The “Triple-A” mantra

Learning to Adjust, Adapt & Acheive

It’s not a baseball league classification, a travel agency or a small battery. They aren’t some yoga man’s initials, a chemical equation, or even half of the A’s on my son’s grade card. No, the AAA is a mantra, my mantra, and it’s something that started out as a bit of a joke. For most of the past 15 years, I usually find myself falling back to its simplistic notions of making progress and conquering difficult tasks.

I originally fell for the coolness of the assonance sounds from their pronunciation—the three words would roll out of my mouth, a short giggle would follow, and if my listeners were paying attention, a smile would appear on their lips.

“Not bad,” they’d say, and then, “Does it work? What is it?”

My mantra, my work mantra. Adjust—Adapt—Achieve. You know, a process for success from difficult circumstances.

It’s more than mantra, though, and if I was going to go full-on philosophy guy, I would start writing about how it can apply to all aspects of your life and be a great marker for moving forward: be it with co-workers, bosses, children, significant others, friends, enemies—anything and everything can be plopped under its large umbrella.

Take a deep breath and say the words slowly: Adjust, adapt, achieve.

The origin story

I was working as a contractor with a Fortune 500 company—rearranging useless data, writing sentences no one would ever read, deleting outdated processes, and generally having a great time with the other workers as we tackled the mundane tasks. Halfway through the project, everything changed—the work method, the software, some of the workers, even the boss. From that mess of overwhelming change, we were asked to write down our goals for the rest of the project, what we were going to do to make the remaining months of work a success, and how we were going to ensure the project was completed on time.

I started writing down a few sappy, jokey lines, stuff like “work harder, adjust as fast as I can to the new workflow, and ultimately through achieving my personal goals, I’ll help the group reach theirs.

“I’m going to adjust, adapt, and achieve.”


I immediately told a co-worker about the slogan.

“That’s a mantra, not a slogan,” he said. “It’s great, I love it!”

So, I wrote up the mantra in my notes and shared it with my new boss. She loved it! Even though I thought it was corny, I liked it, too. Needless to say, I adapted well to the new situation, made the proper adjustments, and achieved all goals, personal or otherwise, for the project. The Triple-A mantra was born.

Why you need a mantra now

I’ve never written about the mantra before, and certainly never done a complete definition of its meaning and uses. But I think it’s important to note that it can be used in a large variety of life situations. In short, this is the philosophy behind mantra:

  • Adjust – If you aren’t able to adjust, even slightly, to different kinds of change, you will fail at almost anything you do, work-wise or in your personal life. To be successful, we make adjustments to work patterns, the screen settings on our computer or phone, the temperature gauge, even in our wardrobes. We adjust.
  • Adapt – A close cousin to adjust, adapting comes down to a broader sense of things in general, things that you can’t change, but you can change yourself to move forward. You adjust things within your control, adapt to things outside of your control.
  • Achieve – Crossing the finish line after dealing with and overcoming obstacles is a great feeling. Victory is sweet, be it an enormous win or just a small triumph, and achievement is why we play the game, why we are in business.

As I was reminiscing about the mantra and thoughts of accomplishments positioned themselves within my head, I remembered my adjustment and adaptation plan for this blog—Onspring and how it empowers business users to innovate and solve problems for themselves. For everything that it brings to its clients, Onspring also emboldens them with the ability to adjust and adapt to almost any situation within the parameters of their work with the purpose of achieving goals. The overall power of Onspring isn’t just in the how simple it is to use and configure, it is how easy it is to adjust and adapt it to almost any type of situation or need, which leads to achieving the desired end result.

And really, isn’t that what it’s all about? Isn’t that what you want from your business solutions? At Onspring, we focus on performance and usability in everything we do—adjust and adapt capabilities—so our clients can focus on the things important to them.

Breathe deep, and try not to think about a travel company as you silently whisper “Triple A” to yourself and smile loudly as you murmur the word “mantra.”

Go forth—adjust, adapt, achieve.

About the author

Evan Stos Vice President Customer Experience Onspring GRC Software

Evan Stos
Vice President at Onspring
15 years GRC experience