We’ve all heard the phrase, “Adapt and Overcome,” but how often do we actually apply it to our everyday lives? All those times something didn’t go according to plan and we take it as a loss and go on about our business exactly as we were before. We as humans, like a routine. It makes us feel safer to do the same thing day in and day out, even if those habits aren’t exactly what we need to do to be our best self.
There is a right of passage every Navy SEAL must go through known as “drown proofing”. During this process, the Instructors tie the sailors’ hands and feet together, toss them into the 9 foot deep pool, and see how they react. Many fail by becoming panicked and either drop out on request or need to be resuscitated after they pass out. Those who pass however, remained calm, resisted the urge to breathe, and did not even try to swim. You see, they didn’t accept their lot and just roll with what was given to them, they actually overcame the most basic of human instincts, survival. Our body’s reflex to this situation would be to try and swim out (or more accurately, flail about underwater until we pass out) but those who knew how to adapt were able to calm themselves down, rise above their situation, and make it work for them.
Success in the workplace is based on adaptability and learning from mistakes. We teach our employees to encourage these challenges thrown at us because they force us to change our previous habits and adapt to become our best self.