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To Influence or to Adapt?

A snail on the sidewalk

A snail on the sidewalk

You're walking or running on the sidewalk.

You spotted a snail.

There, in the middle of the sidewalk.

Do you avoid and walk past it?

Or do you pick it up and move it aside so no one would accidentally run over it?

A plate of stir-fry long beans and a fork

A plate of stir-fry long beans and a fork

You're in a restaurant, eating with friends or family.

The waiter served a plate of long beans right in front of you.

There's a fork provided with it.

Do you use the fork to try grabbing as much long beans as you want?

Or do you ask the waiter if they have like a big spoon or something that will make it easier to scoop the long beans?

Company with broken processes

You just started a new job in a new company.

It's been 6 months.

You start noticing the ugly things — the gaps in processes, the toxic behavior of a teammate that goes unnoticed, the mess in the systems.

Do you turn a blind eye, avoid the ugly things, and focus on what you like?

Or do you advocate for fixing the broken processes, call out the toxic behavior, fix the systems?

I've noticed two types of response when dealing with an external situation:

Sometimes, when things are out of our control, we have no choice but to adapt. We change our mindset and perspective.

Some other times, we are given a choice: we can influence, or we can adapt. Influencing is more difficult. You have to take actions. It's more active. Adapting is relatively easier. It's passive. I'm not saying one is better than the other. I'm saying, be intentional with your choice of response.