In today’s world, the attempt to develop a flexible mode of thinking isn’t simply a self-indulgent exercise for idle intellectuals – it can be a matter of survival. Even on an evolutionary scale, the species that have been most flexible to environmental changes have survived and thrived. Life today is characterized by sudden, unexpected and sometimes violent change. A supple mind can help us reconcile the external changes going on all around us. It can also help us integrate all of our internal conflicts, inconsistencies, and ambivalence. Without cultivating a pliant mind, our outlook becomes brittle and our relationship to the world becomes characterised by fear. By adopting a flexible, malleable approach to life, we can maintain our composure even in the most restless and turbulent conditions. It is through our efforts to achieve a flexible mind that we can nurture the resiliency of the human spirit.
The Dalai Lama and H. Cutler, The Art of Happiness.