Go with the flow to find your direction
I feel like people think finding your direction in life is the opposite of going with the flow, because for one you need to be active and determined and the other sounds more like being passive and chill. But I believe finding your direction in life is pretty much related to going with your flow. Because your flow naturally takes you to where you need to be and you intuitively know your direction because you are attentive to all the coincidences, resistances, and your core reaction to stuff. You feel this fire that lights up the path to you where you need to go, and this fire burns the brightest when you’re going with the flow.
A lot of people my generation feel this pressure, the pressure to find the perfect path and stick to it for the rest of our lives because that’s what the adults seem to be doing, or at least what they’re expected to be doing. When you’re a kid you assume that you life will unfold perfectly according to the plan, and you experience the biggest loss of innocence when you realize that things can go wrong. And there is no plan. The plan keeps changing. Everything is constantly changing and then one day we die.
In winter it seems like the nature died, all grey and sad, but then there is spring. Always. Every year. Because there is this flow in nature and you are also nature. If things aren’t great now, they will be at one point. If you’re facing hardship, you’re growing. It’s all part of the flow. It’s all for you.
When you’re in the flow, whatever feels right is right and you give in, you trust the process, you are vibing, you know good things are happening around you and you notice them and appreciate them. You feel grateful. You trust that you are going in the right direction. You almost hear the universe talking to you, with words on billboards or with a book you keep hearing from people around you. You don’t feel alone because you feel like you have a guiding voice in you that tells you which direction to take.
In our last chat I mentioned how I was enjoying going with the flow as in rarely waiting for the subway or with literally squirrels outside my window on the third floor in my NYC apartment, but it’s so much more. Life is easier and more fun when you go with the flow. Going with the flow is actually learning how to stop fighting against it. It’s trusting your guts that life will take you where you need to be. It’s about listening to your feelings and being attentive to what’s coming your way. It’s realizing that whatever makes you happy and chill is your direction and what doesn’t is not. It’s something you can start practicing right now.
So where do we start?
There is a section in Alice in Wonderland that my dad kept bringing up as I was growing up:
Alice: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
The Cheshire Cat: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
Alice: “I don’t much care where.”
The Cheshire Cat: “Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.”
So the moral of the story is if you don’t know where you want to be headed, it doesn’t matter which first step you take. So just take one.
First, find your passion. What’s something that comes natural to you but not so much to other people? What are you good at, or what do people around you think you’re good at? What did you like doing when you were a kid? What’s meaningful to you? What’s something you’d love to do even if you weren’t paid to? How can you align your gifts with the impact you want to create on the world? Once you have a vague idea about what you could in fact enjoy doing, go for it. Enroll in a relevant class, learn a skill that will help you in that field, apply for a job, or volunteer, reach out to people who seem to be doing what you want to be doing.
There are no wrong steps at the beginning. Whatever you start doing will get you a step closer to your direction as you will either be super happy with where this is going or realize that this is not what you wan’t. Great, now we know one thing that you don’t want to do. Back on the drawing board. Now try that other thing and see where that one takes you. The key is to direct your awareness to 1. what you keep getting resistance from and 2. what you’re drawn to. It all starts with awareness because once you create the space, your flow will fill it in and take you and you will naturally feel inspired and see that you’re directed somewhere that excites you.
Sometimes we want something, or we think we want something, but it keeps getting harder and messier to achieve. Things get cancelled, new restrictions are imposed out of nowhere, someone doesn’t do their part; you do everything you can but it just doesn’t work. To me, that means a no. When it’s doors closing after another, then it’s not your direction. You should look elsewhere because if this was your flow, you’d be flowing. You’d be effortlessly making good creative decisions. Stop thinking that the world is working against you. You are just giving your time and energy to something that’s not part of your flow. You’ll end up somewhere better for you if you allow the flow to take you.
Let me give you an example, I have a friend who’s a talented artist and a bartender. He puts a lot of effort into the bar to make it a better more fun place but he keeps facing obstacles and issues and it pisses him off. On the other hand he keeps hearing about random galleries and artist grants or meets people who are in the art world. This, to me, is a clear sign that he should give up on the bar and take the risk and devote all his time to his art and take action on whatever comes his way that’s relevant to where he wants to take his art. Because with all the time and energy he gives to something that’s not fulfilling him in any way, he has less to give to his art, which is what he actually wants to grow.
