You ever ride “the Lazy River” at a water park?
Ya know the one -- the one where your lie on back in a tube and let the flow just take you. My favorite ride, as a ProcrastiN8r.
You lean back and relax, despite all the upcoming obstacles, like waterfalls, rapids, people shooting water guns, and whatever. It’s a chill time.
That’s sort of a metaphor for how you should approach life.
Go 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
You must be able to embrace your laziness and relax, stay cool, calm, and level-headed, no matter what sort of shit hits the fan. No matter what life “splashes” at you. Just keep moving forward, slowly, very slowly, but also very surely as well.
Just pick an interesting river and ride it out.
Today we’re gonna take a look at the benefits of just going with the flow and how it fits into the entire mental frame of the Lazy Mindset..
Before we get started though, let’s first clarify what it is we’re talking about when we say “Go with the Flow”.
We’re NOT talking about tossing your hands in the air and saying “aw well, let’s see what happens” without any sort of plan or practical means of doing things.
We procrastinate with Purpose.
We’re Lazy, not indecisive
We, ProcrastiN8rs, make a decision and make plans to find the easiest way to get there . So going with the flow for the purposes of this article does NOT mean just “hoping for the best” and “seeing how things work out”.
Going with the Flow is a purposeful motive, in fact. It is choosing to remain composed instead of getting worked up and upset by negative emotions.
Going with the flow is also not a matter of “putting it into the hands” of God or Satan or Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy or unicorns from outer space.
It does indeed involve taking accountability, but not feeling excessively guilty and anxious over decisions made, even if they were wrong.
Basically when we’re talking about “going with the flow, we’re talking about “taking it easy” in everyday circumstances as well as during impactful life changing events, both good and bad, instead of just rolling the dice and relying on luck.
Now that we have a clear definition out of the way, let’s dive into the benefits of Going with the Flow. We’ll then wrap up with HOW to actually accomplish this “flow” state of mind.
PROCRASTIN8 BENEFITS OF GOING WITH THE FLOW:
Going with the Flow quite simply puts your mind at ease. When you go with the flow, you are less burdened by unnecessary obligations, impacted by stress, defeated during times of strife, or swayed/discouraged by the opinion of other (especially when it’s negative)
1. You enable more confidence, more freedom, and stronger self reliance. You don’t get shaken up easily because you’re just “Going with the Flow” and feeling the currents pull you forward in the direction you want to go.
2. You have a clear place in mind, tangible goals, that you look forward to, but don’t get so caught up into thinking of them that you become nervous or anxious. You’re positive you’ll make it there in the end (of this flowing stream)
3. You’re free of self-doubt because you already know what you want to achieve and how you’re going to get there.
4. You take criticism lightly and not to heart and see it as an opportunity to improve yourself, rather than wallow in feelings of unworthiness
5. You live a life of desire, rather than obligation. You do what you want, rather than what you are forced to do. You are not a people pleaser. You are flowing down *your own* river, not someone else’s
6. You learn from mistakes and don’t let them define you or prevent you from getting better. You adapt, adjust, and move on.
7. You live in the present. You relax in times of stress and don’t worry about what “could be” or “could have been”.
8. You feel like you’re part of a sitcom and not a drama. You don’t take life too seriously (no one gets out alive anyway) and don’t sweat the small stuff and usually just embrac eit with a smile or a big laugh.
Now that we know what Going with the Flow actually is and how it can be beneficial, let’s dive even further into this topic and look at HOW to actually Go with the Flow so you can start riding the lazy waves in your own life today.
HOW TO ACTUALLY GO WITH THE FLOW:
Accept that you can’t control everything or everyone. Both people and the environment are unpredictable. You can’t change what happens, but you can change how you react to it.
You Go with the Flow not by flowing into a pit of rage or crying spell, but by letting things slide by and accepting the way things (or people) are with poise and grace.
The only thing you can ever change and control 100% of the time is yourself, your own thoughts, your own words, and your own actions, so start there.
Some people wake up every day and ask themselves the question “How do I be a professional victim today?” Not you.
You’re not easily offended and certainly don’t go out of your way to look for ways to be offended. That’s a lot of work to do and for what benefit? Feeling like you’re oppressed in some obscure fashion?
Lazy means only doing work when necessary and when it brings about an extraordinary GOOD benefit. Feeling oppressed may be extraordinary but certainly isn’t good, and certainly isn’t worth the work ethic to try and obtain.
Don’t search for ways to feel like the world is pit against you. Don’t comb around for a scapegoat for your problems. Take (at least some) accountability for your own misfortune, but don’t be so bogged down by it that it stifles you completely.
