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Habit of Mind 4 (HoM)

August 8th, 2019 · No Comments


Habit of Mind 4: Thinking Flexibly

“The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings.”

- Kakuzo Okakura

Thinking flexibly is all about having the mindset of change, for better or worse. Looking at every situation and believing, no matter what that there are other viable solutions and pathways. The art of having this mindset is called – growth mindset, which we will cover in an upcoming blog.

Flexible thinking is useful in all matters of life, including daily routine – home/family interactions and at work.

All of these things challenge us in their own ways, everyday – constantly!

Example – that one day a week where your children refuse to get out of bed, then the whole day is off due to being behind schedule. Or those days where you stub almost every toe and spill every drink on yourself- those are the worst! Even that one day that everybody has, where nothing at work seems to being going the way you expected.

This is where flexible thinking becomes your knight in shining armor!

We live in a booming and ever changing and evolving everyday. This means we have to work very hard to stay relevant! This is only achieved by being adaptable. “Newness” is everywhere and in every workplace – it is giving someone anxiety, including me. The science behind nueroplasticity shows us that change is strange, for everyone, at first!

Steps to Being Flexible at Work:

  1. Multiple solutions – not fixed on one and okay with others.
  2. Light Bulb Ideas! Be okay with surprises
  3. Open to expansion on the team and roles changing within it.
  4. Trust yourself, your ideas – be confident and do it calmly.
  5. Experiment, try new things and try them again!
  6. Failure = Opportunity – so find it.
  7. Use your surroundings & apply what you know – resourceful
  8. Make a pros/cons list – predict
  9. Skip the WHINE but not the WINE(only authorized at home)
  10. You are never alone – your brain is another resource – talk it out!
  11. Someone messed it up – big time – don’t blame them.
  12. You did all the work, but don’t take all the credit.
  13. Curiosity does not kill the cat, it gets them a pay rise!
  14. Adapt. Change. Grow – be flexible and think flexibly.
  15. Stay current – understand those around you and their personalities – your tone can make changes!
  16. Remain open, keep your mind open.
  17. Systems work – see them, find them, use them.
  18. Know what you stand for.

What do you stand for ? What does change mean to you? How do you deal?

Ways to find out.

Ask yourself the following:

  • How am I currently managing boundaries between work and personal life? Do I let work interrupt family? Family interrupt work? Both or neither?
  • How do I describe my primary identity? Am I primarily work focused, family focused, equally focused on work and family? Or is my primary identity tied other interests such as recreation, athletics, volunteering, religious activities?
  • To what degree do I have control over how I manage transitions between work and family?
  • How engaged and effective am I? What changes would I like to make? (Forbes, 2019)


Think with flexibility in all manners, challenge yourself to say yes!



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