This is the seventh in my ten part Keys of Success series. A new key will be featured every Monday.
Watching a tree during a storm is a marvelous thing. As the winds pick up, the leaves and the branches begin to rustle and then sway in the wind. If they get stronger, you will see the tree bend, and then bend some more. The big old trees are often as flexible, if not moreso than the young saplings. Even when a tree finally succumbs and breaks, imagine how many storms it had to weather to make it that far.
The tree will sway and bend but the roots dig in and stay strong. I maintain that our ideals, our values, our beliefs, are our roots. Our plans, actions and goals are our limbs and trunk. To be successful, we have to be able to bend but still stay rooted in the things that matter most.
You might have to change your plans. If your plan isn’t working or isn’t effective, you might have to bend a little. Don’t be afraid to change your course. In my 20’s, I fell in love with the idea of moving to Phoenix. I wanted to have my own mythical Phoenix experience in the city that bore it’s name. I wanted to fly headfirst into the fiery Phoenician desert and emerge a new creature. It sounded so romantic!
Well, 9 months later, I was miserable. I could have dug my feet in and ‘toughed it out’ maybe things would have changed, but maybe they wouldn’t have. I decided to have my Phoenix experience in Maryland. It was a change of plans but one that was definitely for the better.
You might decide to scrap your plan all together, in favor of something else. That’s okay too. From childhood through the first half of college, I wanted to be an attorney. I had romantic notions of the law and nobly defending the downtrodden, getting justice and righting wrongs! After taking a few pre-law courses, I changed my mind. The law (like Phoenix a few years later) just wasn’t for me. Journalism was. I’ve never looked back.
Rigid trees, the ones that can’t bend, break in a storm. When things have gotten hard for me, I’ve bent but I’ve never been broken.
Flexibility is a key to success.