If you do feel triggered, you don’t throw a temper tantrum by screaming and yelling, but instead relax and express your concerns calmly and politely, yet firmly.
Don’t Name Call. Just Disagree.
First, name-calling doesn’t really get your point you’re trying to make across to the other person
Second it demonstrates you’re intellectually weak and instead of addressing the points made in the debate you resort to school yard tactics
Go with the flow and just LISTEN to what the other person is saying. Try to understand, rather than label them.
We’ve become so divided as a country (yet ironically still call oruselves the “United” States) mainly because everyone’s shouting names at each other (biggot, libtard, tradcon, incel, femanazi, etc, etc) instead of having a *real* conversation.
It’s OKAY to disagree with someone without hating them or insulting them. No, really it’s okay.
When something unpredictable happens, don’t let it get under your skin. Stop taking life so seriously.
Remember, everyone dies at the end. “All we are is dust in the wind”
It’s a short trip too.
So at the very least, make it entertaining. Always look for the humorous side of things, even when things are at their worst.
Don’t try to make things right. Just make it fun.
Similarly to having a good laugh, try to make your life goal to have fun.
Instead of asking yourself how can I say the right words, do the right things, make the right moves, be the right guy/gal...
Instead of asking asking all these self-doubting questions. Ask just this one:
How can I make this fun?
Enjoy your time here, in every instant.
Go with the Flow and don’t worry about a certain outcome. The “right” outcome might not happen anyway.
Have an “entertainment” mindset and think to yourself “It’ll be interesting to see what happens. Either way it’ll be fun”
There’s more to life than just grinding at work all the time and living pay check to pay check. A lot more, actually.
Flow into your leisure and find what it is that makes you truly relaxed and carefree.
I’m not too religious but even the big magical sky daddy of Christianity made it a rule to “take a day off” as one of the Ten Commandments in the Bible.
I mean I’m not a cosmetic being or anything, but the so called “ creator and ruler of the universe” says that taking a break is one of the top ten moral things your should do.
So if you’re not gonna take it from me, a lazy dude who sits at home all day, then maybe you’ll take it from an All-Mighty Being.
Embrace the mindset that Mistakes are Meh
Mistakes are going to happen. That much you can’t avoid.
We all make mistakes and we will continue to make mistakes until the day we die.
Say mistakes are “meh” and see them as an opportunity to learn and grow, rather than a definition of who you really are.
Mistakes don’t define you but how you handle them can.
Go with the flow and let go of your mistakes. Learn from them, remember them, but don’t hold on to them like they are part of you. Learn to forgive yourself.
You ain’t gotta be perfect. Just “good enough”
Don’t strive for perfection. Human beings evolved to survive, not be perfect. Even machines aren’t perfect (though they are better than humans in a lot of things performance wise)
Look at a diamond close enough and you will see the scratches and dust. Even those most pristine have flaws.
So don’t beat yourself up about making a mistake or doing something less than perfect.
Striving for the impossible is not something a lazy person does anyway.
It may not always go the way you want to. Things don’t go as planned. There might be little things that get in your way, but keep in mind that the BIG thing, the big body of water moving toward a goal isn’t going to stop.
Sometimes boulders create rapids, but don’t stop the stream from flowing.
Looking at the nitty gritty details is too much work anyway, man. Keep it nice and simple.
Give yourself Small simple “unpredictables”
Train yourself to handle these little “rapids” by purposefully putting yourself in situations that break you out of your routine.
So many people become creatures of habit, doing the same thing every single goddamn day. Day in and day out they work the same shift, drive the same way to get there, eat the same foods.
I don’t know about you but I’m here to LIVE NOT EXIST.
I want to experience all the things life has to offer, and not just go through the notions of the same redundant set of tasks, like a mindless machine.
Go to a different restaurant (or order from one if you don’t wanna leave the couch), play a video game you never played before, take a different walking route while playing PokemonGo.
Do simple little things that are different and a bit unpredictable.
Just like a DnD campaign, you can’t ever kill dragons if you don’t start killing rats first.
Death of a loved one or a huge dental bill might be a “Dragon Unpredictable”, a tough boss battle. There’s no way you can handle that if you can’t even handle say...ordering a different topping on your pizza tonight, the small low level creatures.
Go with the Flow and set yourself up to handle whatever life throws at you and always try to actually live life, instead of become a lifeless robot with a set of predictable routines.
Clear your mind and meditate
If you didn't blow out the dust of your old NES cartridge, what would happen? The game *might* load but it would be a pixelated mess and you couldn’t really see the game to play it properly. Or, more likely than not, it just wouldn’t boot up at all.
