Mon. Sep 28th, 2020

 

Ever find yourself in the most perfect or seemingly perfect moment? You want things to stay that way. Well, as a human, you probably have already discovered that very few things are static or unchanging. Our emotions, feelings, and thoughts make up a storm that continues raging until the day we pass.

Most of us, including the most’ successful’, have learned how to adapt to new circumstances. Sure, a perfect moment is warm and comforting. A lot of people want to stay in that moment for as long as possible. I am going to pose the question: is this really for the best? I am not suggesting we discount theories or the benefits of staying in the moment, but is it really in our best interest never to change? Most certainly not.

As a species, on a biological level, we evolve. Our bodies adapt to the necessities of life. If adaptation is not in our biology, then our very DNA as a species transforms our bodies’ physiology to the needs of the day. So, why wouldn’t the same be confirmed on a more micro level? The answer is, it is in our best interest. Once asked to write a piece on my transformation as a person. I focused on my struggle with a significant mental health disorder. When conceptualizing this, I couldn’t help but think of that perfect moment I talked about earlier. Why do things have to change? Well, before my mental health condition, I was happy.

Well, this almost the case. The truth is, I was delighted for the most part to be alive. There were moments where I certainly experienced intense moments of joy. I wasn’t a very good person, though. Certainly not a humanitarian or advocate of people with disabilities I am today. I was happy, though.

When my illness first struck in 2003 and then again in 2008, I was too bitter and angry. I would ask: why did this have to happen to me? Then, I persisted against my new barriers. To be more specific, I learned how to adapt to my disorder. I relearned how to interact with people, given my newfound disability-related circumstances. I also learned new ways of interacting with the world and its rules for living without incident altogether. I was successful in doing so. As I grew, my interests shifted. I went through a period of growth and transformation. I became a stronger person.

When I look back and place myself in the memory of that beautiful moment before 2008, I understand it to be not so perfect. Certainly nowhere near as memorable as the moments I have come to experience in my life. These are just some of the psychological benefits of being adaptive and why we transform as people.

Imagine all the other reasons there are for transformation. I will never understand people who refuse to accept new ideas and the genesis or cross-pollination of concepts: inventive thinking. Being conservative is excellent, in some senses of the word. Keeping what’s right in our lives and protecting positive aspects of our selves, our culture, and our world from being polluted or harmed. Another good thing! But when being conservative interferes with listening, taking in new information, and reforming our way of doing things, I genuinely worry about our future.

Above all, I worry about all people that want the status quo to persist forever. These are certainly not the people I want around me. I want transformative and adaptive people in my circles, either social, political, or any group with a vested interest in my wellbeing. Like I said before, the most successful of us understand the importance of change and incorporating movement into the very fabric of their lives. Movement or locomotion is critical to our abilities to adapt and inherent in the same biology. Without a doubt, I am shedding light on our potential’s upper limits to persist into the future and beyond.

So, are you ready for change yet? To transform and grow beyond yourself. Perhaps even take more on? Think of that new job waiting for you that you believed was too much or couldn’t handle. That illness just got the best of you. Well, I am suggesting that the creative and successful mind can achieve and will do so if you remain open to what’s possible by understanding your limits as barriers and those barriers as the next obstacle you eliminated on the road to success and happiness.

By J. Peters

J. Peters writes on his lived experience, and also brings his story into the work. Mr. Peters blogs daily on his site mentalhealthaffairs.blog and for other sites around the United States and Europe, bringing his passion for mental health to people everywhere.

One thought on “Why we Adapt”

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.