Given the opportunity, most (if not all) people will reel off a list of things that they would like to change about their life. That's not to say (necessarily) that their current reality is intolerable or in immediate need of change, but rather that there are areas of their life which could do with a little 'renovating'. On some level, we all want more; more happiness, more freedom, more peace, more money, more health, more excitement, more fun, more recognition, more love, more opportunities..... and so on.

Creatures of habit.

For many people, their inability to adapt and to deal with change is what stops them from fulfilling their potential and living their best life. They are creatures of habit (bad habit) and they are largely controlled by fear. New things (situations, circumstances, environments, challenges, people) freak them out, and typically they are addicted to routine and all things familiar. Mostly, they avoid discomfort at all costs.

Being a person who is incapable of dealing with change is somewhat of a handicap in a constantly changing, dynamic world. While life is often messy, uncomfortable and unpredictable, these people gravitate towards predictable, familiar, comfortable and safe - not a great way to make any kind of progress or to create positive change.

If life was a theory...

My experience has taught me that the people who succeed (in whatever endeavour) are often those who are the most adaptable; those who can deal with change, discomfort and the unpredictability of life. Surprisingly, in the quest to create a better life (or part thereof), the determinant of success is far less likely to be things like talent, skill level, intelligence or potential, and much more likely to be an individual's ability to adapt to change and challenge. As an employer, I would prefer to hire the person with less talent and more adaptability than the genius who can't cope with the lumps, bumps and hurdles of everyday life. If life was a theory, I'd go for the genius but being as it's an actual event, I'll go with the person with the amazing coping skills thanks.

The last few days here in the snow fields of Keystone, Colorado have been interesting for me because everything is unfamiliar; different money, different climate (ten inches of snow fell today), different culture, different language (yes Americans and Aussies speak English but it ain't the same language!), different food, different attitudes and different rules. Not better or worse, just different. Even ordering a coffee at Starbucks proved to be a lesson for me. I have had plenty of lessons since I've arrived and I love learning new things about different people and their culture.

The microwaved brain.

For the boy who grew up in sun-drenched Australia, walking around in minus ten temperatures (Celsius), and ankle deep snow at nearly ten thousand feet above sea level has been a steep learning curve. Today I walked about one kilometre without my hat and I nearly snap-froze my brain. Honestly. As I left my apartment I remembered that I had left my hat behind and being the genius alpha, male warrior (aka idiot) that I am, I figured I wouldn't need it for such a short trip. I figured wrong. When I got home I had to put my brain in the microwave (30 seconds on defrost). Needless to say I have learned and I am adapting.

If you're all about taking your reality from mediocre to amazing (or you want to be), then it's imperative that you learn to deal with the unpredictability of life. Revel in it even. That's where we learn, grow and and adapt, and that's where the real joy is.

Some suggestions:

1. Don't let yourself get too comfortable. A little comfort is great, too much holds us back.

2. Consciously put yourself in challenging situations - the ones you've avoided for too long. Stop being a big baby and step up to the plate. Stop waiting for success to fall on your head.

3. Do the same things a different way. Like when we do a daily workout as we have done for years and then one day we decide to completely change the way we do that workout. We will see our body start to adapt straight away because we have stimulated it differently. Like our body, our mind needs to be stimulated and challenged for it to learn and adapt. If we always do the same things that same way, we'll always produce the same results.

4. Work hard to avoid being a creature of habit. Some habits are good but that's not what we're talking about here. Sometimes we do things a certain way simply because that's what we've always done.

5. Do new stuff. Just because you can. Surprise yourself and others. Stop being so predictable and safe. Stop being so logical and reasonable you boring old fart. Stop rationalising your fear by giving it another label.

6. Face those fears. Our inability or unwillingness to adapt is usually fear-based. Start with the little stuff (minor challenges), gain some confidence and then graduate to the big stuff. Do something that scares you.

Author's Bio: 

Craig Harper (B.Ex.Sci.) is the #1 ranked Motivational Speaker (according to Google). He is a qualified exercise scientist, author, columnist, radio presenter, television host and owner of one of the largest personal training centres in the world.

Motivational Speaker - Craig Harper