An interesting example I want to bring up is Squid Game. The creator was rejected by a bunch of production companies for a decade or so. I don’t know how he felt during all that or if he worked on other stuff and forgot about this for a while, but I believe that there was this delay because the world needed to see Squid Game at that precise moment, after a pandemic, through streaming, people talking about it on social media, it shook the world thanks to all that. We watched it at the same time and that’s powerful because it elevates the impact, it creates bigger FOMO and a larger audience as a result. Squid Game wouldn’t be this big of a success if it came out ten years ago when the creator first pitched it. So to me the flow is also about timing and trusting the flow’s timing.
Going with the flow is to observe where there is constant resistance and to choose the path with least resistance. You will have to put in the hard work in any case, but you will either face stupid obstacles that push you back or see lovely coincidences that help you in the process.
Carl Jung calls this synchronicity. He believed that we label things as coincidences and luck or chance, but they are in fact directly related to your mind and they provide insight, direction, and guidance. This could be seeing the same symbols or numbers everywhere, or spontaneous encounters that talk about the same thing. If you are aware of these synchronicities, follow them because they give you clues to your direction.
“Synchronicity is an ever-present reality for those who have eyes to see.”
This makes so much sense if you ask me, because of selective perception. You wouldn’t remember something irrelevant, you are aware of this particular coincidence because you are drawn to this. I’m sure there are a million synchronicities that happen to all of us every day, but we pay attention to the ones that’s true to our nature and flow. Like, I’m sure I see a million pugs every day but I don’t even register them but if I was looking to get a pug myself, then I’m sure I’d be like “I swear I see pugs everywhere, this cannot be a coincidence, this is a sign, I swear!” So whatever you are drawn to, trust that it’s your flow. It’s there for you.
I also believe that we create our own luck. If you are outgoing and always meeting people, reaching out, researching, then you will experience more synchronicities along your direction for sure. You will create more opportunities for synchronicities to show up. There can only be so many when you’re closed up to the world. They don’t usually come to you if you wait for them on the couch all day. But if you are willing to find your direction, it will take you no time to detect something you’re drawn to and it will open up a lot of doors for you and voila you’re going with the flow.
And it’s not enough to be aware of them. I wish it was that easy. You need to pursue them, take action if that’s your calling. You’ll receive help from unexpected places and things will work out but you have to take the first step and show up for yourself.
I know many people have issues with accepting help, but these synchronicities come in many shapes and forms and a lot of times they come in a human form. Usually I meet someone who introduces me to an opportunity, an idea, something that’s the perfect next step in my direction. It invites me into my flow. In those cases it’s so important to accept help (from the right people of course). The flow isn’t the place to act proud or closed. Remember you create the space so that the flow can fill. And you need to be open to receive.
It feels weird to say that a direction is either perfectly right for you or terribly wrong. That’s probably not the case. But our reaction tells us stuff. Say you get an offer, it may surprise you that you feel this resistance in you because you may think you want it, but why aren’t you thrilled about it? This isn’t necessarily an awful direction, but it’s not your direction. Your reaction tells you about the direction you should be headed toward.
And you may have heard about this approach: Hell yes or no. If your immediate reaction to something is “hell yes let’s go let’s do this!” then that’s the direction, it’s your flow. But if you’re like “hmm, I don’t know, I mean it’s a great offer but…” then it’s a no. The important thing here is that you need to be clear that this reaction comes from your intuition and not your mind. The mind can bring you a million reasons not to pursue something but if you feel the fire burning inside you, you’re not gonna listen to that voice in your head. You’ll go with your flow.
Do it for the world!
The more you listen to your intuition instead of your mind, the more you learn about yourself and what makes you happy and what doesn’t. You will live a unique life that has never been lived before. Not in this time, not by you. There is just one of you and we will appreciate it if you show up as your best self and most self and share your unique energy with us. You will change some people’s world for the better along your direction. When you’re going with your flow, you add your unique value to our world and it helps all of us. So thank you!