That’s sort of a good metaphor for your brain when you don't meditate. It’s like not blowing out the “dust” and trying to play the game. Say hello to glitch haven.
(Lack of meditation may be a small factor into all these mental helath problems we see rising up. That’s not the only thing of course but it is important)
Our brains pick up all this fog or “dust” and if you don’t take the time to clear it out, it’s either not gonna function properly or isn’t going to be able to boot up/wake up in the first place.
You just need to take the time to “blow the dust out” and clear your head of any gunk that might be clogged up inside by...doing nothing.
See, meditation is of course just a fancy word for “doing nothing”. You sit there doing nothing and think of...nothing.
It’s relaxing as fuck and seriously one of the most rejuvinating experiences.
Go with the flow and clear your mind, instead of letting your brain rot with negative shit.
Pick your battles and Procrastinate your problems. Don’t argue or nag
As mentioned earlier, you can’t control everything and little things that go wrong don’t affect the overall Big Flow all that much.
While you shouldn’t just let things slide so much that people walk all over because you fail to ever stand up for yourself, you shouldn’t let every little thing that bothers you become an issue or argument.
You have to be able to differentiate between what’s worth fighting for and what’s worth laying down your sword (for now). Put off the minor gripes and focus on solving the bigger, more important ones.
Recognize your feelings without reacting to them.
Remember just because your feeling a certain way doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the truth. For example you may not *feel* loved because your partner forgot to do the dishes when s/he promised they would, but that doesn’t mean s/he doesn’t. S/he may have just got caught up with something else or simply forgot.
You may *feel* like your friend hates you just because they forgot to invite you to a movie, but that might not be the case. S/he may have other things on his/her mind as well besides just your friendship (kids, stress at work, family problems, etc)
Don’t cry, pout, or yell. Your feelings are valid. What’s not valid is reacting to them like a toddler.
Stop fucking censoring yourself and say what you mean, damnit!
Say what you mean and mean what you say. Don’t beat around the bush or dip your toe in the water.
Be honest, bluntly so. I mean you can cuss or not. That's up to you, but the point here is that you don't hold back your true and honest opinion.
Kids do this naturally. They’ll tell you if your sweater is ugly. They’ll tell you if your voice is annoying. Or if your cooking sucks. They’ll tell you.
Now it may come across as mean, but they’re not being assholes. They’re just being honest.
We sort of (metaphorically) beat them into submission by teaching them politeness.We value politeness (and political correctness for that matter) far too much
There’s a fine line between being polite and being dishonest just to make other people happy. It’s okay to respect other people. It’s not okay to lie to their face just to make them smile.
If someone makes you cookies and they’re too salty and tastes like shit. Then tell them. Don’t be like “oh, they’re pretty good.”
Live in the present.
Focus on what’s happening now. Be in the moment. Be in the room. Go with the Flow at the current pace it’s moving at. Don’t lagg behind it and be stuck in the past or try to rush it to move faster.
Look ahead to where you want to go, of course.
Reminisce nostalgic experiences also.
But stay flowing in the present and don’t be so caught up in other parts of the timeline that you forget where you are. Right here. Right now.
Do your own thing regardless of what other people expect or want. They don’t have to follow your lead and that’s fine. That’s whatever.
The Dude abides and does his own thing and doesn’t force his will upon others. He makes requests, not demands, and isn’t afraid to just keep doing his own thing (or find another way to do it) if his requests are denied
Lead through inspiration, not pressure.
Let others flow into you and ride the waves with you. Don’t hit ‘em with a hurricane to try and make them submit.
Get rid of your toxic relationships (romantic, platonic, family, business). Remove people that drain you and don’t give them the energy or time of day.
Know when it’s time to walk away (and float on).
You’re too lazy to deal with bullshit. Don't hang on to garbage, keep it in the trash.
Adapt to changes and play by the rules, but have your own set of rules that you abide by and don’t ever break them.
Bend but don’t break.
Be flexible enough that you’re likeable. But not much that you’re bending over backwards and people are walking all over you as a doormat.
Be rigid enough that you don’t let people fuck with you. But not so much that you’re unapproachable.
Go with the Flow and be willing to make minor adjustments to small preferences while keeping your stronger (more vital) principles in tact.
There you have it, a solid list of ways to get started in your own flow. As a general rule of thumb, just don’t get caught up in the intricacies of life and don’t attach yourself to a certain way of how it “should” be.
“Flow with whatever is happening and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.” – Chuang Tzu
Ride the lazy river of life and take unpredictable happenings as a fun part of the ride.
Take it easy,
Now if you disagree with me that’s cool, but hopefully we don’t hate each other.
We’ll talk about how to be lazy and not to care about someone’s different opinion next week.
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