How flexible are you?

I recently read an article about Steven Jobs from Apple that joked about Steven having a plaque on his desk that read “my way or the highway”.  The article gave Jobs a lot of credit and called him a genius but they  mentioned that he has gotten himself into a little bit of trouble with his “do it my way” attitude.  I don’t know the whole story and I wish I could remember where I read the article but it made me think of so many people who are not flexible and lose out because of it. 

Over the years I have dealt with a lot of stubborn “my way or the highway” type of people who lose out because of their attitudes.  They lose jobs, lose clients, lose friends and burn more bridges than they can count.  Any yet, they never notice that maybe the problem is not with everyone else in the world.  Maybe if these people were just a little more flexible, things would be easier for them and just might work out in their favor every once in a while.

Flexibility does not only help you out when dealing with other people but can actually help you in more ways than you can imagine.  When booking a flight online, if you put in exact dates, you might not always be happy with the price that comes up but if you are a little flexible, the price gets a little more reasonable.  The more flexible you are, the better the rates will be.  If you want proof, try searching for a round trip flight between any 2 specific locations to leave on Friday and come back on Sunday.  Then, if there is an option for “flexible”, click on it.  Otherwise, do it manually.  Add in surrounding airports so there are more choices, for example, in New York, instead of just JFK, add in La Guardia and Newark airports.  Then change your dates to Tuesday, coming back on the next Wednesday.  You’ll see the difference.  This is just a little example of what being flexible can do.

If you are looking to buy a car and you are hoping for a one year old Mercedes with under 1000 miles, you will get a lot more results if you search for a slightly used luxury car.  You may not get the exact car you were looking for but you will have a lot more to choose from and will probably end up with something just as good.

It’s always good to narrow things down so that you have a direction to move in and you can plan accordingly but it is just as important to be able to roll with the punches.  Not everything in life is simple and works as planned.  To get lucky, you need to be able to react to situations, be open minded and flexible enough to readjust every step of the way.  Listen to co-workers, they may have something really interesting and helpful to say.  After all, the more options and opinions you have, the more flexible you can be and the luckier you can get.