One of the new speakers that have been actively attending our Club activities is Natasha Lai. You can notice her eagerness in learning and enthusiasm for improvement. And I’m glad she is set on her path to present her projects with flair and with competence.
During a recent meeting, Natasha spoke on a well balanced topic about flexibility. It’s a timely reminder about our need to exercise flexibility and its usefulness in our lives. Therefore, with Natasha’s permission, I post below her informative speech on this very crucial and practical subject.
What is “flexibility?” Body contortionists have it. Managers need it. Rigidity just hates it.
Flexibility is the capability to bend without breaking; or it could also mean “to be adaptable.”
Here are my 3 points why I think flexibility exists and why is it so important.
Firstly, flexibility enhances your personal growth.
Just like how muscles grow when they are stretched, personal development takes place when your limits are stretched. Ever been in a situation where you had to think on your feet and come up with a solution within a given time? Situations like that help you realize your potential and help bring out the best in you. Being flexible also means that people will be less lazy. You actually need to be pretty hardworking and do a fair bit of thinking to be flexible. Let me explain with an example.
I was involved in a Youth Expedition Project to Thailand 3 years back. Our main task was to conduct an English camp for the students in a primary school. We had everything planned out, curriculum and all. The camp was supposed to start the day after we arrived at the school. However, there was some miscommunication between us and the teachers, and they thought the camp would begin on the day we arrived. As we arrived promptly, there were more than 40 students waiting to welcome us upon our arrival. Hence, with no more than half an hour we got things ready and started the camp program. My team members worked hard and no one complained despite the sheer exhaustion we faced from the long journey. Through this experience, we realized the value and importance of flexibility.
Secondly, flexibility coaxes creativity and innovation from others and you.
There was a young dance instructor who taught ballet. She wanted to let her students explore their creativity so she told them to mimic animals in the zoo. The girls were braying, neighing, bellowing and crawling all over the floor, as unglamorous as little ballerinas could be. Just then the principal of the dance school walked past and was highly displeased with what she saw. She confronted the dance instructor and told her not to repeat the activity ever again, as it was not in the dance curriculum and would tarnish the reputation of the school. She was more concerned with upholding the prestigious image of the school, than with encouraging students’ creativity.
Since dance is a form of art, shouldn’t developing creative expression be the main focus? With such a rigid dance curriculum, those budding young ballerinas just might have been deprived of an opportunity to discover their full creative potential.
Finally, flexibility is necessary because unforeseen circumstances occur to you every single day.
Once I was wearing my perfectly comfortable pair of Birkenstock’s sandals. As I was going up the stairs, I tripped and fell! Oh, how humiliating that was! Comfortable as they were, the sandals were too rigid. Not only did it cause my books to fly out of my hands and scatter themselves neatly all over the floor, my knees kissed the ground, and there were probably more than 10 pairs of eyes that witnessed my stated embarrassment. Another time, I was wearing this pair of green rubber slippers. Again I tripped, but this time – the slipper bended and I was able to regain my foothold. *phew!* I wouldn’t dream of going through the same awkward experience once more. Thus, flexibility also prevents unexpected circumstances from becoming too imaginably horrible.
Have you ever watched gymnasts do their thing? I was watching videos of gymnasts to better understand the meaning of flexibility, and they simply took my breath away! Watching them twist, turn and bend their bodies in every single conformation possible, had me worrying that they might hurt themselves or break a few bones. Then it occurred to me that the hard work they put into long hours of intensive training increased their physical flexibility. The warm up stretches they did before each routine also prevented them from getting hurt easily. That is why I believe flexibility is so essential in our lives. In my case, it saved me a whole lot of embarrassment.
In conclusion, do not just settle for comfort, a routine lifestyle or a good image, but ensure that in your life, there is – flexibility.