A lady named Joan called to remind me that a series of blogs on The Habit of Flexibility would not be complete if the focus remains solely on flexible behavior.
She reminded me that there is a need for flexibility at a much higher level than we have previously discussed – the need for flexibility of thought.
And I believe she is absolutely right.
No discussion on The Habit of Flexibility can truly address its importance if we fail to include the need for expanded flexibility over our thinking.
All too often we become so singular in our thoughts that we will not even entertain the idea, or open ourselves up to the possibility, that there may be different, or opposing, viewpoints that are as valid as ours.
Earlier this week I watched with detached amusement the controversy that was stirred by the NFL drafting its first openly gay player and the resulting response.
My own view on this matter is that he’s gay, so what?
I respect the rights of those who view the world differently to express their opinions with the same freedom as those as anyone else.
The point around adopting and incorporating The Habit of Flexibility into our everyday thinking is because very few of those things that we uniquely and individually believed to be true are borne of fact.
By fact, I mean that those viewpoints are irrefutable, indisputable and agreed-upon by all.
I don’t know whether it is right or wrong for one to be gay but I do know that from a strictly fact-based perspective – as defined above – no one else does either.
Certainly we are all entitled to our beliefs and our opinions and The Habit of Flexibility in no way suggests that they are incorrect. It exists as a means by which we can hold our beliefs up to disparate possibilities and perhaps, in so doing, can expand our thinking beyond its present state.
Cognitive dissonance is defined and understood to mean the excessive mental stress and discomfort felt by people with two or more opposing beliefs, thoughts or ideas at the same time.
For people who do not embrace The Habit of Flexibility, cognitive dissonance won’t enter into their lives as they will not even allow for the possibility of exploring thoughts ideas and beliefs that in any way may differ from their own.
Witness the ongoing debate on abortion that is taking place presently in our country. Large groups of people on both sides of the disagreement adamantly insist their argument is the right one, the pure one and the only one. They will not entertain opposing thoughtsfrom the other side.
Inability to embrace The Habit of Flexibility can only serve to make the potential for compromise or resolution more distant and less likely.
When Joan called she clearly knew the importance of, and need for, this discussion and I’m grateful that she steered me in the direction of addressing this very important topic.
Regardless of our own internal beliefs, I hope we all embrace The Habit of Flexibility as a way of perhaps not only settling all of our differences but also for increasing our understandingof the viewpoints of those foolish enough to disagree with us.
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.
P.S. My book Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours now has its very own website. Please visit us at www.lifesinksorsoars.com and let me know what you think.
My company, Strategic Pathways, recently introduced our newest Personal Coaching experience called Set Free the Champion Within. Please click here and take a peek at our Ebrochure