“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” – Lao-Tzu
Being able to go with the flow means being able to accept a situation for what it is and go with it rather than resist it. So, for example, if you’re an athlete, going with the flow means being able to accept poor performance and move on from it rather than dwell on it and get stuck in a negative place. Or, if you’re running your own business, going with the flow means being able to accept that not everyone is going to get on-board with your idea and keeping your focus on potential new customers rather than wasting time and energy trying to convert uninterested parties. Or, in everyday life, being able to go with the flow means being able to accept that not everything goes to plan and that burning your toast in the morning or getting held up in the morning rush hour doesn’t need to ruin the rest of your day.
Going with the flow is accepting changes and continuing to move forward from wherever they take you, rather than letting them keep you stuck in a place of anger and frustration.
Okay, I think it’s fair to say that most of us struggle when things are just not going the way we wanted them to, right? Things that upset your plans or people who get in the way of progress can put you into a negative frame of mind, and that’s the problem. If your mind is full of negative thoughts, those thoughts impact the actions you take, and negative actions are not going to bring anything positive into your life.
Roll with the Punches…
You could say that going with the flow is essentially rolling with the punches. Being able to accept that things can and will go wrong is important if you are to learn how to maintain a positive mental attitude when they do. With the best will in the world, you can’t control everything. In fact, the only thing you can control is the way you think about things you can’t control and respond to happenings that are out with your control.
… and Get Things in Perspective
If you allow a negative happening to dominate your thoughts from that point forwards, you’re stuck in that negative place. For example, burning your toast might ruin your breakfast plans, but does it really need to ruin your entire day? If you go through the rest of your day with a head full of angry thoughts about how badly your day is going, then you’ve set yourself up for a day of things going badly. Whether it’s burning your toast or any other negative happening, will it still be a big deal tomorrow, or next week?
Don MacNaughton is a High-Performance Coach and has worked tirelessly to help clients achieve success in the world of sport and business over the past 15 years. The next, highly popular, NLP Diploma and Life Coaching Certificate course starts in April 2019. Click here for more information or to sign up.