Monday, August 12, 2019

Gremlin Talks Adaptability

Pondering Gremlin here to talk about something that has been on my mind for a while.  If you read this blog, at all, you clearly are deeply involved with the online financial independence movement, so congrats to you. This post is about people who are in this group, and what I believe is a major trait that sets us apart from others.

What sets us apart are the double character traits of adaptability and drive.  Focusing on the drive real quick, it is our drive to be independent financially so we can spend our time as we see fit. That reasoning is par for the financial independence course.  We may choose different tools - indexing, DGI, renting houses, etc. to get there plus a generally frugal lifestyle.  That drive is well understood - it is what makes so many blog writers and financial freedom successful.  It is the adaptability part that receives far less attention.

A month ago the idea of adaptable people hit me like a ton of bricks while discussing music with my family.  Why are some people so adaptable, and able to find something they like anywhere or workarounds to their problems?  Why is it that I can count on specific people at work 200% of the time and others less than 50%?  Turns out, someone has already studied this, and the single trait of adaptability strongly can define the success of people - not just in adverse circumstances, but in seemingly positive ones.

Turns out, thanks to a study (link below), this can be measured to show that approximately 1 in 3 people are able to adapt to any circumstance.  There is no magical background that enables one person to be better suited than others, but it does appear that maybe having a tougher time earlier in life lead to that.  Thinking of other successful financial freedom writers several worked hard as young adults, had tough childhoods, or experienced something that set them mentally on this path to be able to, literally, tell anyone to 'take this job and shove it.'  Personally, I relate a little bit - not that my childhood was hard, but I was at the polar opposite of the end of the social ladder from the cool kids.  It definitely has led to thicker skin, and a more intense drive to achieve FI than those around me.  Still this is not an exact indicator.  I see people in my family who have had tough times and just dwell on them.

I could turn around and say how this might reflect reflect on people who are not adaptable, but they have a roll in life too.  Not everyone is adaptable, and I believe we who are in that 1/3 group need to take the biggest possible advantage of it to better ourselves - at least financially. So this is more of something to keep in mind, how we can work to adapt ourselves to the financial situation around us.

For me it means cutting out more things I don't need to buy or own.  It means digging for those extra dollars with my drive, while adapting my methods to be more successful.  It means most of all, steering my drive through the chaos of life.  We call can do it, cheers to us, keep it up.

Article for reference link.

Do you feel adaptable?  Or do you feel financial freedom is something so you don't have to be?

- Pondering Gremlin


  1. can gremlins really resist the urge to eat after a certain time is that [art of adapting? LOL I think I am adaptable. I am semi retired just have a part time job to keep me semi busy. i dont buy much but i have enough to eat out with friends and buy steaks when they are on special. i see no reason not to cut out on everything.

    1. D and H,

      Thanks for the comment, but I believe Gremlins are always hungry - as I seem to always be! I agree with you on not cutting out everything. Some FI people do go hardcore, but there are plenty of shades, still they are all show we can bend ourselves in odd ways towards improvement. For instance I keep my costs of lunch and breakfasts really low, but I do go a little further homecooking solid dinners. So its all a compromise - one clearly worth making.

      - Gremlin