Growth 4 min read

A Flexible Person Is a Happy Person

An inflexible attitude can derail your happiness and your destiny. Stop it now.

“A flexible person is a happy person,” my husband said, mimicking the expression I always use to adjust my attitude when my precious plans go awry.

This was his way is letting me know that something had just gone wrong but that he was putting forth an effort to “go with the flow”. While I haven’t “arrived,” I have made great strides in overcoming a rigid attitude. I used to put my plans in cement, and woe unto anybody who changed them. I would mostly likely strike their name off my list for any future interaction.

No more!

I’ve decided to make every effort to become a flexible person. In fact, I renew my commitment each time I see someone experiencing great frustration simply because he refuses to be flexible.

Ray is a typical example. His job as a city maintenance worker requires him to share a truck with Jack. Jack tends to get extremely hot and requires the windows in the vehicle to remain down—even when it’s quite chilly outside. Ray often finds the discomfort unbearable and infuriating. He has confronted Jack several times about the issue; company management refuses to get involved.

When I counseled Ray, I asked, “Why don’t you just take a heavier jacket to work since it’s easier to peel off layers of clothes? Jack obviously has a medical condition that causes his problem and there is a limit to the level of clothing he can peel off.”

At first, Ray was stuck on the fact that it just “should not be so.” When I pointed out that it was he — typical of inflexible people — who was experiencing the emotional turmoil, he realized that he could continue to live in “Shouldville” where everything happens at it “should,” or he could simply make the necessary changes.

Someone once said, “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.” Do you resist change and insist on your expectations? If so, find a quiet place and reflect on the following questions:

What are the unknowns that I fear about this change or deviation on plans?

If none of the things I fear could happen, how could this change improve the quality of my life spiritually, relationally, emotionally, financially, or physically?

Am I being lazy or complacent and not wanting to invest the necessary time and effort into the change?

Could it be that I’m missing a “destiny opportunity”  by resisting the proposed change? Know that inflexibility is an attempt to control an outcome.  Rather than being rigid, begin looking outside the box for solutions to your problems.

Start today to embrace a different way of doing something — even simple things — like  driving a different way to work, sitting in a different section at a regular meeting or at church, interacting  with people you don’t know, etc.  Pres. John F. Kennedy once said, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

Deborah Smith Pegues is a communications strategist, CPA/MBA, and bestselling author of numerous books including 30 Days to Taming Your Tongue (over 1,000,000 sold). Read more about her at ConfrontingIssues.com.

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