Going with the Flow

change future personal growth Mar 27, 2023

Life is unpredictable. We never know what will happen from one moment to the next. Sometimes, we plan and work hard for something, but it doesn't go how we want it to. Other times, something unexpected comes along, and we must go with the flow. It cannot be easy to do this, especially when things don't go our way, but it is usually better in the long run. This blog post will discuss why it is essential to go with the flow and how doing so can help us lead happier lives.

Ride along the waves of life.

One can imagine life as a body of water, such as an ocean, river, or sea. You can then picture yourself as an individual riding on a boat, cruising along the waves. You will encounter waves coming from different directions along the body of water you are on. Some waves will crash against your boat, while others will push in the same direction you are going. To navigate more smoothly, it will be better to go along with the waves in the same direction as where you are going and try not to resist too much with those coming from an opposite direction. Think of these waves as the changes and events in your life. Many may not be in your plan, and some bring unpleasant outcomes. The truth of life is that many things that happen to us are unexpected. It is okay to have expectations and a vision of how we would like our lives, but many things beyond our control can occur. The outcome we are hoping for may even change altogether. We may become frustrated if we don't achieve or get things the way we want. This is where the idea of going with the flow can help, and it means riding along the waves of life as they come to you. It is a change of perspective that can help you adjust to life. You can do various things to help you ride with the flow, and they can become a regular practice in your daily life.

1. Let go of too much perfectionism

Perfectionism can be a driver of motivation, but it can also work the other way around. It can set us up to follow impossible standards, and we may waste time trying too many times until we accept that what we did was perfect. Due to the desire to achieve something perfect, there are more chances for frustration as things keep happening that are not according to our standards of perfection. While creating a high-quality output can be highly desirable, perfection can still be subjective, as what is perfect to you may not be the same for others. You may waste your time and effort if others don't accept your output as perfect in their eyes. Therefore, it will be better to make progress instead of trying to create that one ideal outcome that may not happen or take a long time to achieve. You also save yourself from frequent frustration since you will be more tolerant of changes that occur instead of rejecting everything in the name of perfection.

2. Focus on what you can control

Many things are beyond our control, and all of them can influence how our life goes and change the outcomes we want. It can be pretty frustrating, but instead of feeling stressed out, it will be better to accept that many things in our lives will not happen according to how we planned. The actions, decisions, and thought patterns of people are something we cannot completely control, and there are also those things that seem way beyond our influence that dictates the flow of our lives, such as the systems implemented by institutions way out of our power, such as governments and big corporations. The earlier we set in our minds that there are things way out of our control, the better position we will be in about how we view life and respond whenever something unpleasant happens. We should focus more on things we can control and change ourselves, such as how we react and make decisions. By focusing more on those we can control, we can achieve a better flow state instead of resisting everything beyond or different from what we expect.

3. Lower expectations

Expectations happen when we try to think of things happening in a particular way. Of course, nothing is wrong with expecting; we somehow expect something to occur in a certain way based on our beliefs, experiences, interests, and values. But, unfortunately, things often won't go how we want them to, and we can become disappointed when they do. The thing with expectations is that we shouldn't set them too high to the point that it may be unrealistic for something to happen. It is even more so if you happen to be expecting something out of luck to occur, and luck is something beyond our control. It can be good to do whatever you can and do your best, then see how things turn out. We can be less disappointed this way if things don't turn out according to how we expect them. Lowering expectations a bit can also help.

4. Spend more time in the present moment

The changes and events we may try to resist all come from the future. They are something that can happen in the next hour or sometime later, like weeks or months from now. We may start worrying that these things can bring something harmful to us. The moment something terrible indeed happens, we may be more resistant in tolerating them and have a challenging time moving on. It can be better to focus more on the present moment to keep yourself in check. Appreciate what is happening right now and what you can do to make your feelings more optimistic. There should also be an acceptance that things can go wrong in the future, and we can make plans now to prevent such things from happening.

5. Be more flexible in planning and adapting

We make plans to be more ready for the future. However, not everything we plan happens as we intend them to. Many factors, especially those beyond our control, can affect the outcome of our plans. This can frustrate us, especially if we expect a particular result. Changes keep coming, and we can better adapt if we find ways to adjust to change more quickly. Also, don't just stick with one plan when you want to do something. Having alternative methods and choices will be helpful so that if something happens differently, you can still move forward by proceeding on an alternate path. Going with the flow means you ride along the dents and curves that change and unexpected outcomes do to us and still come out strong or better at the end.

Going with the flow is a learning process.

Going with the flow is a technique that helps us adapt and survive better. It's typical to desire specific outcomes and situations based on our interests and values, but life will often throw something else at us. New situations and less-satisfactory results can keep popping up, and we will frustrate ourselves if we keep resisting them. On the other hand, if we feel terrible due to an unsavory outcome, we can learn to move beyond it and forge a new reality. Going with the flow takes practice, and once we master it, we can learn to look more at the bigger picture and see if what we are worrying about right now would even play an essential role in the future. Being adaptable and flexible can lessen the stress we experience in our lives and can lead to more happiness and fulfillment too.

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