Life is too short to merely go with the flow

In Top Tips, Video by admin

"Go with the flow" is a phrase we often hear and associate with going along with something. Going with the flow is positive, it feels like we are not resisting and we are going in the direction we should be going.

Is that really the case though? 

Let’s consider a crazy example. If we landed in a river and went along with the flow, where would we eventually end up?

What if the natural flow of the river takes us downstream, but the place we really wanted to visit was upstream?

Is it okay then to settle for being downstream, because we are going with the flow?

Or, should we have made an attempt to paddle upstream to reach the destination of our dreams?

Many are living our lives and going in the direction we are being taken. Perhaps not even thinking about where we are going, but assuming that our direction is okay because we are going with the flow. 

While it may feel easier to go with the flow, while it takes less effort and we don’t have to work as hard for the outcomes, is that really what you want for your life? When life is so short, is it okay to settle for where the flow takes us?

In the daily grind, that flow, which may seem natural at the time, is a flow often determined and set in motion by someone, by an event, an employer, by something other than ourselves. In this case, we may believe that we are going with a natural flow, but in actual fact, all we are doing is going with someone else’s flow, getting someone else to the outcome they desire. 

Taking back control of the flow requires your attention and focus. It takes stopping, pausing, reflecting and asking yourself some tough questions.
Usha Maharaj
Goalposts

Most of us plan for the first major goalpost in our lives, maybe in your case it was completing your degree or getting a job, or even getting the promotions to the position you had your eye on. 

But what happens once this goalpost is reached? What comes next? 

Not  thinking past the first goalpost leads many of us to drift through life. 

Taking back control of the flow requires your attention and focus. It takes stopping, pausing, reflecting and asking yourself some tough questions.

“Where am I going?”

“How am I going to get there?”

Don’t go with the flow unless it is really your flow

Stop and plan for where you want to be. Consider how you are going to get to your next destination. Plan the trip, consider anything and everything that may hold you back. And rather than just going with someone else’s flow, challenge yourself to plan towards your next goalpost, and then design the flow you need to get there.

And when your are free flowing, when you are going with the flow, stop and reflect on where the flow may take you. If it is going in the direction you are headed, then keep flowing. But, if the flow is taking you away from your goals, desires and dreams, then perhaps it is time to create your own flow.

Click here for a quick read on how to maintain a positive mindset. 

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PRO TIP

Life is too short to merely go with the flow. You should be definite about where you are heading and how you are going to get there.

YOU CAN DO, AND BE, EVERYTHING YOU WANT TO BE AND MORE

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About the author:

Usha Maharaj CA(SA) is an Executive and Leadership Coach in South Africa who went from small town trainee accountant to Director in a Big-4 audit firm. Her 16+ year corporate career had all of the highs and lows of a high performing workplace where she shattered setbacks, crushed challenges and conquered fears to enjoy a highly successful career. She now inspires ambitious individuals and executives to reach their own highest level of influence in corporate South Africa.
Find out more at www.ushamaharaj.com.