By Charles Alvarez , Contributor, the Price of Business Show. * Sponsored
It is in the nature of things that some people will be more successful and happier than others. Some people will make more money, have better lives, enjoy greater fulfillment and satisfaction, have happier relationships and contribute more to their communities. Others will not.
The Menninger Institute of Kansas City conducted a study not long ago to determine what qualities would be most important for success and happiness in the 21st century. They concluded, after extensive research, that the most important single quality that you can develop, in a time of rapid change, is the quality of “flexibility.”
The opposite of flexibility is “rigidity.” The opposite of flexible thinking is fixed or mechanical thinking. The opposite of approachinglife with an open mind is to react automatically and predictably in every situation. The opposite of flexibility is an unwillingness to change in the face of new information or circumstances. The quality of flexibility is therefore essential if you want to be, do and have more than the average person.
The Speed of Change
Today, perhaps the most important factor affecting your life is the speed of change. We are living in an age where change is taking place at a faster rate than ever before in human history. And if anything, the rate of change is increasing, year-by-year.
Change today is not only faster, but it is also discontinuous, not following a straight line but starting, stopping and going off in unpredictable directions. Change is coming at us from all sides and in so many different ways that it is often impossible to anticipate what might happen next.
By its very nature, change is unpredictable, often forcing us to scrap our very best plans and ideas overnight as the result of acompletely new and unexpected development coming from a new and unexpected direction. As a result, we have to remain flexible in our thinking and in our possible courses of action.
A Major Cause of Stress
Change causes enormous stress for people who are fixed or rigid in their beliefs about how things “should be.” They fall in love with what they are doing, with their current methods and processes, and are unwilling to change, even in the face of overwhelming evidence. Don’t let this happen to you.
The only real question you should be asking about what you are doing is, “Does it work?” Is it achieving the end results desired? Based on the current situation, is this the best course of action? The only measure of the rightness or wrongness of a particular decision or course of action is its effectiveness in accomplishing the result desired, or achieving the goal you have set. Keep asking, “Does it work?”
Sponsored by the Price of Business, on Bloomberg’s home in Houston, TX