Beyond Conformity: Masters of Circumstances


Prov.24:10 (GNB) If you are weak in a crisis, you are weak indeed.

When Life Wouldn’t Cooperate:

You’ve worked hard, trained hard and prayed hard to be a management staff, and finally your promotion interview day is here.

Your interview starts 7:30am sharp- punctuality is part of the hurdles to cross.

You rise at 6:00, about 30 minutes late because you burned the midnight oil putting finishing touches to your preparations.

Thank goodness you’ve sorted out what to put on about a week earlier. All your remaining office wears are dirty, but the week-long preparation for the great day left you with no time to attend to laundry.

You mumble some words of prayer, take a quick shower, and by 6:30, you are set for the 30-minute drive to your office.

You are just about stepping out when you see this glaring stain on the collar of your white shirt!

You decide to quickly drop your stuff in the car before coming back to attend to the shirt when you notice your car has a flat tyre!

What would you do? How would you cope?

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.
– Charles Darwin

Innovation To The Rescue!

Scenarios like this place heavy demands on our leadership and innovative capabilities- our ability to master, manage and adapt to the (changing) demands of everyday life to be precise.

Innovation always shines through Creativity, but in addition,

Adaptability, a much-required attribute in today’s business world, and one very vital to career development, is yet another expression of the Innovative spirit.

Albert Einstein once said,

Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity and not a threat.

That is adaptability!

What is Adaptability?

In ecology, adaptability has been described as the ability to cope with unexpected disturbances in the environment. {1}

Furthermore, defines Adaptability as “Ability of an entity or organism to alter itself or its responses to the changed circumstances or environment.”

In summary, Adaptability is the ability to respond to changing demands of every stage of life without reduced efficiency and result (output).

In other words, Adaptability is the ability to find work-around for existence and productivity in unconducive and unpalatable circumstances, especially in periods of crisis.

Adaptability is responding effectively to change!

Beyond Conformity…

Adaptability, however, goes beyond conforming to change like chameleons, or complying with whatever life brings our way.

It goes beyond being pliable like victims of circumstances.

Rather, adaptability also involves jump-starting or initiating and setting the pace of change!

It involves mastering our circumstances to the point of setting the pace of events around us!

Krishnamurti once said,

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society

Moreover, John Dewey said,

Complete adaptation to environment means death. The essential point in all response is the desire to control environment.

That is the true essence of Adaptability!

You Can Be More Adaptable (Flexible)

How can we get so adaptable to our present environment and circumstances as to start setting the pace of positive changes?

– Calmly looking out for the best options and alternatives at the face of difficulties.

– Always being proactive enough to plan ahead, but also making room for alternatives in case things don’t turn out as planned.

– Always anticipating and strategizing for changing environments

are great ways to start.

Above all however, if any man lacks wisdom (James 1:5) let him ask God!



I am tired of crumbling like a pack of cards under the weight of every changing demand of life… Nevertheless change is constant and inevitable!

Help me to be more proactive- always living steps ahead of every changing demand of life!

Grant that the yoke of life on me be easy and the burden light.

Teach me to live ready, and to always see better options when life suddenly takes unexpected turns, that I might always come out as a master of every life’s circumstance to the glory of Your Name. Amen.

Funmi Adebayo (c) 2013

{1} Conrad, Michael: Adaptability, the Significance of Variability from Molecule to Ecosystem. Plenum Press, New York, 1983.