Survival of the Most Adaptable

I hope you and your loved ones are safe and sound today – although safe is clearly a relative term. The mood in our home seemed to get more and more somber as news trickled in. The situation in Italy, the Stafford Act, school and business closings, and the seeming ineffectiveness of the Federal Reserve cutting rates to zero has everyone wondering what the future will bring.

If your experience is anything like mine, these past few days have been filled with feeble attempts to predict the future. How bad will it get? What is the impact of what has happened already? What is the worst-case scenario? Are we thinking broadly enough? It has been exhausting and, I would argue, counterproductive.

The thesis of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species: By Means of Natural Selection is usually expressed as “survival of the fittest.” I’m pretty sure that’s not what Darwin meant, and it is clearly not the hypothesis behind the Theory of Evolution. In our world, all evidence points to a slightly different synopsis: “survival of the most adaptable.” Species that are most able to adapt to ever-changing external forces survive to pass on their genes, and that’s where we are today. We should be doing our best to adapt to ever-changing external forces.

How? I am reminded of my favorite line from the movie The Martian. Stranded astronaut Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon) says, “So, in the face of overwhelming odds, I’m left with only one option: I’m going to have to science the shit out of this.”

Stay strong today.

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is a business advisor and technology consultant. He helps Fortune 500 companies with digital transformation, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn's Top Voice in Technology, he is the co-host of "Think About This with Shelly Palmer & Ross Martin" on the Westwood One Podcast Network. He covers tech and business for Good Day New York, writes a weekly column for Adweek, is a regular commentator on CNN and CNBC, and writes a popular daily business blog. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com

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