“Blessed are the flexible for they shall never be bent out of shape.”
I have worked with the military for some time, and there is a phrase that gets thrown around a lot – “Semper Gumby.” It’s a play on Semper Fidelis, the motto of the Marine Corps which means “Always Faithful.” Semper Gumby then essentially means “Always Flexible.”
Flexible is not a word that anyone would really use to describe me. I love plans, I love schedules, and man do I get annoyed when people or transportation are running late. Not surprisingly, I often end up frustrated and anxious when things aren’t going how I thought they would.
The thing is, that frustration and anxiety does not improve the situation, and it does not aid your mental peace. Flexibility does. One of the hardest things for those who suffer from anxiety to do is give up control, which we can equate with being flexible. However, I learned this week that allowing the anxiety to overtake you and your emotions is actually when you give up the control you hold so dear.
Being flexible is realizing that while you may not have control over your current circumstances, you can have control over how you react and the next steps you take. You can deny that things are going differently and wish they were going how you wanted, but that will do nothing to change your situation. Or, you can accept that while something unexpected is happening, you have the power to ensure that something positive still comes out of the situation.
The next time your carefully laid plan is going awry, channel your inner Marine. Semper Gumby. Always Flexible.