grab a hold of” when it is on a particular way. Okay, I get that. But….is that really your worst inconvenience right now? You don’t have any other irritation, glitch or situation in your life other than how the roll hangs on the spool?
Rigidity and demanding everything “your way” means never trying anything new (maybe you’ll actually like someone else’s way better) and it means sending a message to the other person, most likely someone you love, that they do not meet up with your standards. It means being a nag and suggesting to the other person that you better than they are. And it means you have an irrational sense of perception and reality. That, in and of itself, will cause strife.
However, if an individual is flexible enough to use the toilet paper no matter how it hangs on the spool, all confusion and conflict and arguments will be avoided and no one feels “less than.” I use this trivial example for a reason. If you want to be more flexible start small. Begin with something like how the TP hangs, how your clothes are put in the close and which door you enter and exit when going to the supermarket. Then, work your way up to bigger stuff like when your latest hair cut doesn’t turn out exactly right or not mentioning to the waiter that your food order was wrong. Because let’s face it, if you can’t be flexible with the little stuff, how will you handle the really big stuff like a death in the family, being told you have diabetes, COPD or any number of other medical illnesses.
So try it. Ask someone close to you to name something you are rigid and inflexible about. Something that you have been doing the same way for more years than you can count. Then force yourself not to demand it your way. Do it differently and see how you feel. Did you suffer in any way because the peanut butter was put on the bread last instead of first? Or your cup had too much ice in it? Did it make your life worse in any way by doing something “their” way instead of “my way”?
For many years, I believed my circumstances and environment should adapt to me, to what I wanted. That line of thinking leads to anger and unhappiness because it will most likely never happen. So, instead of believing the situation has to adapt, know that it is your job to adapt to the situation. If you adapt to whatever situation or circumstance that is delivered to you, you will create happiness in your own life. Be flexible, willing to compromise and be willing to change. Remember to adapt…not perish.

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More Blogs by Robyn Wheeler
• Unrealistic Expectations Cause Anger - Tuesday, January 31, 2012
• It's Not Denial - Tuesday, January 31, 2012
• Which One do You Choose? - Saturday, December 10, 2011
• The Ohio Man - Saturday, December 10, 2011
•  Adapt or Perish- Be Flexible - Saturday, December 10, 2011  

• Perception of the Mentally Ill - Saturday, December 10, 2011

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