Go with the Flow
At some point in time I began to believe that happiness looked like ‘fitting in’ and not being 'different'. It seemed like a sure way to a stressful life lay in the conflict zones, and at some level I believe this is still true. Operating from a premise of ‘fitting in’ often led to indecisiveness because people who do their best to fit in don’t usually tend to have priorities. If something came along that I wanted to explore I had acquired the awful habit of allowing it pass me by. Over dramatic thoughts like what would other people think? come to mind. To be fair, if something was important enough to me I would do it, but it would need to be a life decision like choosing to learn French at university, when at the time it felt like an unmasculine thing to do. In hindsight it turned out to be one of the best decisions that I made. I spent years living with this default philosophy until my life felt difficult enough for me to finally realise that indecision is also a decision. With this truth I began to question whether going with the flow was a good life strategy.
The Still Power of Reflection
I guess there was a period of time where I started to question what I was doing with my life. I loved to learn, draw, read, write and create as a child yet these passions seemed to have faded over time. During this period of reflection what vexed me the most was that I didn’t even try. I realised that I had lost a lot of self-confidence and self-respect because of my habit of indecisiveness. I guess I saw decisions as being something leaders do and I didn’t see myself as a leader, not even of my own life. I was living from a misunderstanding that happiness meant fitting in. On inspection all this ever brought me was social angst and time spent around people I didn’t even really want to be around to begin with.
Hard Decision = Easy Life
The Decision Equation
On reflection, I decided that I would become that curious child once again. I knew it would take time and it would be a lot of hard work but I decided that the restoration of self-respect and self-confidence was important enough to me. Ironically, I began to see that making hard decisions is the path to an easier and more fulfilling life. Although it still feels a little difficult to make hard decisions, at least now I have the knowledge of what lies behind them. Being indecisive and not making tough decisions, that are in your own best interests, seems like the easy thing to do from moment to moment but over time these are the building blocks for a hard life. It leads to a life of blaming others and believing our misguided thinking. The great thing about making decisions that are truly in your best interest is that this ‘selfish’ act also helps to serve the people who matter most to you, just like fear and anger, happiness and confidence are also contagious emotions.
Find your Flow and go with it
I now believe that my balance is in finding my flow and going with it. Flow is important because as Michael Neill so often says life is a contact sport. Being in a state of flow allows us to navigate around the very real rocks in our reality with more ease and grace then we otherwise would have.
Did this blog post help? Have you ever learned something the hard way? Would you like to have a clearer perspective? If you have any insights, questions or recommendations feel free to leave a comment or drop me an e-mail.