by Kelvin Belfon
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.” ~ Albert Einstein
Two days ago I celebrated my 39th birthday. A lot has changed over the years. When I was 9 years old, my teacher, back in Venezuela, asked the class to draw a picture of what each student wanted to be. It was easy, I wanted to be un maestro (a teacher)!
Since then, I’ve dreamt of becoming a professional cricket player, working in a Spanish embassy as a translator in some foreign country, being a pastor, a banker and even a business owner.
Along with these ambitions, a few unexpected life events also happened. I’ve lived in 3 different countries (Grenada, Venezuela, and now the US) and visited over 10 others. I earned a Master’s degree in my field a few years back. And the mother of all unpredicted accomplishments…I’m husband and father to what is considered in this country, a large family.
Marriage was never on my radar. When it happened, I cried during the ceremony from pure joy. Camilla and I didn’t have plans for children either. And we didn’t try to get pregnant for the first 8 years. Today, we have a 6-year old boy, a 3-year old girl and 4-month-old boy/girl twins. It’s funny how you change over tim.
I think it goes without saying that over the past 39 years, one of the key lessons of life I’ve learned is the importance of staying flexible.
Life Is No Smooth Sail
Life is not constant. Change should be expected as a normal process with lots of ups and downs, losses, disappointments, and victories. I struggled with this concept when I was younger. But now I’ve become more open to handling life’s uncertainties with maturity.
A rigid or inflexible mind causes frustration, unrealistic expectations, constant feelings of regret and unhappiness about your current state of being. Inflexibility may also lead to stubbornness and keep us stuck in the past. Over the last year or so, I’ve stumbled upon a handful of great opportunities that I fear I might have missed had I taken the stubborn route.
The Importance of Staying Flexible
Staying Flexible is liberating and gives us more choices. If something doesn’t work one way, having the courage to consider another option is what I consider true freedom.
Staying Flexible helps us turn obstacles into opportunities. What may appear as a delay or detour sometimes can really be new possibilities and teachable moments in disguise.
Staying Flexible helps us avoid the tendency to make unnecessary comparisons with others. Like, for example that profile picture of your old high school friend on Facebook, who you perceive to be successful. Yes, that’s the kind of comparison that causes us to wrongly ask ourselves, “What’s wrong with me? Why haven’t I accomplished this status by now?” This kind of mindset is unfair to you.
Staying Flexible helps us embrace the present. So, you are now on your fourth career option. So what? Keep following after your dreams but remain fluid and adaptable if a change really becomes necessary. Living in the past, constantly rehearsing the what could have beens of life will only steal your joy and your right to a life marked by inner peace and personal freedom.
So stay Flexible!