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Flexible People Are Happy People (or, Why You Should Embrace Change)

Teaching yourself to become adaptable is a great way to embrace change. Nothing is permanent in life, so you may find you’re a happier person when you go with the flow. Robyn Openshaw, author of VIBE, shares the value of conquering “new normals.” 

Change is inevitable, and those who learn to embrace it win!

In these first fifty years, I’ve seen such dramatic shifts in the stages of my life that they almost seem to have nothing to do with each other. One of the most important things I’ve learned is to work hard while simultaneously floating with the current rather than against it.

It’s almost as if I’ve reinvented myself every seven years, as the press says Madonna has.

I bet you have done some reinventing too. One almost has to in order to remain viable and keep up with the pace of change in the modern world.

Then there are the phases of my personal life, the partners I’ve danced with (married for twenty years, and several serious relationships in the past ten). I have learned that if I stay energetically stuck in a relationship, my growth is slowed.

If I embrace rather than resist each new stage, I’m happier. My adult phases include being a single college student; then married, pursuing a professional career, and working through years of infertility issues with my husband; then a wife and mom, raising four small children born within six years of one another; then a single mom to teens and young adults. Soon I’ll be single with kids raised and gone—and little grandchildren, probably.

Happiness means loving and embracing the phase I’m in, learning everything I can from it, and being at peace with the fact that it, like all else, will come to an end.

And why not reinvent and be willing to grow? The more comfortable we are with change, the more adaptable we make ourselves and the more we “roll with the punches” and enjoy life and the neverending variety we encounter.

I’ve become so adaptable, embracing “new normals,” that in some ways I almost worry that I’ve become too tolerant of change. There’s almost nothing that surprises me. “Truth is stranger than fiction” has become a mantra for me as life unfolds.

Every time I reach a new normal, I know that it’s just a way station until more upheaval and change that I could not have predicted, and cannot control, come along. Nothing about life has been predictable except for the constant of change!

My entire career has been reborn many times. I’ve rebuilt from nothing over and over. The half-life of my formal education gets shorter and shorter, with more technologies, more apps, more acceleration from the information age of fifteen years ago to the digital age we’ve entered.

My kids were babies, toddlers, preteens, teenagers, and now adults. I can’t get too attached to the current phase they’re in, because they keep “becoming.”

But I can enjoy the process and the path. After all, change is inevitable.

Flexible people are happy people!

For more advice on how to embrace change, check out out VIBE by Robyn Openshaw.

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Also from Tips on Life & Love: Embrace Change: How to Make New Actions Second Nature

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Excerpted from Vibe by Robyn Openshaw. Copyright © 2017 by the author. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

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