I had my whole week all planned out: first full week of kids back at school and a raft of things I wanted to start, finish, revamp or do for my business and myself… but alas, it was not to be.
You see, I’ve been plodding along for a couple of months now with the sale of my house and purchase of a new one and things were going really, really slowly. I know my buyers are keen to get in and we are all chasing things almost every day but I still felt that the actual move would be a while away. However,
5… 4… 3… 2… 1…
Suddenly, as these things tend to do, we have agreed a completion date that is 1½ weeks away instead of the 3 weeks I had in my head and I am now in “THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO” mode! In fact, Thunderbird 2 would be really useful for the move.
So, this week’s blog post has been hijacked and is now a little reminder about the importance of being flexible and taking changes to your plans in your stride. So you could say that I am being flexible in my approach to my blog too!
Flexibility is the Key to Air Power
Many moons ago when I was on my Cadet Under Officer promotion course with the Air Training Corps in Australia, we had to study the Air Power Manual¹ of the RAAF. Although not the world’s most thrilling read and guaranteed to send you to sleep for the most part, it did introduce the concept that “Flexibility is the Key to Air Power” and that phrase has remained with me ever since. The manual states that:
“Air power is inherently flexible because of its ability to switch between its roles and/or missions…. Flexible employment of scarce air power assets is the key to establishing and controlling the operational tempo of a campaign.”
What they are basically saying is that even with fewer resources than you would like, if you are flexible in your approach and able to change and adapt to circumstances as they arise, you can achieve far more than seems realistically possible. And we can all be like that without having jet aircraft or even Thunderbird 2 to help!
How it Applies to Us
No matter how well you plan for every eventuality, being flexible enough to know that changing direction at a moment’s notice may work better in either your personal life or your business is one of the best things you can learn. It is the rigidity of unwavering stubbornness to change from our perceived course that causes many of life’s stresses and problems.
Many people struggle with change and being flexible because they are scared of looking silly or making a mistake or simply because they fear the unknown. But learning to be mentally flexible allows you to ride the winds of change and benefit from all of the lessons and benefits that those changes bring.
“What then are the benefits of being mentally flexible? Imagine a storm brewing. Intense winds are blowing hard. Stiff trees are breaking under the pressure while softer more flexible trees are bending and will rise again when the strong winds subside. Now turn this image onto human beings. People who are narrow minded, opinionated, stubborn and bullheaded are more likely to crack under pressure than people who take up a more flexible attitude towards life. It is the difference between bending and breaking under pressure.” ~ Gudjon Bergmann,
Unfortunately a fear of change, and therefore an inability to be flexible is somewhat ingrained in the human condition. We are taught that routine and control are ‘safe’ and that change of any kind is bad. According to Fearof.net “Metathesiophobia”, a fear of change, ranks 33 in their list of the Top 100 phobias.²
But you can learn to be more flexible and embrace the changes that are bound to happen in your life by taking a few simple steps:
- Tackle something small that scares you – once you can handle the small things then you will be in a better state to get through the big stuff
- Meditate – yes, that! Just 5-10 minutes a day is all you need to help you cope with the stress that change can bring
- Prioritise Self-Care – looking after yourself is really important when you are making changes
There’s a great blog post over on Real Simple with more great tips for ways to embrace change.
So, that’s my secret to coping with the changes that happen in my life on a daily basis. Most of them may not be earth-shattering, but some of them are and I have learned that not having to be in control all of the time can be a good thing!
Now, I’m off to pack my 39 remaining boxes ready for the big move.
¹ Interestingly you can download a free copy of this exciting tome from the RAAF if you so wish. The current edition has more photos than mine did so the 200+ pages are slightly easier to take in!
² The top 100 fears also includes “Samhainophobia” (the fear of Halloween) and “Pogonophobia” (the fear of beards) amongst other more common phobias!