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Flexibility – A to Z of Self Leadership

Sometimes things happen that we just can’t help.
Something significant – A new boss. A reorganization in the company.
Something terrible – A total collapse of the industry we planned to conquer. A family member falls terminally ill. Your marriage breaks down.
Something seemingly insignificant – The rain washes out your picnic!

All of these call for various degrees of flexibility.

Flexibility is not a sign of weakness. Remember, the bamboo tree? It is strong and pliant enough to sway with the strongest of breeze. Its flexibility helps it to weather the storms.

Flexibility, to me, is another word for ‘being open’. Open to do what’s best for yourself and others in changed circumstances. You are open to new ideas. You don’t have preconceived notions about people, circumstances or the way things ‘should’ be. Flexibility also means looking for good in all circumstances and being open to giving up being right about things. Sometimes, we spend too much energy on proving that we’re right, than doing what’s best in a situation.

“I had a great teacher, Miles Davis. I remember I played a real wrong chord at the peak of a great evening when Miles was soloing. He played some notes that made my chord right. It blew my mind. He didn’t hear it as a wrong chord, he just heard it as something that had happened and he took the responsibility of making something out of it.” – Herbie Hancock, the American jazz pianist

Staying flexible means learning to make something beautiful out of the ‘wrong chords’ that might come our way.

Actions steps:

Think of a recent time when things didn’t go according to your plans.
How did you respond?
Could you have done better? What would you change about your response, if you could.
Reaffirm that you always have choices, even if they don’t appear so at first.

Stay flexible!


Today I’m on ‘F’ of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. My theme is the A to Z of Self Leadership. I’m also undertaking the NaBloPoMo for April – the theme is ‘grow’ and the Ultimate Blog Challenge


  1. […] Instead of listing out all you have to ‘do’, list out all have to ‘become’ in order to accomplish this goal. For example, you have to become more aware of yourself or become more flexible. […]

  2. Fab Fab April 12, 2015

    I think flexibility is key when one is starting a new habit or working towards a goal. So many obstacles can pop up that seem to derail our plans, but all that’s needed in that situation is a little tweaking!! Happens to my workout plans all the time!

  3. Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg April 12, 2015

    Well said. We live in an environment that is so fluid and dynamic. Being able to adapt ourselves to the changing situations is the key to survive and succeed too.

  4. Vidya Sury Vidya Sury April 10, 2015

    Flexibility – my favorite word. I remember I used to sign off my emails with “The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak which resists”

    And now, we live in the land of “Swalpa adjust maadi”

  5. Michele Kimbrough Michele Kimbrough April 9, 2015

    I love the graphics you created for the A-Z challenge. Very nice. Great post, too.

  6. Annie Annie April 9, 2015

    Being flexible is one of those things that catches us in the moment. We planned things to go a certain way, they didn’t, so now we have a choice. I am always challenged to choose the option that might not be the easiest but leaves me feeling the best after an unexpected turn. These days, I find myself recognizing these types of moments when they are happening, when the choice is a critical determining factor of a good or not so good feeling outcome. I don’t always make the best choice, but I am glad to be learning to recognize that I do have a choice. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 9, 2015

      The best part is that we’re all learning, Annie! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Nancy Hill Nancy Hill April 9, 2015

    Once again, sensible advice and a great quote. The only constant in life is change and the more flexible we are, the better able we are to taken in and enjoy all of the wonder that is life, even in challenging times.

  8. Debbie D. Debbie D. April 9, 2015

    Excellent advice once again. My first response when things go wrong is pique or panic, but once I settle down and start thinking rationally, it usually turns out for the best.

  9. Swathi Shenoy Swathi Shenoy April 8, 2015

    I remember the last time when something went wrong. It was the time of my seminar and the guide who was supposed to teach me, didn’t turn up! I panicked, I blanked out and then I took things under control. Learnt the whole thing myself taking help of youtube tutorials and did the seminar ๐Ÿ™‚ I used to fret a lot too but that incident changed my outlook. There will be other options if one fails but we have to be open minded to see and accept it!

  10. Dorothy Johnson Dorothy Johnson April 8, 2015

    Love this post because it has prompted me to think about an aggravating situation differently. I was refused a refund this week even though I couldn’t attend the class because of a family health emergency. I could only transfer it to a class next fall, which felt too long to wait. Maybe it’s not. Thanks.

  11. Parul Parul April 8, 2015

    I loved this post Corinne. I have been undergoing some mental tussle and this post was just in time to help me look at things differently. Can’t thank you enough. I read it twice and I am feeling much better about the positives in the situation. Thank you!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. MumNDadDiary MumNDadDiary April 8, 2015

    Flexibility in life is so important..It helps us cope with change and helps us come to terms with everything that is essentially life!

  13. Nabanita Dhar Nabanita Dhar April 8, 2015

    So true Corinne… The more we resist change, the more unhappy we’ll be..And when certain things are not in our control, the best thing to do is accept them and move on

  14. Shantala Shantala April 8, 2015

    Well written, Corinne. I liked the Bamboo tree analogy. So apt. Thanks for sharing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Martha Orlando Martha Orlando April 8, 2015

    It’s so ironic, but my post for this coming Friday is about being flexible, looking for the good when disappointments or setbacks come along. Great advice, Corinne! Blessings!

  16. Holli Holli April 8, 2015

    Flexibility is so important in life. If people were more flexible we would have a lot less stressful days for sure. Stopping by from A to Z challenge.

  17. Eli Eli April 7, 2015

    Nice one Corinne! I so agree – being flexible, adjust easily – and not take things too seriously… That makes an everyday good life for me..

  18. G Angela G Angela April 7, 2015

    flexibility an important quality for growth, I remember being very rigid in my younger days; situations in life made me accept that in life anything can happen, and learnt to adapt myself to new situations.. … thanks for sharing

  19. Carol Cassara Carol Cassara April 7, 2015

    I agree wholeheartedly with your thoughts on flexibility. It’s the easiest way to get through life happily!

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