I am not much into politics these days. I have grown weary of the same old; the blaming and finger pointing and name calling. And the lying. It never stops. But that’s just me and I am not here to discuss politics or express favor to a particular party or candidate.
The controversial Donald Trump said many things in the Republican debate earlier this month. From reading the news and watching television, it is obvious that some think much of what he says are lies. As in any political debate, many brow raising comments were spit out. As a personal development coach, my ears heard three extremely valuable bits of advice that “The Donald” mentioned that can help you achieve higher levels of success. Love him or hate him, what he said is truth.
“I’ve never seen a successful person who wasn’t flexible, who didn’t have a certainly degree of flexibility. You have to have a certain degree of flexibility”. Every successful person I know and have ever worked with, including multi-millionaires, entrepreneurs and C-Level executives, has visibly demonstrated flexibility. They know their way is not always the best, that there is value in observing the way that others go about their tasks and tremendous opportunity for improvement in the borrowing and exchanging of ideas. They have the self-awareness to know what their weaknesses are and to understand that intentionally being flexible and open minded opens doors that otherwise would have remained out of view. To give an analogy—if you want to change your body, you have to change your workout and eating habits. The same applies here—if you want to find success on another level, than you have to think and do things differently. That is the asset known as flexibility.
“You have to be flexible because you learn”. Learning requires that you open yourself to seeing the world through a different lens. It demands that you give conflicting views a fair chance before making a decision. In some cases, it insists that you trust it even in the absence of definitive proof. When we learn, we grow and become better. If what you are doing is not working, then by being flexible you open yourself up to doing things another way and that might be just what you need to get unstuck and ascend to the next level. If you’ve ever known someone stubborn in their ways, someone who steadfastly refuses to change, then you know that person has not realized their authentic value or reached their full potential. That person has not expanded their mind to its fullest capacity. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice or counsel when you are unsure. Don’t be afraid to try something new. But remember to be flexible because it is integral to your success.
“If you’re going to be one way and you think it’s wrong, does that mean that for the rest of your life you have to go in the wrong direction because you don’t want to change”? I thought this line was fantastic. Democrat, Republican or something else on the political spectrum—you can find countless topics to argue and disagree about. This is not one of them. How many people carry around the weight of the labels from their past and define their worth based on it? We all carry baggage around from childhood, from the teasing we experienced in youth, the failed relationships, the disappointment experienced when a well- intentioned endeavor ends in a way other than what we envisioned, the harsh criticism received from a clueless boss. Or from countless other sources. Your past doesn’t hold weight—it doesn’t define who you are right now. It doesn’t define what you can become. People redefine themselves all the time. Every day. People change careers, or become parents, or they overcome addictions and achieve goals that were once distant dreams. All of these major life changes and successes are made possible due to flexibility. Just surviving in this world requires the ability to change. Change requires with flexibility.
Do yourself a favor, make yourself uncomfortable and be flexible to another view. Take to heart the words he spoke. Donald Trump might not be your choice for President. You may disagree with his style and his political stances and you might not even like the mention of his name. But no matter what the polls say, he is right-- you have to be flexible if you want to be successful and you do have the power to change directions if you are not satisfied with the direction you are headed in life.