I’ve noticed that the most successful people and the happiest people in life tend to be the most adaptable.

Years ago I knew two people that had worked in a local factory for many years and both got made redundant at the same time. One went on to get an even better job while the other never worked again and drifted into a deep depression. So what was the difference between these two individuals?

The answer is that the successful one was adaptable, while the other one wasn’t. The unsuccessful one claimed that all he knew in life was how to work in a factory and that it was impossible to get any other kind of job. He then just seemed to give up on life.

The successful found it difficult to get another job at first, but he went to evening classes to update his skills. That led him to get another job and then a few years later he was earning much more than he was at the factory. This guy was adaptable. He knew he didn’t have the right skills for a different job so he decided to learn whatever new skills were needed. He adapted to the new situation he was faced with.

I live in Thailand these days and see the same thing here. What I see here is that expats are generally split into two groups; a happy group that has adapted to a new culture and an unhappy group that refuses to adapt and wants everything to be the same as their Western culture back home.

Being adaptable in life is critically important. The world is changing at an increasingly faster rate, and so we will need to be even more adaptable in the future than we have needed to be in the past.