To adapt to any situation is akin to self-mastery. The two are synonymous, to achieve self-mastery, you must have absolute control over yourself. You are in control of your life. You do not live life by the circumstances of that day – you live your life with autonomy and you will charter your own course by taking command. This is not 1,000 year ago – everything changes, everyday, and if you cannot change with the situation, you will make excuses as to why you cannot do something. By making excuses, you will only make yourself feel bad and you will inevitably feel self-pity – which is the opposite of progress.
Some say the Chinese civilization was the wisest of them all. One of the proverbs that stood out to me while reading about their culture said something like “the wise adapt themselves to circumstances, as water molds itself to the pitcher”. The skill to complete our daily objective in any environment is the quintessential trait for success.
My Journey of Adaptability
Personally, I have been victim to this – I felt as if college was degrading my growth. I fell stagnant for a while, and then completely lost any inkling to do any work. I resorted to watching movies, TV, eating poorly and more vile acts. This was a daily occurrence and I kept feeling self-pity and I always thought, “if only I was not here… Then I could do what I must do”. This is one of the most pervasive, yet damaging mindsets that we could ever partake in.
For over a month, I read no books, did not blog, and felt depressed. I then came to a realization – life isn’t going to push me around, fabricated circumstances are not going to harpoon me to act a certain way. I am going to be productive and motivated, no matter my position in life. My geographical location, my feelings at the moment and my overall position in life are no longer going to dictate how I live each and every day.
The Essence of Greatness
I believe the greats were never versions of someone else. You never would say Michael Jordan was like so and so or that he was like him and that other guy put together. No – he is Michael Jordan. If you want to be successful, you need to adapt to whatever your situation is – be akin to water and fill your container, whatever shape that may be.
I guarantee you that the greats did not say, “I can only play basketball here”. Or “I can only write here”. No, they practiced their craft wherever they were; they ran their businesses no matter what was happening around them. The state of adaptability is one of self-mastery; it is the primordial step into the elites – a world where excuses are not made, a world where they get their list of things to do done – in the order they wish.
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. – Charles Darwin
Over the next few weeks, while in college, I will be working in different buildings, in different rooms – this will allow me to train myself that my environment doesn’t dictate when I do something. We are habitual creatures, and by training ourselves to only work in one place everyday, we have a very tough time working anywhere else. That is why it is pivotal to train your mind through deliberate conditioning that you can do whatever you please anywhere and anytime.
We all wish for self-mastery – yet only few achieve it. Whether you know it or not, we are all on the same path, to realize why we are here, to understand what our innate greatness is at it’s core. But to discover what that elusive calling is right now, you need to believe in yourself and have the ironclad mindset of I am in control here – not outside situations or other people. I control myself, my actions are because I allowed them to be this way, and I take full responsibility for what I produce in life. Nobody cares what you had to go through, people only care about the results you produce. So stop making excuses and take control of your life.