I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how our society has been taken captive by ‘experts’ (a wildly generic term!) and the way some are highly respected and over the years others – or maybe the same ones – become discredited. Freud seems to ebb and flow in acceptability. The great Mr Churchill is now having history re-written about him. And then there is Darwin.
My one gripe with Mr Darwin is that potentially intimidating phrase attributed to him, ‘The survival of the fittest.’
Whatever the purist scientific meaning of that phrase, it is patently obvious that it is not only the fittest that survive to live fulfilled and happy lives. We live in a world with billions of opportunities, communication, business deals, and uncountable connections between people, that cannot afford to write off the rest, the merely fit and those who are less than fit. When it comes to human survival at least, there is not merely one, the fittest, that survives, but lots more besides. Survey the natural world too, and you will see from the myriad different expressions of just about every creature, that it is the ability to adapt, to flex, to change, that makes the difference.
Fitness does not mean endless hours down the gym. “Fit” means that two or more things come together and connect in some way to create something new. That connection doesn’t have to be perfect, and only in a world of limited opportunity would the ‘fittest’ principle apply. The nice thing is, we don’t live in such a world. There is room for the fit and even the significantly-less-than-fit too, to survive and develop. Thankfully.
In Norway last week I encountered a small Italian man riding a huge bike. He had to get his (very attractive) lady pillion friend to pull him up onto it. The bike was much too big for him and loaded to the hilt. If I was going to be a little unkind I’d say he reminded my of the phrase I call AGNI: All the Gear, and No Idea. Yet he still managed to ride it wildly round the tiny village with stereotypical Italian panache, unperturbed by the fact that he could reach the ground only with the toes of one foot! The fit was terrible and probably dangerous, but no doubt his huge Italian personality will make up for any shortfall (…if he has one).
You don’t have to compete with the brightest, the best or the biggest to survive, just find out where you fit. It is almost certain that you will be able to improve your ‘fit’ by being adaptable, flexible and ready to revise, change, update, and refresh. You’ll also be able to ‘fit’ other perhaps more exciting and rewarding opportunities by being flexible, and of course in our physical bodies flexibility is a key factor in fitness. I spend my life helping people to live happier lives by working with them to adapt to their world and enjoy it more.
Yesterday in London I worked with three completely different people who want to make the most of every day. For each of them, they were getting more ‘fit’ by adapting their minds, their lives, their thinking, their business models, their marketing, their outlook and even the way they remembered and dealt with past challenging (crippling even) experiences. Well done to each of them – and to you too, as you develop your flexibility.
“Fittest” could mean I get taken out or spend my time looking over my shoulder to check on the opposition, or annihilate it. “Fit” – hmm, now I can work with that.
Have a good day.