Sometimes We Just Have To Go With The Flow

Have you ever stopped and asked yourself, “Why is it that successful people seem to have it all laid out perfectly, and everything just works out for them?” It seems as if their entire lives are mapped out to a tee, and that everything they do is premeditated. Oh yeah, and how are they just so calm and cool all of the time?

Well, what if I told you that most of the time they are just winging it?

Often times, we find great comfort in assuming that the people we respect and the leaders around us have it all figured out. We want to be able to put our trust in someone who knows exactly what they are doing. This is why it is so hard to forgive these leaders sometimes when they screw up and make the wrong decisions.

Think about it though, how in the world would anyone be able to plan their outcomes perfectly 100% of the time? Life is far too dynamic and spontaneous to be able to predict how each situation is going to play out. World leaders have no way of knowing each and every natural disaster or global incident. Financial leaders can’t pinpoint exactly when the markets are going to rise or fall. Athletes have no way of knowing when their next injury might happen.

They take each challenge as it comes and react to that challenge with past knowledge and experience. Simply put, they sometimes just have to go with their gut.

Success is often a product of our ability to improvise. We will always have unexpected obstacles and lumps of poo that we have to hurdle over, but when we understand that “this too shall pass,” we find ways to overcome them.

When we start to over think and over do things, we fall and stumble and scrape our knee. It’s much better for us to act on our instincts.

Now, I know some of you are starting to think, “So Rob, you mean to tell me that you never ever plan anything, and you just leave everything to chance?” Now hold on just a second. I don’t want you to misunderstand me here. I believe that it is super important to plan out your goals and action plans, but what we must remember is that not everything will happen exactly the way you want it to. That’s when we must consistently tweak and adjust to make sure we stay on track towards our goal.

I live in Gypsum, CO up in the mountains of Eagle County. All around us, there are streams and rivers. I want you to picture a mountain stream for just a minute. Think about how beautiful they are and how effortlessly they flow down the side of a majestic mountain. They turn this way and that while they glisten in the sun. Whenever this stream finds a rock or a shrub in its path, it effortlessly adjusts so that it gently winds around that obstacle. This is how we should be living our lives. Whenever something blocks our route, we don’t just stop moving. We find a way to go around that rock or twig and continue to go with the flow.

Our lives would be a whole lot less stressful if we could learn how to just go with the flow! Follow your heart and trust your instinct. This will allow you to break through any wall way stronger than any well thought-out strategy would.

Have you ever noticed someone that was working way too hard on something that could have easily been done another way? They pour out every ounce of energy and effort and end up getting peeved. When we try too hard, we lose our authenticity. When we lose our authenticity, we lose our audience and people’s trust. When we lose those things, we are left with a state of immobility and helplessness.

I love the way that John Haltiwanger explains this in his article. He says, “When we over analyze situations, we become trapped in the hypothetical scenarios we’ve manufactured in our minds. We can avoid all of this by reacting in the moment, and accepting that not everything is completely in our control. This is all easier said than done of course, but like anything worth doing, it takes practice.”

Don’t try to swim up the mountain stream like the trout do. I’ve watched them do this several times, and it looks like a lot of work! Instead, embrace the current and let life take you on the ride of your life!

Closing thought:

“There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis.” ~ Malcolm Gladwell.

I appreciate you all,

Rob Thomas

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