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Adaptation takes time. There are early adopters who try everything, hangers-on who let others do the testing & those of us always on the lookout for our next endeavor. Being poised to pounce is not about moving from one thing to another as early adopters tend to do nor is the intent to take on everything found worthy as the hangers-on often fear. The reason we’re always ready for something new is, while we fully embrace what we know so far, we also understand there’s more to every story. Lookouts are looking for pieces of the puzzle as the big picture emerges while keeping key elements in place. If our state of being is to always question then our faith is in the whole being greater than its parts. By-standers, on the other hand, aren’t adapting but are in between; just as their moniker implies, they’re standing still. Fortunately, if you find yourself standing by — hesitating to ask too many questions, try new things or upset the status quo — all it takes is a singular effort to break free.

Get ready to hit pause 46 seconds in!
Thanx to Darren of ProBlogger for the video.

Twitter makes my point. I’d been ready & waiting to tweet long before my own computer gave me the ability. In turn, it took a full decade from first wanting a computer to finally being able to get one & I’m now on my 7th. What tempers how anxious a lookout is for what’s been seen on the horizon is patience; we know what we want & are willing to wait for it. By sorting an exact need then biding my time til I find or can afford it, the seeming quick adoption that results usually comes across as impulsive. For that reason, it can be difficult to tell the early adopters from the lookouts & the difference can admittedly be slight. Aside from intent — s/he who tries the most toys wins — the real difference is recognition. Not only the ability to recognize needs & how they can be met but waiting for what meets them as much as not hesitating when it’s found.

As mentioned in the video, René wisely asked how much of my time Twitter’s taking. Therein lies the rest of the story.. The discernment used to track down whatever new nifty nicely finds its way into your niche also needs to not take over. An n to the nth power rule? This is exactly where many a hanger-on may get stuck, even coming precariously close to  joining the by-standers. Either feeling overwhelmed or the fear of soon being overwhelmed can slow adaptation. As important as it is to not let anything take precedence since balance really is all it’s cracked up to be, not acting on new ideas will send things out of balance over time too. Most of us have been to a circus so have a visual memory confirming that balance is not a static thing. To watch for what might aid your own balancing act, the only real mistake that can be made is to stand idly by.

Had I stood still this week — or sat still — or not clicked those links of interest found on Twitter, I wouldn’t know BlogHer had partnered with GlobalGiving. (Proving just how effective blogging can be, while they’re at it.) I wouldn’t have discovered the ultimate coffeemaker. I certainly wouldn’t have guessed, although I’m not surprised, Firefox usage is literally written in the stars. Thus, I wouldn’t be changing the world one page view at a time via my Firefox browser as predicted long before I existed in the hope of one day having a wall of coffee. I might instead be bogged down by my own blog, wondering if I had any reach through it &.. No, nevermind, I’d still be using Firefox. However, were I to spend my time wondering, much less worrying, what I should be doing with it; I wouldn’t be doing whatever I could &, in the process, sorting how anything new works into the puzzle.

Hubble view of Firefox logo

With all there is to discover, if we remember to apply our adventurous spirit — whether robust or waning — within as well as without, we’ll not only find better puzzle pieces but enlarge the picture they’re forming. No differently than you should explore an external discovery, try out one of your ideas just to see where it leads. Trust one of your abilities or pursue an interest; be your own beta tester. Finding outlets like blogging & tools like Twitter may help us zero in on choices just waiting to be made. Using the approach that’s right for you, a willingness to try new things with the understanding that discovering something’s not for you is just as valuable & trusting your instincts as well as your doubts, take on the next new thing. As we find our individual journeys, our paths are bound to cross. We can barter our discoveries at those crossroads.

“Keep on the lookout for novel ideas that others have used successfully.
Your idea has to be original only in its adaptation to the problem
you’re working on.”
~ Thomas Edison ~