Adaptability and Resilience
I am sitting writing this post on August 7th of 2021 having experienced a July that came in with hope and left with a lot of uncertainty.
I live with my wife in Ajijic Mexico. Like many of you, on the 4th of July, we attended a July 4th celebration at a friend’s house. There were about 20 of us in attendance where I think all of us were over 60 years of age. Almost all of us had been vaccinated.
That still did not stop some of the attendees from wearing masks and some of us spent most of our time outside. We were cautious but optimistic.
We are planning a trip back to Austin at the end of September and I am watching the City of Austin Key Indicators for Staging Dashboard. YIKES! What a difference a month makes.
We all need to work on our adaptability and resilience to make it through the rest of 2021. We need to turn them into superpowers that make us successful in our careers and life.
Adaptability and Resilience Definitions
The definition of adaptability according to Dictionary.com is as follows:
The definition of resilience according to Dictionary.com is as follows:
- the ability of a person to adjust to or recover readily from illness, adversity, major life changes, etc.
- the ability of a system or organization to respond to or recover readily from a crisis, disruptive process, etc.
A lot of people will use adaptability and resilience interchangeably. However, they are different.
Adaptability is recognizing something has changed and then having the ability to create alternatives.
Resilience is all about finding ways to persevere.
In our careers in this highly disrupted world, we need to be able to adapt to the new reality. At the same time, we need to persevere with what is working for us now.
How Have You Been Adaptable in your Career?
I consider myself to be highly adaptable in both my career and life. My career failures have been many but I have always found a way to recover. I have spent a significant amount of time analyzing how I did this and why sometimes the recovery was easier than others.
I want you to do the same thing. First, read these two posts:
In all of these cases, I was making a Career Pivot and I had to be very adaptable. It is when we fail that we prove our ability to adapt. We live in a time when it is acceptable to fail. You may want to read my post Failure Is Not an Option Is Total BS.
How Have You Been Adaptable in your Personal Life?
Sometimes our greatest superpowers show up in our personal lives. My example of being adaptable in my personal life was when we decided to become ex-pats because of the explosion in the cost of our health insurance.
In October of 2016, we received our October surprise and it had nothing to do with Hillary Clinton. Our health insurance rates increased by 80%. We found another policy that kept our rate increase modest but the health coverage was not very good. So much so that in 2017, we spent over $25,000 for health insurance and healthcare and we did not reach our deductible.
That was the trigger for us to start exploring becoming an expat and moving to Mexico.
How Have You Been Resilient in your Career or Life?
In my life, my resilience has shown itself most clearly in my personal life. On July 11th of 2002, I had a near-fatal bicycle accident which I have written about several times on this blog. You can read about my accident in the post, A Near-Fatal Bicycle Accident Was Actually a Mammoth Gift.
My point is I did not adapt but I persevered to recover and move forward.
A good example of being resilient in your career is the story Thom Singer told on the podcast episode, 2021 Update – Pivoting a Speaking Career in a Time of Pandemic [Podcast].
Thom’s business is delivering keynote speeches on networking and being a master of ceremonies for a variety of conferences. The 2nd quarter of 2020 was to be Thom’s biggest quarter ever. In 3 days in March of 2020, every single event he was booked for in 2020 was canceled. Thom could have crawled up into a little ball and cried ‘woe is me.’ Instead, he decided to talk to one “smart person” every day to seek advice.
This, in my opinion, showed tremendous resilience.
Adaptability and Resilience Super Powers
How have you been adaptable and resilient in your life and career?
In future posts, I will be discussing how we develop our adaptability and resilience and work on turning them into superpowers.
The world is changing at an ever-increasing rate. The last couple of months have shown us just how quickly it can.