Each of us has the potential to do magnificent things.
The problem is, we spend most of our lives trying to control how we act, what we do and what other people think of us.
All those attempts to control keep us from the amazing potential inside.
There’s something dangerous and inhibiting about that word: control.
Control comes with related thoughts and emotions like perfectionism, suppression, fear, worry, jealousy, ego and restraint.
A life of attempted control is a life bottled up, restrained and held back.
You don’t control your magnificent side, you let it flow.
Flow is the opposite of control. Flow is the art of letting things happen. You don’t control your way to achieving flow, it happens when you stop controlling and start encouraging.
The field of psychology has one definition of flow that applies narrowly to a single activity:
Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.
But flow can also apply to your entire life, and when that happens, you’ve found your way.
Finding your life’s flow starts with embracing your unique gifts and talents and admitting your hopes and dreams with sincerity.
At first you have to stop controlling the person you are.
Accept full responsibility for who you are right now (and the choices you’ve made), and admit that you haven’t given yourself complete permission to pursue the things you really want to do with your life.
Then, you have to listen to the creative dimensions of yourself you’ve been suppressing. For me, this wasn’t really possible until I hit the reset button and took a long sabbatical away from my regular influences.
When you find glimpses of your best self underneath all the layers of expectations and conformity, you have to encourage that better self waiting inside you. Nurture your best self and let it grow.
You know there is a magnificent side of you just beneath the surface, waiting to come out and flourish and change the world in your unique positive way, whether big or small.
Your job is to find that side of yourself and embrace it.
Welcome your life’s flow and start living your potential.
The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who actually do. – Steve Jobs
I’ve been in a state of flow lately.
Two weeks ago, I quietly launched a new design and direction for this site (if you’re reading this in email and haven’t seen the changes yet, pop over and tell me what you think).
This new direction is the result of embracing my flow and letting it be. I’ve realized I love encouraging people, and I’m letting go of trying to surpress that drive.
Part of living your flow also means getting comfortable with things that aren’t happening due to new opportunities and interests.
For example, I sometimes don’t have the time to post here as often as I would like. I would love to post more often because writing here makes me feel alive. But at the moment I’m flowing with other efforts like Traffic School, which opens again next week (if you have a website or blog, please check it out), because that’s where a big opportunity to help people and solve problems is right now.
Welcoming my flow has led me on an unbelievable journey over the past two and a half years. None of it would have been possible if I had continued trying to control my life externally instead of encouraging the life within.
If you had told me three years ago that I’d be running a business I love and growing it so fast I need help, or that I would be living in Mexico every winter, or that I would be traveling this summer for two months to Europe (Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague and Croatia), I wouldn’t have believed you.
Now I know better because flow takes you places you can’t imagine.