Mortar 3, Adaptability - Bottom of the Ninth #131

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Bottom of the 9th - Adaptability

Adaptability - Mortar 3, John Wooden's Pyramid of Success by Keith Wahl

"To hold a structure of bricks (or blocks) together, the mason applies mortar around each layer. In the Pyramid of Success, character qualities bond the 15 building blocks, thus symbolizing mortar. These character qualities actually run throughout the Pyramid and help us advance toward the apex."

The third of these Mortar qualities is Adaptability. To be frank, I'm not sure I'm good at this. Well, maybe to say that I am good at the head or intellectual part of Adaptability, and not so good at the heart or emotional part of Adaptability would be more accurate. I recognize change and can see the need for it, but my heart and emotional self values stability. I wonder if this is true for most people.

Over the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks last year, I dove into a brain exercise app on my phone from Lumosity. After doing the initial battery of tests, I scored low in "Flexibility," a.k.a. Adaptability. I found myself practicing my brain's ability to be flexible in the game "Ebb and Flow." In the game, you have to pay attention to the direction and position of a set of leaves as they move, shift, and slide across the screen. And, while I may have developed some aptitude for the game over the break, it made me more mindful of my own ability to adapt.

Charles Darwin stated that, "It's not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change." While this may be a rule that governs the natural world, it is something that also governs the film world as well. The hero of a given film must show the ability to transform, grow, and change. This is not a comfortable thing for anyone. For whatever reason, we desire comfort and stability. Change is hard until you make it a habit.

Understanding Adaptability fully - what it is and what it isn't - before embracing it might also be important. Gandhi said that, "Adaptability is not imitation. It means power of resistance and assimilation." In this sense, Adaptability means to know what to refuse or reject, as well as what to absorb fully. This process is important learning and making learning a lifelong habit.

The Apostle Paul knew the benefits of Adaptability in his ministry as he shared in 1 Corinthians 9:22 where he said, "To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some." Based on this, Christians should work to be the most adaptable people for the sake of building God's Kingdom.

The bottom line here is something I heard at the beginning of this school year - "Healthy things grow, and growing things change." I know it's time for me to make Adaptability more of a habit, and maybe this begins you on a similar road.

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