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60 ‘How to Adapt’ Quotes That Can Help You Through Tough Times

These ‘how to adapt’ quotes will offer some hope if you are struggling and need a little extra help right now.

The ability to adapt is one of the most important traits you can have as a human being. Change is constant, and there will be many things in your life that you cannot control.

One of the most famous quotes about adapting is “adapt or die” by Charles Darwin. We know he also said that only the strong survive. Adapting can require a massive amount of strength, so it doesn’t surprise me that these two quotes came from the same person.

It is much easier to adapt to situations that only cause a mild level of discomfort. Unfortunately, life often throws us things that are incredibly painful. Such things offer us no other option than to adapt if we are going to be able to live with the pain.

Wise and intelligent adaptation quotes

1. “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” ― Albert Einstein

2. “The wise adapt themselves to circumstances, as water molds itself to the pitcher.” ―  Chinese Proverb

3. “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” — Stephen Hawking

4. “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” ― Leon C. Megginson

5. “Adaptability to change is itself a hallmark of successful education.” — Peter Hilton

6. “A reason we are so-so scientists is that our brains were shaped for fitness, not for truth. Sometimes truth is adaptive, but sometimes it is not.” ― Steven Pinker

7. “All we have is the knowledge passed on to us by our elders, experiences we inculcate, and hardly negate. But to bridge the generation gap, one needs to adapt to the new while retaining the goodness of the old.” ― Sonali Bendre

8. “As human beings, we do change, grow, adapt, perhaps even learn and become wiser.” ― Wendy Carlos

9. “Reasonable men adapt to the world around them; unreasonable men make the world adapt to them. The world is changed by unreasonable men.” ― Edwin Louis Cole

10. “We have to be able to adapt to a new situation. It’s another form of the definition of intelligent behavior.” ― Hasso Plattner

Adapt quotes about how we see the elements of nature

11. “It is not a failure to readjust my sails to fit the waters I find myself in.” ― Mackenzi Lee

12. “Life happens how it happens, and you either move with the maelstrom or die wallowing about the change in the winds.” ― Cora Carmack

13. “The oak is the strongest tree in the forest, but the willow bends and adapts. When the fires and storms hit, it is the willow that survives.” ― Kara Barbieri

14. “Learn to surf whatever life throws at you.” ― Gustavo Razzetti

15. “Adapt or perish, now as ever, is Nature’s inexcusable imperative.” ― H. G. Wells

16. “Man is a product of nature, a part of the Universe. The Universe is operated under exact natural laws. Man is a product of millions of years of evolution. He adapts himself to the laws of nature or he perishes.” ― James Hervey Johnson

17. “To survive and even thrive in a changing world, nature offers another great lesson: the survivors are those who at the least adapt to change, or even better learn to benefit from change and grow intellectually and personally. That means careful listening and constant learning.” ― Frances Arnold
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of listening quotes that express the importance of listening.

18. “It’s always difficult when you’re working with Mother Nature because you need to adapt to that.” ― Pilou Asbaek

Adapt quotes on why we should change

19. “Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” ― George Bernard Shaw

20. “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.” ― James P. Lewis

21. “Be flexible enough to change in the face of novelty and strong enough to face adversity.” ― Shivashanmugam

22. “Change brings faster results than chance.” ― Amit Kalantri

23. “Only those who are able to adapt to changing scenarios will continue to survive and prosper. Success is directly proportional to the degree of positive adaptation to change.” ― Vishwas Chavan

24. “Change. Adapt. Bend so as not to be broken. Let opportunity guide your actions.” ― Wayne Gerard Trotman

25. “Enjoying success requires the ability to adapt. Only by being open to change will you have a true opportunity to get the most from your talent.” ― Nolan Ryan

26. “We are a party of innovation. We do not reject our traditions, but we are willing to adapt to changing circumstances when change we must. We are willing to suffer the discomfort of change in order to achieve a better future.” ― Barbara Jordan

Adapt quotes about life

27. “Life is neither static nor unchanging. With no individuality, there can be no change, no adaptation and, in an inherently changing world, any species unable to adapt is also doomed.” ― Jean M. Auel

28. “Life persists if it can respond and adapt to its environment.” ― Abhijit Naskar

29. “To live is to exist within the boundaries of what is permissible and what is not. Adaptation to this is called life.” ― Elmar Hussein

30. “When one faces pain on a daily basis, one either learns to live with it or let it consume him.” ― Jina S. Bazzar

