We need to exercise a fair amount of flexibility if we are going to get our message out there.
I’m not just talking about flexibility in terms of how you express yourself, or to who you direct your art, or even the content of the art (whatever your art may be). I’m talking about flexibility in everything.
You need to have flexibility in when you do your work.
You need to have flexibility in how you prioritize your work.
You need to have flexibility not just in the creation and delivery of your work, your art, but in the business of getting it out there and serving the people who need it. Delegation is a form of flexibility. So is editing, scheduling, and managing your energy and brain-space.
This topic came to mind this morning when I realized that the home page on my website is displaying slightly differently than how it did before. This is likely because of an update to my WordPress theme. It annoys me, but I can’t let my preference for my old layout distract me this morning. I have too much on my plate. I will need to have the mental flexibility to bend my head around this relatively minor aggravation and do the work that matters. As I am a bit of a perfectionist, this requires a hell of a lot of mental flexibility on my part.
Flexibility is a discipline, a practice like meditation or martial arts or writing. You need to do it and do it frequently to be good at it.
Every time Google changes its algorhythm, or Facebook changes its Newsfeed, or a client changes their coaching focus, or a meeting organizer rearranges the schedule or asks me to shift the topic of my speech at the last minute, I need to practice flexibility.
Intractability isn’t a desirable character trait. Neither is being overly pliable. True flexibility, on the other hand, is extremely admirable. It lets you modify your message so that it get through whatever barriers are in your way. It lets you weather the unavoidable aggravations that will come and enable you to bend around them instead of breaking.