Blog with Joel Brookman

Go With the Flow

Adjust Your Sails Book Release
In my book, Adjust Your Sails, I spend time discussing the fact that the happiness you experience in life has a lot to do with your ability to go with the flow. If you are constantly fighting the flow and trying to change things instead of accepting what is and navigating from there, you will always be struggling. That struggle will manifest as frustration and eventually lead to unhappiness.

For the sailor, weather, wind, and current are the non-controllable variables. He can choose to fight against them and struggle to get where he wants to go, or he can accept them and modify his navigation to adjust for the conditions.

In life there are many variables we cannot control. One example is other people. Let’s assume you have a new process that you would like to implement at work. You know this change would increase productivity and help drive more business. The challenge is that you have a group of colleagues that are comfortable doing things the way they always have, and are very resistant to change. Any force you apply here would equate to pushing against the current. If you push too hard, too quickly, they will most likely dig their heels in and put up a fight. Realizing that most people are resistant to change, the first step is to accept this and begin to see the situation from their perspective. Next, look for ways to influence the situation. A solution might be to meet with each of the resistant colleagues one by one and show them the benefits both for themselves and the company overall. This may take multiple meetings and require some time and effort, but by engaging in this process you are directing the situation toward your desired outcome.

Think about the challenges you are having in your life. Are any of them a result of a resistance to go with the flow? See the situation as a rip current in the ocean. You must initially go with the current before you are able to swim out of it. Stop fighting and go with the flow at least initially, then subtly exert your influence to move in the direction you want to go. Remember the fine line, you can direct your life but you cannot control it.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

Posted by Joel Brookman in Adjust Your Sails, Direct Your Life.


Join the discussion by commenting below!