Aspect of Adaptability
"All failure is failure to adapt, all success is successful adaptation" Max McKeown. This quote speaks of what adaptation really is, it is the ability to react correctly towards a new situation. For example, let us take a personal situation that I have experienced. I had just moved to a foreign country in search of a better education, most of the people do not speak my language, and I don't speak theirs. It was then my choice to devote time to working my Japanese skills so that I may adapt to the new environment, or stay stubborn and lazy through not practicing the new language. Picking the first choice opens up so many opportunities in the new country, such as giving me the chance to make new friends, gather job opportunities and set myself up for the future. On the other hand, not learning the new language, limits myself to make friends only with those who share a common language with me, which are quite little in number. As you can see, there is so much to gain from being adaptive whilst being maladaptive, makes you lose the window to so many opportunities.
Adaptability, is a key factor in success, whether it's socially, financially or just for straight up survivability. This has been a fact of life since the beginning of the Earth itself. Throughout the ages, animals have evolved to better adapt to their habitats and ecosystems. Growing legs, losing legs, growing larger, growing more teeth, all in the hope that it will increase the survivability of a species. We as humans have reached a milestone, a milestone where we differed in adaptation, unlike our beastly brethren, we have adapted mentally. As a race, we decided there are better ways to get food than hunting and gathering, we started agriculture, we started domesticating cattle. We adapted to our situation, We have banded together to lessen to the burden of surviving, we delegated jobs, started farming, created communities, which in turn grew into large civilizations. Our ability to adapt as a species, have made us the most successful species on Earth.
Nowadays we are pampered by the facilities that society has to offer. We have no longer a need to adapt physically to survive, everything is offered to us on a silver plate, overnight delivery. Adaptability is no longer a trait necessary to survive on this Earth. However, a new school of thought had appeared as civilizations have prospered, rather than just surviving, people now want to achieve. To be more than mediocre, to not just survive, but rather to live. This feeling of living is gained through the chemical of dopamine, one that the brain releases when we achieve great goals. To reach these goals in life, we must be adaptable, we must step out of the comforting bubble that we live in.
Life is an adventure. Life will throw challenges and happiness in your life when you least expect it. Life doesn't care if you just want to live a normal peaceful life because an adventure is not an adventure if it's peaceful. When I was younger, I was a child who just thought about herself and not about others. I did not bond with any of my friends and had a hard time doing it. It wasn't healthy for me because that created a lot of tension and hatred between me and my peers. However, things started to get better at the age of 12 when I found friends who shared the same interest as I did. That's when I started to learn how to be a better friend for someone and for the first time ever, there was a bond, connection, love and care for each other. It was a necessary step for me because two years later, I somehow ended up in Hokkaido. It was a really tough decision for my mother and I to make because we had no family or friends who were in Hokkaido to help us and we had no idea what it was like and what to expect. It really tore me apart because I had to leave behind my friends who I had created a deep bond with but a part of me knew that it was for the better and so we did. We packed our bags, said our goodbyes to friends and family, and left.
I still remember my first day of school in Hokkaido as clear as day. I was terrified as to whether I would find someone who would share the same interest as I do and I worried if I would find any friends that understood me. It didn't take long because everyone here was friendly and since the school was small, I had an easier time remembering everyone's faces and names. Soon, I started talking to everyone and it shocked me because just a few months ago, I was the most antisocial person on this planet. Just within a few months in this new place, I called it my home and I love it dearly. Moving here was tough, but it proved to be the best decision my mom and I had ever made because my confidence skyrocketed and for the first time ever, I believed that I could be anyone I wanted to be, as long as I worked hard for it. And so I did, I worked hard to be a happy and cheerful person because I believed in happiness. Happiness is contagious. Whenever people see me smile, they smile as a response and then in return, they make me smile because I made them smile. It's not that complicated, it works like a charm. Through happiness, people won't be as scared to open up to you and eventually, learn how to work with people from different personalities and culture. Even if my friend and I don't speak the same language, we both know how to smile.
I'm the same person as I was when I was anti-social and 12. The only difference here is that the way I handle things is different. I've learned that opening up to people is important because life doesn't care about making your life hard and when life is hard, that's when friends come in. They'll be there for you and in return, be there for them. I'm happy that I'm now able to connect with people the way I had never been able to do before. I feel like a completely different person and it's a good thing. I hope that I will continue to be a good person towards other people because when people smile, they make me happy.
The beautiful landscape of buildings, the beautiful deserts that were filled with nothing but sand, a beautiful country filled with great memories, were to be missed by me when my mother had told me that we were going to move back to Japan. I could not believe that the 5 years I spent in Abu-Dhabi were not going to continue for any longer. Although my parents were quite excited and relieved to get out of Abu-Dhabi, I was not quite sure if I was ready to move. I was concerned about all the challenges that I would have to face when living in Japan. Although I loved every aspect of Japan, I had a strong desire to stay in Abu-Dhabi since many of my close friends were in Abu-Dhabi, and I did not have to worry about having to speak in a language that I was unfamiliar of.
It broke my heart to leave my friends that I had created a strong bond with over the years living in Abu-Dhabi. However, since I was an adventurous and optimistic child, I never, in the beginning, worried about making new friends. Although I was not sure about moving at first, I got quite excited after a few days, counting down until the day of the official move.
When arriving in Japan, everything was different: the scenery, the food, the people, and their attitudes. I felt strange thinking that a place so different from Abu-Dhabi was going to be called my home.
As summer in Japan came to an end, the days that I feared most were to begin: school. Although I was quite confident that I would have no problems regarding making new friends, I began to think to myself, "How on earth am I going to communicate with others without knowing any Japanese?", "How am I going to learn anything if I can't even understand a single word?".
A strike of anxiety had hit me when entering my Japanese class. I felt all eyes following every action I took. People were talking to their friends, causing my heart to race and making me more anxious than I was. Even though I was scared at first, I was able to introduce myself to the class with the help of my teacher. After the first day of school, I realized that I wasn't just going to attend a school that was going to be familiar to the one before, but a school so different, a school that made me recognize that without hard work nor commitment, it would be impossible to adapt to.
Throughout the first two years in the Japanese school, It was hard for me to adapt to the new language and at times had difficulties keeping up with my peers. Therefore, I took the opportunity to attend a Japanese learning school which was mostly for foreign people who wanted to improve on their Japanese. Because of my hard work at the Japanese learning school, I was able to speak Japanese fluently in two years. Whenever I look back at myself during these years now, I realize how well I adapted to this circumstance, despite it being challenging and very unlikely to achieve.