The legendary actor and martial artist Bruce Lee is famous for speaking about the flexibility of water, and how everyone should strive to be like it. After all, water does not have any set shape, and it conforms to whatever container it is placed in.
Not only is this statement applicable to the martial arts, but it is also connected to one essential life skill: the ability to adapt to change. Being able to adapt to the changing times is one of the most essential skills that a person can have.
Those who are not able to adapt, are very likely to get extinct sooner then those who are able to adapt. From warfare to science, technology, and politics, history has shown that those who are too tied to the past are bound to be left in the past.
One key factor that allowed Napoleon to crush his enemies was his ability to break away from the past; Napoleon developed military strategies which were revolutionary for the time, and his enemies, who were stuck in the "old fashioned" way of doing things, quickly succumbed to his forces when faced with their high speed movements.
Today, technology is changing at such a rapid pace that many traditional colleges and universities, which in the past were considered to be on the cutting edge of education, are being left in the dust. If you are able to adapt to the times and change when it is time to change, there is no limit to the power and success that you can achieve.
Being able to adapt is difficult for most humans, and the reason for this is because humans are creatures of habit; having to change our patterns and behaviours is frustrating and annoying. To illustrate this, most of us get annoyed with our bosses when we suddenly have to change the way we have been working.
We would really simply prefer to keep doing things the old way, since this allows us to stay in our comfort zone. Very few are able to cope without distress after being forced out of their comfort zone, However, it is important to know when to adapt, and when not to.
Adapting to the changing times is not always the wisest course of action. While the need to adapt to change is good in most cases, it should be done with a level of caution.
There are times when adapting to changes can bring more harm than good. To give an example, have you ever been in a situation where everything was fine, but you decided to change it for whatever reason, and your attempts to change it ended up making it worse?
As the old saying goes: if it are not broke, do not fix it. Change is only effective when it is absolutely necessary. Trying to fix a system that is not broken is a total waste of time. To understand this, think of technology.
Many people today are obsessed with the latest technological gadgets and gizmos. They run out and spend literally thousands of dollars on gadgets that are cool to have, but are not really needed.
While there are some fundamental tools that one does not want to be without today (such as a computer for instance), many of the gadgets and gizmos which people buy are a complete waste of money. For instance, there is no "real" difference between a $400 cell phone and a $20 one, both are designed to do the same basic thing, which is to make phone calls!
The people who waste money on these gadgets think that they are "adapting to the times," but in reality, they are making changes which are unnecessary. The only time that you should upgrade your technology is when the current technology is simply not efficient enough to help you accomplish your goals.
Just because a gadget company makes a change does not mean that the change is good for you. When those around your are adapting to the times, you must logically decide whether or not you should do the same. However, no matter what you do, never adapt to the changing times just because others around you are doing so.
Adapting to change should be done based on logic, not emotion. Many people refuse to change with the times because of an emotional attachment to the past. This is dangerous, since the past is the past, it is always prudent to look at present and also ahead on the future.
The past is something that cannot be changed, and those who are stuck in it are often doomed. As you become older, it becomes even more important for you to avoid being tied to the past, as this problem is more pronounced in older people than it is in the younger generation.