To some degree, going with the flow is a good thing. Not flipping out about the little things that don’t go exactly your way is…a very valuable life skill. You asked for no mayonnaise on your cheeseburger and mayo appeared anyway? Go with the flow (this is coming from someone who works in the food service industry).
But letting life pass you by, not making purposeful decisions, or making no real decisions at all…not such a good thing. There is a time and a place for everything and it’s the same with the whole “go with the flow” mentality.
I have a confession to make: I have been letting life just happen to me. I have filled up my days with school, work, babysitting, with no real plan or purpose. I have no idea why I am doing what I am doing and all goals have been forgotten. And things that I don’t want to deal with (recovery, difficult relationships) I put off until tomorrow. And tomorrow comes and I tell myself, “Starting tomorrow…” Yeah, you can already see where that is going. I never deal with any of the things I need to face.
I feel like so many people get stuck in this cycle. They go to work to pay the bills, they go to school to earn the diploma/degree (even if they aren’t really passionate about it), they go home, sleep, eat. They wake up and the cycle repeats. They are on autopilot, never really considering what they want out of life or what their purpose is. And problems? They exist but they are never dealt with.
And you know what? I don’t want that to happen. Working, going to school, and what have you are not bad things. But when we do them just to pay the bills or earn that degree that we feel we have to earn…those are not good reasons. We, as humans and individuals, have a greater purpose.
To find out that purpose, we need to stop going on autopilot and purposefully take time to sit down and evaluate our goals, beliefs, and day to day life.
If we don’t know what our goals and beliefs are, how can we know whether or not our actions are lining up with those? We can’t resolve problems (whether they be with relationships or self-care or a job) if we don’t realize they exist. So it makes sense that we would go on autopilot, that we would become stuck on go-with-the-flow mode. We start to think, “This is life. This is just is how things are.”
But guess what?
That’s not how things have to be. We can make a choice to make purposeful decisions. To not go with the flow. To actually live.
So here’s a remainder (for me as well as for you) to stop letting life just happen to you. Take time to figure out what you want and what you believe. By this I don’t only mean figuring out your long-term plans (although that’s great). I am also talking about making purposeful decisions and taking purposeful actions.
Make a commitment at the start of the day to positively impact someone’s day. And once you figure out what you want (even out of a single day) you will see what things in your life are conflicting with that goal. Maybe there’s a toxic relationship in your life that makes it extremely difficult to make a positive impact on anyone because it weighs you down so much. Once you realize what’s holding you back, you can take steps to either remove it from your life or make it a positive instead of a negative.
So whether it’s a daily commitment or a long time goal…be purposeful.
Don’t just go with the flow (except when you get the wrong order. Please don’t throw any hamburgers).
(If this post made no sense, I am sorry. I wrote it as I thought it and my thoughts are rarely (never) organized).