Happiness and flexibility

Happiness and flexibility

Here’s another great happiness article from Lou Tice of The Pacific Institute.

Those of us who knew the 90’s were a time of rapid change, and thought the new century would be no different, were right. The ability to quickly adapt is still a survival skill, one that has set the human species apart from most others.

One of the secrets to happiness in these changing times is the ability to be flexible – the power to adapt. Some people make themselves miserable by being very stubborn about their plans for the future. They choose a path and refuse to deviate from it, no matter what.

Now, persistence and tenacity are normally great qualities to have, but when it’s necessary to take a new direction, resistance can keep us stuck in the mud. The happiest and most successful people I know are those who are eager to learn new ways. They adapt to new systems when the old ones don’t work or when something better comes along.

If one career path fails, they cheerfully learn a new way to make a living. If their marriage ends, they are able to adjust to being alone or to a new relationship. If people frustrate them and they see that these folks aren’t going to change, they accept them the way they are and relax, or they express their regrets without judging or blaming and move on.

The Alcoholic’s Anonymous ‘serenity” prayer says it all: Change what you can, accept what you can’t, and cultivate the wisdom to know the difference. To these wise words I would add only, “believe wholeheartedly in your ability to do both!”

And from The Happiness Institute’s perspective, I would add: Be happy with what you have, accept and don’t covet what you don’t have, and be wise enough to know the difference.