Brian and Michael Tracy in their book Unlimited Sales Success quotes Darwin who says “Survival goes not to the strongest or most intelligent but to the one who most adaptable to change.” If you’re not a Charles Darwin fan please don’t get hung up on the fact that this quote comes from him. Here’s the point:
Without survival there is no growth. Someone who grows is obviously surviving because they are alive. In terms of human organisms when we are alive we grow. Now, there are different ways to grow, but I want to pay attention to the most general way. The most general way of growing right here in this text is through being alive — surviving to the next day.
Something tells me that many my readers will understand the experience of survival. Each day you can sharpen your ability to survive. In order to survive it takes skill; it takes a will; it takes a determination to endure. Some people act as though survival is low level stuff, like if someone asks, “How are you.” And you respond, “I’m surviving,” or “ I’m alive” you’ve just surrendered to low level living. But, when people get into survival mode they experience emotions and thoughts that they never would otherwise. Survival accesses and develops the instinct. The most important instinct in survival is adaptation. The ability to adapt is most important to survive. High level stuff.
Strength and intelligence
It takes strength and intelligence to survive but according to Darwin these are not the most important character traits. It seems like when we think of survival we think only the most vicious the most violent the most treacherous and strongest individual survive. Sayings float around like “only the strong survive.” But, according to this quote survival goes toward nimble individuals who are able to, like a vine, crawl up a tree or fence or wall finding somewhere to attach itself. If you’re smart and intelligent that’s a plus, but flexibility will keep your career, your hopes, your dreams, your marriage alive. Being alive is the only way you can grow beyond your current limits. Strength and intelligence is not enough.
Adaptable to change
So the person who grows themselves beyond their current limitations of inflexibility, the person who finds a way to will themselves to adjust their mindsets, the person who finds a way to will themselves to adopting their own mental life will survive. Adaptability will take us on because it will help us to survive and survival still gives us the opportunity to thrive. Seek continual adaptation to the moments that you live today and you will be able to grow your self beyond your current limitations.
If we don’t survive we can’t thrive. The survival I mean here is the kind that keeps us walking toward our dreams. If we don’t adapt we don’t survive. So grow in intelligence, grow in strength but most importantly grow in your ability to change to the current situations. Change to the current times so that you might be a person who grows themselves beyond limits.