#246 Seneca on Flexibility

Versus Fickleness + Obstinacy

In an earlier +1, we talked about the fact that flexibility is a hallmark of healthy people. Leading neuroscientist Dan Siegel tells us that flexibility is like a river that flows between the banks of structure and spontaneity. If we flood one side or the other we risk either rigidity or chaos.

Here’s how Seneca puts it.

He agrees with modern science that flexibility is essential if we want to have tranquility. (Well, technically, modern science agrees with him. 😃)

When we have TOO much flexibility, we have what Seneca calls “fickleness.” We can’t commit to anything for longer than five minutes. We’re too spontaneous. Enter chaos.

When we have too little flexibility, we have “obstinacy.” We can’t ever change course. We’re too structured. Enter rigidity.

The trick? Have a clear sense of purpose. Don’t compare yourself to others and don’t second-guess yourself every five seconds, but do integrate the data as it arises. Change course when necessary. Trust yourself. Be flexible.

Today’s +1. How’s your flexibility?

When you miss the mark do you tend to err too far to the fickle side or too far to the obstinate side?

And, what little thing can you do Optimize that just a little more today?

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