If you are not content and are struggling spiritually, mentally, emotionally or physically, chances are that you have missed some steps in consciously defining and planning adaptation.
The outcome of successful adaptations usually is survival.
For many humans, survival is not enough. The way they lead their lives reflect the extreme measures they take to test their survival. Many times they risk survival in search of something different… something more.
Positive adaptations include survival with an additional element of contentment. Through positive adaptations, we not only survive but thrive.
The mental image of adaptation definition and the difference between not adapting, successfully adapting and positively adapting plays a significant role in planning and customization of those plans to reach your goal.
Without adaptation survival in a new environment is not possible.
A new environment could be anything from entering a new spiritual understanding, a new personal or business relationship, or a new level of physical fitness.
Not surviving a new and unfamiliar environment often means a return to the previous familiar environment.
To consciously plan successful and positive adaptation, we need to know or imagine what is required in the new environment. Gathering information that is focused on thriving in the new environment is part of this type of planning process.
Questions about personal five or ten-year plan are designed to help gather information related to goals and they miss the mark. These types of questions often fail because they start in the middle and often include false assumptions but not real data.
I have always found that starting from the beginning is much more productive. What is the beginning of this case?
To answer that question let’s consider a specific example of changing body composition and weight loss that includes sensory adaptation to food and muscle adaptation to exercise. You can later apply the same process to other aspects of your life.
A person with weight loss challenges has a beginning set point that is a combination of spiritual awareness, thought patterns, past experiences, emotional responses and physical actions.
A first step in the process of creating positive adaptation is to learn about the new desired environment or imagine it.
Let me emphasize.
The first step is not learning about the current environment by looking in the mirror or stepping on the weight scale.
In the case of changing body composition and weight loss, there is so much data available that leaves very little need to imagine anything other than customizing and personalizing a vision.
The questions below help you focus on customizing a vision.
- At your ideal weight, how would you feel?
- What type of activities will you do after you reach your ideal weight?
- How would your relationships change when you re-sculpt your body?
- What is the impact of your weight loss on your health?
- What kind of foods will you be eating?
- What kind of exercise will you be doing?
Notice that these questions are not quantitative but qualitative.
We are not asking how much weight you want to lose or how much fat does an exercise burn.
Asking quantitative questions in the beginning is upside down planning that contribute to lack of success and ineffective frustration.
Even if you answer quantitative questions accurately, they do not tell you anything about the environment you are entering nor do they prepare you for positive adaptation that is the foundation of retaining success.
Let’s explore the second question that was about the type of activities you engage in after you reach your ideal weight.
The clarity and the speed in which you answer that question are revealing.
Over the years of working with wonderful individuals, those who answered this type of question quickly and clearly had much easier time with change and retaining success.
Those who could never find it necessary to answer this question or struggled with it had the hardest time in both reaching their goal or retaining their successful outcome.
Conscious planning for positive adaptation and thriving in a new environment include your ability to know or imagine that environment.
Before the word “imagination” takes you for a mental loop thinking that it is hard, or you can’t do it, let me share a story with you about Martha.
Martha has always been successful in many aspects of life except fitness that has now changed.
When I met Martha, she told me that she was never an athlete. I heard the undertone of an unfulfilled need in that statement.
I asked her to define what an athlete was. Martha quickly and clearly defined what she meant.
According to her, she had never been an athlete. However, in her imagination she could precisely describe the opposite of what she believed an athlete is.
After a few months of working out at a camp I taught, others labeled her an athlete without her even trying. She shared what others including her health care providers mentioned to her:
“You have the pulse of an athlete ‘and’ you look great! Did you have work done?”
In another workout session she successfully, easily and repeatedly carried another client over her shoulder for several minutes.
With wonder in her voice, she said, “I can’t believe that for the first time in my life, I lifted and carried another person on my shoulders.”
I didn’t find it necessary to correct her. The truth was that she had mentally and emotionally lifted and carried many for much longer than a few minutes. She just didn’t know how to do it physically. I assisted her to complete that cycle.
In our first meeting Martha, in an inverted fashion, used her imagination to describe herself as a non-athlete.
That inverted image was similar to a negative film in photography; it contains everything you need in reverse. By changing the light exposure, you can easily get the positive image. This changing of light exposure is an internal expansion of awareness that includes sensory adaptation.
Martha accomplished much more than doing what athletes do in every other area of her life, and I am proud to say that she performed many of those without my assistance.
She knows to successfully plan positive adaptation and duplicate success.
Once you clearly describe a new environment in its positive form or inverted form, you can then define the type of adaptations necessary to thrive in that environment.
Again, your new environment could be anything from reaching enlightenment, living an enchanting life, or being fit.