Are you struggling to get around the obstacles that are keeping you from your goals? Focused Flexibility is the ability to stay honed in on your goals but flexible in the process to get there.
You need to bend and flex when life throws the unexpected in your path. Because it will. Be focused on your goals but flexible enough in the journey to twist and turn in the storms.
Road to Nowhere
A group of friends took a vacation to the beach. One night, they drove across the bridge to the neighboring town. When plotting their return, they decided to be adventurous and take the back roads.
“Turn here,” the navigator pointed to a smaller road off the already small road where they had been driving.
“Are you sure?”
“That’s what the map shows.”
The road had no lines and was big enough for two cars only if they were both small and going well below the speed limit. The headlights hit a sign up ahead:
The driver slowed down in anticipation of the already small road becoming a smaller dirt or gravel road. Instead, the pavement abruptly ended at the edge of a bay.
The group of friends could see their condo across the water. It was their goal, and they were determined to get back to it. They faced several choices:
- Push on forward and hope for the best despite all the warnings.
- Sit still and wait for the way to appear before them.
- Turn around and find another route to their destination.
When it is put this way, it seems simple enough. You turn around and find another route. When it comes to the pursuit of success, the right answer gets foggy. You get so determined to reach your goal that you become rigid in the pursuit, which keeps you from getting around through the detours, getting around the blocks, or getting over the walls.
Practice Focused Flexibility
1. Know where you are going.
It matters little how flexible you are in the journey if you aren’t certain where you want to go. Define your focus.
“Let’s go for a ride,” the husband offered to his wife.
“Okay.” She followed him out and got into the passenger seat.
The husband drove around for almost an hour before the wife looked around, confused. “Why are we going this way?”
“But where are we going?” She looked frustrated.Flexibility is a good thing, but it won’t move you closer to your goal if you haven’t defined the goal.
“For a ride.”
“But why are we going this way?”
“Is there another direction you wanted us to take?”
“Not really. You’re driving.”
“Then does it matter?” Now the husband was getting frustrated.
“I just thought you could have gone that way.”
“And so we can.” He turned the car around and went the way she suggested.
“Now where are we going?”
The husband laughed and continued to drive.
Flexibility is a good thing, but it won’t move you closer to your goal if you haven’t defined the goal.
2. Find your way to enjoy the journey.
When you enjoy the journey, even the detours become a game.
The family headed for their camping site to enjoy a long weekend. A few miles from their exit, the traffic ahead slowed to a crawl. What should have been a few minutes stretched beyond an hour.
It would have been easy to get frustrated. The kids had already been in the car for longer than the parents liked. The plan had been to arrive at the campsite with enough light to play. The plan sank with the sun with each passing minute.
The youngest son piped up just as the nerves were about to get the better of everyone in the car. “Hey, we’ve seen that car. Jack is driving, and BethAnne is the one with her feet on the dash. Jack hates it when she does that, but she always forgets and does it anyway.”If you are willing to enjoy the journey, you can find something to help the journey along even if the journey wasn’t what you expected.
“What?” Mom hadn’t been paying attention, but as he went on with the story, she tried to catch up.
“That green car. We’ve passed it a couple of times.
The middle son leaned forward, now more interested in what was around him than where they hadn’t gotten. “I think I’ve seen that car.”
The youngest smiled. “We have. Do you remember who’s in the car?”
And the game of “Traveler ID” was born.
If you are willing to enjoy the journey, you can find something to help the journey along, even if the journey wasn’t what you expected.
3. Be flexible in the going.
You have to grow into your flexibility to put flexibility to work in the storms.
A woman spent big money landscaping her yard. She took special pride in the large tree she had the landscapers plant in the center of her circular drive.
A small storm hit the community later that year. Even though the wind hadn’t gotten too bad and the storm had damaged no trees. But her pride tree had broken in half.
When the landscaper came out to see the damage, she demanded to know what had happened.
“You wanted a mature tree. You found a mature tree at a nursery. The tree had been grown in the shelter of the nursery. Because it lived its life sheltered, it never developed the flexibility it needed to survive a storm. Trees need to grow up moving with the wind to weather the storm.”
Focused Flexibility Through the Storms
Find your way to bend and flex when the storms come because they will come. The more you bend and flex, the more flexible you will be. The more flexible you are, the more you will be rooted and strengthened to deal with what comes along.
Focused flexibility is a combination of focus, joy, and flexibility that work together not just to get you through the storms but to lift you to your success.
Find your way to be invested in focused flexibility.
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