Better to bend than break

When life changes direction, are you able to change with it?

Are you flexible and open to new experiences?

Are you able to break free from old patterns and habits?

Or do you struggle to adapt to anything new and different?

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Flexibility and Change

In this interview on CBC-TV, Chris Hyndman and I examine the psychology of change. Including how individual differences (e.g., Type A vs. Type B, Optimist vs. Pessimist) impact how we respond to change. We also share 5 ways to embrace change. Including staying open and receptive to new beginnings and unexpected opportunities.

How to Embrace Change: Watch Here

Flexibility and Resilience

At the beginning of my TEDx: Dr. Andrea Dinardo: Thriving Under Pressure | TED Talk I describe how the flexibility of palm trees helps them adapt and ultimately be strengthened by hurricanes.

How to Thrive Under Pressure: Watch Here

10 Concrete Ways to Become More Open and Flexible in Everyday Life

  1. Wake up one hour earlier to enjoy some unexpected quiet time.
  2. Exercise at night instead of in the morning.
  3. Try gluten-free or vegan to support a dear friend.
  4. Swap your favourite hobby for something brand new.
  5. Sit in a different spot in the classroom than youโ€™re used to.
  6. Drive a different, more scenic way home tonight.
  7. Meet three new people in your community this week.
  8. Trade television for library books for one month straight.
  9. Go to sleep on the opposite side of the bed.
  10. Spend the weekend silent and completely word free.

Do the opposite of what you normally do.

Stay Open to the Possibilities: Watch Here

44 thoughts on “Better to bend than break

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      1. I watched the youtube and it was great! I agree, for me it’s the fear sometimes of the unknown. I try to just embrace it like you said. Go with the flow. Being kind to people is something I love to do too with complete strangers. A simple simile can make someone’s day. Thank you again–wonderful information ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. Funny, but I used “Do the opposite of what you normally do” quite literally with a partner in the past. She was I guess what you’d call geographically challenged, so whenever she needed to know where to go – left or right, north or south, etc. – I’d say do the opposite of what first comes to mind…and it worked! Well, most of the time. Okay, some of the time. But some of the time is better than none of the time!

  2. I liked that take on flexibility. I love finding those small things that you can do in a new way – and then the world shines in a different color. Never connected that to flexibility though.

  3. Just discovered your website. Your ideas for building flexibility are great. I love the willow tree analogy. It’s so easy to get stuck and cling to our routines, especially when we are in the midst of grief or trauma. What would you say is the difference between flexibility and adaptability?

    1. In a general sense, I see flexibility & adaptability as interchangeable. Both traits create an openness to experience, and thus help individuals to embrace unexpected change more readily. What about you Evelyn? How do you characterize and/or differentiate between the two.

      1. I agree with you, Dr. Dinardo, but I just wondered if you saw a difference. I think adaptability is often used situationally, a kind of “go-with-the-flow” mentality, such as a person who can easily deal with a change in environment or plans. Flexibility may be more linked to trying new things or being willing to compromise. I work as a private education consultant. Parents often appreciate my flexibility in scheduling their children’s appointments. On the whole, though, I find this is a muscle I must continue to stretch. Glad to meet you.

  4. Thanks for your continued support for my blog posts. Bending but not breaking is truly one of the ‘secrets of success’ in life. I always enjoy my visits here!

    1. Me too Brigid! I love how nature empowers us to think a different way. Growth vs fixed mindset. Helping us to than see โ€œthe windโ€ in our lives as strength-building rather than as a destructive force. A path to lift off & growth!๐Ÿ’จโœˆ๏ธ

    1. Thanks so much! I definitely have a unique voice. People might forget what I look like but they always recognize me by my voice. No matter how many years itโ€™s been. No matter how many aisles away they are in Walmart. My voice always gives me away. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

    1. Good example of flexibility in action Suyog. Also the centrepiece of guerrilla marketing. An approach I use everyday in the classroom. It keeps my students guessing and the professor on her toes!

    1. Good for you Arbie! Trying one thing different almost always leads us down a better path. From automatic, unconscious thinking (or lack there of) to wide open hearts and exciting new experiences.

    1. Me too! Feeling stuck in life is equally about our own unwillingness to flex and move as it is about what’s happening outside us. Flexibility by word alone opens us up to the possibilities that live beyond our own state of mind and circumstance. As they say, this is where the magic happens..

      1. Yes magic happens when we get flexible and out of our stiff comfort zone.

        If we stay stiff and storms come than there is a strong chance we break….

        I loved this post of yours. So great and worth being reminded of.

        Thanks again

  5. This reminds me of how enslaved and addicted we’ve become to things that were meant to serve us e.g cell phones, television etc… Caution must be applied before we get ruined by these bitter sweet agents…

    1. I like how you write “bitter sweet agents” of technology. Because if we’re aren’t careful, they’ll be taking over every aspect of our lives. One more reason to take a break from tech and check ourselves back into this sweet authentic life. ๐Ÿ™‚

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