A quote attributed to Charles Darwin, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”, is something which speaks volumes about a quality which is not the first one to come to mind when asked about something you would like to acquire.

Adaptability has often been misinterpreted as simply adjusting to changing circumstances, but it is much more than that. Adaptability is about having a solid core, an open mind, and a resilient spirit. It is about embracing change as it comes and being able to dream anyway.

In the current context of COVID-19, a lot of organizations, nations, individuals, and other entities will go through change which may affect them in different manners depending on how adaptable they are. When the storm passes and the dust settles, the entities which will remain will most likely tell you how they survived and one thing which may be a recurring theme would be that of adaptability.

So, how does one become more agile and adaptable?

1. Stop complaining
Yes, the situation worsened by no fault of your own. Yes, your well set plans were thrown into disarray in a way you could not imagine, but adaptability is as much about your mindset as it is about anything else. It is important to acknowledge how you feel about a situation and come to terms with it.

2. Keep your core but also remain flexible
Keep your essence intact, don’t try to change everything in a flash, rather adopt flexibility about certain things you did not consider earlier. Could you do your work from home? Could this meeting happen over a call? Could this collaboration still be performed if there is no activity?

3. Be open to change
Quite simply, this is the most important thing which will improve your adaptability. Being open to change will help you see things from a perspective where even if something goes wrong, you already have some sort of a plan because you accounted for change. Remember, change is inevitable, but progress is optional.

4. Enjoy Problem Solving
Look at every situation thrown at you as a problem which needs to be solved, think about how you would solve the problem from different perspectives. This will improve your adaptability by pushing your mind out of its comfort zone. Reshape your perspectives in everyday life to prepare yourself for when you need it.

5. Build a more optimistic attitude

Try to see the silver lining in any situation, make sure you don’t blame yourself for certain situations and be willing to learn additional skills to solve problems which may come across. A positive attitude and self-talk will help you strengthen your resolve and eventually survive any crisis

Adaptability is a useful quality to have, and it is something which needs to be practised in everyday life and not just when you find a critical situation. It is a combination of many things which need to be in place such as your perspective, preparation, problem solving, and patience. Remember, Adaptability is the simple secret to survival.