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You are more adaptable than you think

What does entering a stinky toilet and buying your dream ________ (e.g. dress, phone, car, etc) have in common?


After a pretty short while... they don't matter as much.


Biologically equipped to the adaptable

Do you know what happens within your body after drinking your favourite bubble tea? Other than the sheer sense of bliss and content, our body will naturally release hormones (insulin) to regulate the spike in our blood glucose level. This is but one of many natural and automated processes in our system to help us regulate and normalise changes/stimulants experienced by our body. For those who are interested or have studied Biology, you will recognise the name of this process — homeostasis.


Upon receiving an external stimulus, our system is programmed to apply corrective mechanisms to downregulate the change. In fact, this is also the reason why we develop resistance to the effect of caffeine, get addicted to sugar and even... checking our emails. In other words, we ADAPT to these stimuli and our body establishes new baselines about these signals to normalise them. Yes, it's exactly what we now call a new normal (pun somewhat intended).


And it is powerful

It is worthy to note how adaptable we are for two main reasons:

  1. Encourage ourselves to push beyond our comfort zone since we will adapt to what we challenge ourselves to.

  2. Recognise that due to our quick adaptability, we might have desensitised ourselves to good/bad things that are happening around us.

The concept of risk is very abstract and our human brain tends to struggle with evaluating and estimating its magnitude. Take for example the case of bungee jumping. We see people paralysed with fear (a biologically correct response to suicide simulation) while others enjoying the process. Should those who were initially fearful be subjected to the experience numerous times, they too, will eventually get used to the experience and may even learn to enjoy it. Yet, the actual risk of bungee jumping remains the same...


I hope that from this example, we realise how 1. sometimes getting started is the toughest and very importantly, 2. being adapted may cause us to miss important feedback that our body or the environment is telling us. Both of these reasons account for why people could be always complaining and yet stay in unfulfilling jobs and abusive relationships. As much as they are complaining, they have already adapted and accepted that the situation. This is the new status that is what they are actually most comfortable with.


In other words, I hope that being aware of how we are naturally adaptable will give us the awareness to better evaluate our present (e.g. what we have forgotten to be grateful for, or what we had made ourselves accept) and the courage to challenge the status quo that we have adapted to.


Remember, we are all naturally adaptable!


That leap of faith is the toughest. We can adapt to the rest that comes.


Thank you for reading! Join me on this journey to find and achieve balance in life. I would love to hear your opinions and thoughts! Drop a comment below if you have any. Do also check out the other posts here! Cheers and have a great day. ✌️

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