So, as I describe flow, it is the concept of dealing with life in a way that will deliver the “greatest result” with the least stress. Life in the flow lane is an approach that relies on using the concept of flow as you move through life. The greatest result is subjective, and in the concept of flow it includes not only the result but the means and the attitude used to attain the result. The process is part of the result.
There will be elements of truth, good will, compassion, excellence, and awareness of circumstances, both stark and subtle. In the flow lane, elements and your awareness of circumstances will be personal because they are analyzed, often instantaneously, by you with the unique perspective you bring to the situation. Between point A, birth, and point B, death, each person devises ways to deal with difficult or unpleasant issues. If you have an approach and understand and feel what that approach is, you are on a good path. If your approach achieves good results and reduces your stress, you are on the right path for you.
That’s where the flow lane comes in. If you have spent some time thinking about your life and your part in it; if you have come to some agreement with all of the competing parts of yourself, about who you are and what is important to you; and if you have decided that love, kindness, excellence, and inclusiveness are important concepts to you, then you are ready for life in the flow lane.
Many years ago, the concept called “going with the flow” was popular. As I understand it, that concept consisted of letting things happen and going along with those things. My concept of flow is not the same, though it, too, relies on looking for the least stressful approach. The difference is, in life in the flow lane, you are actively in charge of moving in the direction you choose; you are using everything you have learned, everything you feel and everything you have become to choose the path, with whatever twists and turns may be appropriate, to arrive at your goal, keeping yourself still intact.
There is a separate concept, that I think, fits nicely here. That concept is that to the extent that your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions coincide, you are at peace, and to the extent they do not coincide, you are under stress. You have to know who you are and bring all of yourself to deal with every issue, or the result you achieve will not be satisfactory. I call this concept personal cohesiveness. A way to tie life in the flow lane and personal cohesiveness together is to suggest that to the extent your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions coincide, you will live your life in the flow lane. In thinking of life in the flow lane, I have come up with several elements that I find to be helpful in understanding what flow is and how to incorporate it into my life. Those elements are:
- Be aware
- Be small
- Live large
- Accept humanness
- Accept that you are unique
- Practice excellence
- Practice joy
- Do something
- Plan something
These elements are not exclusive. As you look at and try to feel the concept of life in the flow lane, you may be able to identify other elements that could be helpful in reaching a deeper understanding of it. These elements should help you understand that you need to bring your whole self to every situation so that you can best understand and feel the many factors and considerations that go into the resolution of even small problems.