Photo: Seth Lemmons via Flickr
Oh to be agile, and not just in the sense of physical agility, although that would be nice too. The sense of agility that I’m referring to is, the ability to change focus, change the direction of your life, quickly and with as little impact on your life as a whole.Being able to quickly change direction, refocus, and get back on track are key qualities to establishing agility in your life. By being agile you’re better able to act on ideas, opportunities, and you can quickly start taking these ideas forward. But this is easier said than done, right? How can we become more agile? What if what it takes to become agile isn’t immediately obvious to us?
I have a few ideas that can help you get started on your path to being more agile in your life.
Imagine you have an idea you’re working toward or a goal that you’re striving to complete. You put the blinders on and become so focused on that one thing, you hang all your hopes and dreams on attaining it that you miss all the other opportunities that have come your way. This usually translates into you not being willing (or able) to change directions or look at other opportunities as having potential because you’re so focused on getting to that one ideal you’re so attached to.
Strict attachment to ideas and things, not only leads you to unhappiness, it also prohibits you from changing directions and simply going with the flow. As a result you’ll likely miss out on a lot of great opportunities along the way.
2. Be open minded
This is an extension of non-attachment. Once we let go of this one perfect idea we have for our life, we’re more open to accepting other ideas and other directions that may get us somewhere even more fulfilling, better or safer. To be open minded you need to be willing to listen to people and hear out ideas that may initially make you shudder, chuckle or roll your eyes. If you’re open-minded enough you will be able to take in the information, mull it over in your own head, research it and evaluate it and only then make a decision on it. By dismissing things too quickly simply because they make you uncomfortable or maybe you just don’t know enough about it, you just might be missing out on some great opportunities.
3. Make many little changes and put them out there
The thing many of us (myself included) get hung up on is perfection. We keep things hidden behind closed doors, because we’re not ready to put it out into the world. We’re not ready to let others see it and judge us based on what we’ve put out into the world. Well the sooner you realise that nothing is ever perfect the better off you’ll be. I would strongly urge you to try working towards “good enough” as opposed to “perfect”.
Work on little functional changes at a time and release them as quickly as you can. You will have more agility if you are able to change direction quickly based on immediate feedback from your customers, family members, or co-workers. Waiting until you have everything “just so” is OK but what if it’s not what everyone else wanted? What if the desires of everyone else have changed? What if one little thing sparked another train of thought that results in you having to throw out half of what you’ve already completed and start over to get to where everyone wants to get to now? Release little changes as quickly as possible and
4. Embrace change
Change can be very scary for some people. Some people enjoy feeling comfortable and secure and really count on the predictability of each day. If you are one of these people, that’s fine but to be more agile in life or at work, you need to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone and embrace change. This won’t happen over night, it definitely takes time but it can be done.
Start small and jump at every opportunity for change that you encounter. Like anything else the more you do it the more it will become a habit and the more successful you’ll be at embracing change. By not fighting change and instead embracing it processes are more likely to be improved and productivity and efficiency improves. Start today and take initiative to make deliberate changes to your life, your family and your situation as a whole.
Being agile is a great thing and it can result in a much richer and more interesting life. You will be better able to cope with (and circumvent) road blocks or obstacles that inevitably find their way onto your path. Being agile can help you keep a competitive edge and allow you to make decisions quickly and respond in a timely manner in any circumstance.
Are you an agile person? What other ideas can you think of that could move people to becoming more agile in their life.
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