We have agency over our lives: the power to act and create change that brings us closer to our dreams. But if this past year has taught us anything, it’s that there is still plenty that is out of our control. There are times when the things we cannot control overwhelm us and make us feel powerless. We lose our way, our momentum, and our balance. At times like these it’s hard to remember that we still have that agency, however small our range of influence may shrink to. But if we make a regular practice out of wielding that power, we can become experts of it and gain the confidence we need to face the chaos that threatens to overwhelm us.
Everyone needs a certain level of structure — a level and style unique to each person — but structure doesn’t have to be rigid. In fact, the most robust structures are flexible and dynamic because the people who designed and built them understood that rigid structures break more easily. Beyond that, we shouldn’t aim to build a life that is entirely predictable either, even if it would mean absolute stability, because sometimes being knocked off balance can be a good thing. It can bring inspiration, teach us new lessons, and show us new perspectives. But in order to be receptive to the good, we must anticipate the chaos and learn to make the most of it. We do this by building adaptability into our lives and into the systems that support them.
There will still be moments when we get thrown off balance in a bad way, but the adaptability we gain will help us recover and find opportunity for growth and healing even amidst all the bad.
So how do we build adaptability into our lives and create systems that provide stability, while also preparing ourselves to weather and even enjoy the inherent unpredictability of the world we live in?
- We build adaptability and flexibility through a regular habit of Reflection and Adjustment
- We create flexible and dynamic stability by building Modular Systems that can be pulled apart and recombined to suit our momentary needs again and again.
Remember, balance is not a state but an activity. We move our body and tense our muscles in order to control our position in space. Our “sense” of balance is a physiological system which constantly monitors and controls our body relative to gravity. It’s working even when we’re not conscious of it. But when we are conscious of it, we can train it to react more appropriately and thus improve our balancing skill.