Do you fear change? Do you purposely avoid it because you are afraid of the unknown? I’m talking the kind of person who gets easily frustrated when things don’t go the way you think they are ‘supposed to’. I used to be the kind of person who feared change. If something didn’t go the exact way I planned, I would freak out and over-react, resulting in a ruined attitude and mood. Essentially, I never learned to adapt to the many learning experiences that life throws my way.
Learning to Adapt
Ever since I met James, I have learned to adapt to change, in the best way possible. That’s because he helps me remember to be flexible in uncontrollable situations. He grounds me in unknown and ever-changing situations. One thing that James always says is that we, as humans, are made to adapt. We are not made to be stagnant. If you are unadaptable, you will be left behind in one way or another. Instead when we are put in situations that are not in our plans, it’s important to be flexible.
From the Beginning
Since the beginning of our financial independence journey, we knew the key to reaching our goal was flexibility. It all started with moving from our newer, cushy, spacious loft to a smaller, older condo. It’s out of the norm to downsize and ‘downgrade’ in house, rather than ‘upgrading’ to a large home with more space or land.
When we took the temporary assignment in St. Louis, shortly after downsizing, we only moved about 500 lbs worth of our belongings. Where personal and living items are concerned, 500 lbs is hardly anything at all. The move proved to us that we could live with much less stuff, resulting in further downsizing our belongings. Because we adapted and loved our living accommodations, it spurned a home purchase that included an even smaller detached apartment that we chose to live in. You see, being able to adapt to unplanned moves has helped us invest in real estate by owner-occupying these places. By owner-occupying, we have not only saved ourselves money, but we have also been able to accumulate more properties in a short amount of time.
Quick, but Calculated Decisions
Every property that we have owner-occupied has been a calculated but hurried decision. We have had to make quick decisions because the real estate market is so hot. We are smart about our decisions, but we also understand that we might have to live in an unplanned home to be able to save money on a down payment if we are trying to pick up another property or two that also fit the bill. The latest place we owner-occupied was, initially, not in the plans. However, we learned to adapt by living in the MIL apartment for free housing costs.
At the beginning of last month, we moved all of our remaining stuff from the apartment to a recently vacated property. We utilized this opportunity to move temporarily to a rent-ready unit so we could finish the unit we were occupying. We were able to completely empty the place of our belongings to solely focus on the unit itself. Our decision to move was made in one afternoon, and we easily adapted to the next change in our lives.
Learning to Adapt With Food
I recently discovered that I have a laundry list of food allergies. I knew I was allergic to something, but I couldn’t pin-point the culprit(s). Lo and behold, I am allergic to just about everything that I was eating on a daily basis. A few things I am allergic to are sesame, peanuts, wheat, rice, and corn. This knocks out a majority of the foods that I love, like rice bowls, hummus and pita, and pizza.
Because of this discovery, you might think I have had to change my diet completely 180 degrees. But, since we have been ‘free-gan’ for the past 2 years, I have learned how to adapt my diet because of that lifestyle. I am used to reading labels and being picky about what foods I bought. Now, I have adapted my diet again to where I am avoiding the foods I am allergic to. I would rather change the foods that I am putting into my body than take medications to trick my body into thinking these foods are okay.
There were days last week where we adapted to the many ‘roadblocks’ that kept us from getting things done. We didn’t get our apartment rent-ready accomplished in our planned timeframe. When it comes to renovating or prepping a property, you never know what kind of roadblocks or obstacles are going to pop up. You just need to take each task one at a time and focus on the important part.
We also didn’t finish packing and prepping for our big trip until we left for the airport. There were several occasions during our week off where we could have focused on packing, but we chose to spend time with family and friends before we left. One day last week we didn’t have our first meal until 5 pm. You may think we were starving ourselves, but because we do intermittent fasting, we have trained our bodies to adapt. We didn’t know there were going to be events that day that would prevent us from eating earlier. However, this wasn’t a game changer. Sure, we were hungry, but our bodies are adapting to the changes we throw their way. This makes us less susceptible to other issues. Complacency, a strict schedule, and rigid expectation is the easiest way to become stressed, upset, and angry when things don’t go your way.
The thing about adaptability is to be flexible and learn to go with the flow. You are much more enjoyable to be around and you are guaranteed to have a better time because of it. Every day I am learning how to adapt to the ever changing world around me. Life is too short to get upset over things that are out of my control. So, let this be a reminder to be more adaptable and flexible to things that don’t go as planned, or opportunities that come your way. There’s a chance that you may miss out on a wonderful experience or investment because you aren’t willing to adapt quickly. Be willing to roll with the punches, it’ll make life much better for you and those around you.