Going with The Flow 208

going with the flow

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
Lao Tzu

I’ll share with you my writing process.

It’s nothing special and actually there’s no fixed routine.

Ideas pop up in my head while reading books or stuff on the Internet, traveling, noticing little daily things, watching videos and movies, communicating (it may be a simple thing someone says but it can provoke many ideas I can later turn into posts), or basically almost everything I do. It may be while doing something, or just sitting and contemplating.

The idea may by a title for a post (Yes, sometimes I just think of random titles.), an introduction for another, the main idea of a third one, or just something to work later on.

After some time I’ll eventually think of a title of all the written posts that don’t have one, of what to write on empty word documents that only have a title, a new paragraph to write here, or a list there.

The thing is that one idea gives birth to many others. I think one of my best habits is writing each of them down.
That way when sometimes I want to write but have nothing particular in mind, I just go through a few pages of such ideas and pick random ones. Then I combine them in a post.

Now as I think of it, that process is a complete chaos.

But it turns out to be working. And I know why.

Simply because I don’t force anything. I don’t try to think of a title of a post immediately after finishing it, or to write a last paragraph of one just to get it done.
Instead, I go with the flow. And soon each of them is a completed one – with a title that fits perfectly and the exact idea I wanted to share in its content.

My job is to have ideas, take action (write them down, start writing when I feel like and when I have something to say) and not to force things. The rest just comes in place at the right time.

 Here is what Leo Babauta says in his ebook “The Effortless Life”:

“The writing has been effortless because I’m passionate about it, I have no fixed plans or expectations, I’m in no rush, I’m doing it
mindfully, and I’m letting others help me edit, so I save unnecessary work.”

 He also shares a lesson of Bruce Lee:

Be like water making its way through cracks.
Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object,
and you shall find a way round or through it.
If nothing within you stays rigid, outward
things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless—
like water. Now you put water in a cup,
it becomes the cup; You put water into a
bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a
teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can
flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

How to achieve that?

In order to do this, we need to let go of all our fears, doubts, expectations and fixed plans. We need to feel this flow and go with it. Just like water.

An important thing to do is to trust that things will turn out just the way they should.

We’re all obsessed with the need of having control over everything in our life, of having security (which, in my opinion, is an illusion. You can see why here.)

Only letting go can help you free yourself of that burden. Only embracing insecurity and realizing that control is imaginary will give you the way to go with the flow, to do everything naturally and in accordance with the universe.

You’ll reach that level of joy, harmony and peaceful mind when you stop forcing things and accept them as they are. You can, of course, take actions in order to get what you want, but they should correspond with the natural laws. And you should not interfere this flow.

Living effortlessly is an amazing thing. It takes time to get there, but you can do it. It’s a level of consciousness where you won’t feel afraid, insecure, in doubt, disappointed or another negative emotion. That is why your actions will be the right things you need to do and there will be enough space in your life and mind for joy and contentment to come.

What do you think? Can you say that you’re going with the flow sometimes? What’s the result?

Image by Sam Wollf

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Why Top Executives Meditate (and Why Should You) 21

Why Top Executives Meditate (and Why Should You)

If you want to perform at a high level – whether in tennis, chess or at work – you either have to study how the masters in that field train and operate, or you need to be so stupendously talented that nobody is in a position to give you any advice at all.

For most of us, the latter doesn’t apply, so getting better is partly a question of emulating what we see those we admire doing. At the C level in top companies, this obviously includes things like actively networking, knowing as much as possible about your industry and training your subordinates.

A less visible habit is becoming more popular among top executives, though: meditation. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why some business superstars consider this a vital part of their daily routine:

Rebooting a Negative Mindset

When you have to deal with dozens of issues each day, it’s inevitable that you’ll have some successes and some failures.

The problem arises when our responses to setbacks start bleeding over into other matters. Meditation helps us to dispassionately examine our negative thoughts and get back on an even keel before the next meeting.

Most of us will have experienced days where we hit an upsetting snag first thing in the morning, after which nothing we try seems to go right. Rationally speaking, this can’t be because your horoscope says that your day will suck or accidents come in threes: the most likely explanation is simply that suffering a reverse conditions us to act in a way that doesn’t lead to success.

Remaining Objective

Although we’d like to deny it, our “rational” decisions are shaped at least as much by our emotions as by the relevant facts. This becomes even more true when we’re under pressure; anyone interested in how this works will find plenty of examples in Ben Horowitz’s book, “The Hard Thing About Hard Things.”

Simply put, when our emotions are engaged, we become less able to find creative solutions to problems, see the wood for the trees and tell our needs from our wants.

Meditating, even if only briefly, helps us separate fact from perception and feeling from thought, leading to better judgment and more a consistent management style.

Releasing Stress

Although closely related to the previous points, the negative impact of persistent stress on our health makes it worthwhile discussing this separately.

The roots of stress are many: frustration, anger, disappointment, anxiety. These feelings can’t really be avoided in a management position, so many executives turn to a therapist or therapy, exercise or uninterrupted time with their family for release.

These approaches are all effective, but meditation has the advantage that doing it regularly trains our minds to enter a “centered” state within a very short time of closing our eyes and stilling our thoughts.

Once the habit has been established, whenever things get to the point where our palms are sweaty and we feel the need to yell at the wallpaper, we need only take two or five minutes to get back to the “real” us. This ability is simply invaluable for anyone who has to be at their best all the time, which means that it’s great news that meditation can be learned by anyone.