31. “In our personal and professional lives, we are constantly hit with one adversity after the other, most of which we have no control over. But the four things we have total control over is how we react, how we adapt, how we breathe, and how we take action.” ― Diamond Dallas Page

32. “As the world we live in is so unpredictable, the ability to learn and to adapt to change is imperative, alongside creativity, problem-solving, and communication skills.” ― Alain Dehaze

33. “Life does more than adapt to the Earth. It changes the Earth to its own purposes.” ― James Lovelock

34. “Things you don’t expect, come up, and you have to adapt. You can’t let it throw you off. You have to cope. Those are all really valuable skills in life and racing.” ― Mikaela Shiffrin

35. “I think self-love isn’t some destination you get to and you are then incapable of feeling those feelings, but a journey in which you adapt your experiences to make for a happier life.” ― Paloma Elsesser

36. “People no longer have one job for life, so it is right that younger generations adapt.” ― ― Esther McVey

Adapt quotes to inspire you

37. “Adapt yourself to the needs of the people.” ― Sunday Adelaja

38. “The environment around us is constantly changing, including innovations, friends, employment and moving to a different location; those who accept and excel at adaptation have smoother transitions, while others struggle.” ― R.J. Intindola

39. “Resistance and adaptation bring evolution.” ― Aniekee Tochukwu Ezekiel

40. “Yoga is the best way to learn to adapt and adjust to the changing environments.” ― Amit Ray

41. “Be flexible and adapt easily to new things.” ― Sunday Adelaja

42. “Every success story is a tale of constant adaption, revision, and change.” — Richard Branson

43. “Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach. It’s the end you’re after.” — Anthony Robbins

44. “Adaptability is not imitation. It means power of resistance and assimilation.” — Mahatma Gandhi

45. “If you’re not stubborn, you’ll give up on experiments too soon. And if you’re not flexible, you’ll pound your head against the wall and you won’t see a different solution to a problem you’re trying to solve.” ― Jeff Bezos

46. “Your ability to adapt to failure, and navigate your way out of it, absolutely 100 percent makes you who you are.” ― Viola Davis

47. “A true champion can adapt to anything.” ― Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

48. “Adapt to yourself, bro. What I wanna say is don’t let nobody tell you that you should stay in your lane, bro.” ― Ski Mask the Slump God

49. “Always be true to you. But learn how to adapt, too. That’s something I wish I did when I was younger.” ― Denzel Curry

50. “All of us need to begin to think in terms of our own inner strengths, our resilience, and resourcefulness, our capacity to adapt, and to rely upon ourselves and our families.” ― Steven Pressfield
If you’re enjoying these quotes, you’ll love our collection of resilience quotes to inspire your next comeback.

Other inspirational adapt quotes

51. “Perhaps it is our imperfections that make us so perfect for one another.” – Douglas McGrath

52. “People seem to get used to anything, and it is a short step from adaptation to attachment.” – Lionel Shriver

53. “It is very undesirable to trigger adaptation processes in the human body.” – Steven Magee

54. “Being able to shift in light of new information and in light of new opportunities is a skill. Practicing will make you a more confident leader of change, now and in the future.” – Stewart D. Friedman

55. “Mass movements are a function of adaptation. Its pulse is change. A movement without mass is a cult. And it is in cults that stupid tyrants hold sway.” – Psyche Roxas-Mendoza

56. “Take in every detail of your environment and adapt.” – Serenity

57. “The mind is not designed to grasp the laws of probability, even though the laws rule the universe.” – Steven Pinker

58. “Life is ever changing. We can always adapt to the new changes.” – Lailah Gifty Akita

59. “The secrets of evolution are death and time—the deaths of enormous numbers of lifeforms that were imperfectly adapted to the environment; and time for a long succession of small mutations.” – Carl Sagan

60. “Evolution is more about adaptivity than adaptability.” – Raheel Farooq

What did you learn from these adapt quotes?

How resilient are you? I think you are stronger and more resilient than you give yourself credit for. There are things you can do to improve your level of resilience and your ability to adapt if you feel like this is an area you want to improve.

Change your mindset. While this is not easy, it is possible. Do the things in life that give you meaning and purpose. Don’t cling to anger and regret. Letting those emotions go will serve you much better in the long run. Try to look for the positive in whatever your situation is.

One final quote about adapting to remember is, “When one door closes, another one opens.” It may not be obvious right away, but never fear that it’s there. Search it out, and remember that our greatest moments often come from when we face the most adversity.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these adapt quotes and sayings? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.

Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor
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