Always be open to reevaluating your goals and objectives in the light of new information, technology or competition. Based on what you now know, is this the best course of action? If it is not, what else should you do? What else could you do?
If it is a goal, and the circumstances under which you made the goal have changed dramatically, be sure that you still want it badly enough to struggle and sacrifice for it. Be willing to drop it and set a new goal if you have changed your mind, or if the goal is no longer as important to you today as it once was.
In a time of rapid change, resolve to be the first to recognize and embrace change when it occurs. Expect it as part of the normal and natural course of events. Refuse to be surprised or upset when things do not work out the way you thought they would, or should.
Be Flexible In Your Relationships
Especially, be flexible with the important people in your life – your family, your friends, your coworkers and your customers. Be open to differing points of view and different ideas. Be continually willing to admit that you could be wrong, because you often are.
One of the characteristics of the best leaders is that they are good listeners. They ask a lot of questions and take in all the information possible before making up their minds or coming to a final conclusion. They also admit failure and cut their losses quickly when they make a mistake so they can move on to bigger and better things.
The Theory of Precession
There is another aspect of flexibility that you should bear in mind for the rest of your life and career. Buckminster Fuller, the scientist and philosopher, called it the “Theory of Precession,” which does not appear in any dictionary or encyclopedia. Dr. Robert Ronstadt of Babson College called it the “Corridor Principle.”
Napoleon Hill referred to this finding by the most successful people in America by saying that, “within every setback or obstacle there lies the seed of an equal or greater opportunity or benefit.”
What this means is that, when you set a new goal for yourself, you will have a general idea of the steps you should take and the direction you should pursue. But almost inevitably, as you start off, you will run into unexpected roadblocks that make it impossible to continue in that direction. However, by some miracle, just as you reach a wall, another door of opportunity will open along the corridor to success.
Because you are flexible, you will quickly take advantage of the new opportunity and begin moving in that direction, developing that new product or service, selling into that new market or customer base. But as you move down this new corridor, you will run into another obstacle or roadblock that might again block your progress. Just as you hit this new wall or obstruction however, another opportunity will open up for you and take you down a different corridor toward your goal.
This may happen several times, with several false starts. In almost every case, you will achieve your greatest success in an area very different from what you initially thought when you started out. You will achieve your greatest business and personal successes doing things that are very different from what you had initially planned. The key is to remain flexible.