A mentee asked me the following question yesterday: “Don't your messages to push on, march forth and then go with the flow contradict each other?” This is an excellent question, and I can understand why an apparent contradiction exists in the eyes of some. If this question has occurred to you also, please allow me to explain this from my perspective.
The short answer to the question is: no, the principles of Push and Flow work in concert – co-ordinating with each other, not against each other. There is a rhythm in play. Natural, ecological laws dictate there must be equilibrium in all things, known as homeostasis. Equilibrium is the state in which opposing forces or influences are balanced, i.e.: light/dark, predator/prey, supply/demand, yin/yang.
THE PUSH PRINCIPLE
As I have discussed on many previous occasions, we must push forward in our lives and our businesses, so that we may enhance, develop and achieve. Comfort zones must be largely sidelined if progression is sought, because whilst they are lovely places to visit (to rest and recuperate), nothing ever grows there. The Push principle is how we, as a species, have evolved from single cell organisms living in water, to the sentient bipeds we are now. The Push (evolution) principle has given us adventure, discovery and human ecological dominance.
For us to achieve anything, there must first be intent and endeavour. There must be dynamic energy pushing at the frontiers of what we know, to enhance what we believe to be true, to develop what we have. We have been operating on the basis of: go as far as you can see, and when you get there, you'll be able to see further still; and it has proven to be highly effective. We have advanced more in the past hundred years than we have in the preceding millennia, simply because progress begets progress. Results do not drop into the laps of the bewildered and unsuspecting, they must be sought and fought for.
THE FLOW PRINCIPLE
So how can the principles of Flow now integrate with such a seemingly powerful opposing force as Push? Here's how: whilst you are unleashing your intent and endeavour and pushing towards your goals and development, life will present you with challenges and adversity. Just because you set out with the intention of i.e.: being fitter, thinner, qualified – or a successful entrepreneur, writer or postman, does not preclude said adversity from knocking on your door. In fact, there's a strong probability the more life you attempt to live and experience, the wider the window of opportunity for adversity to descend...but I digress.
When adversity falls, the Flow principle invites you to accept the Uninvited Challenge, rather than refuse to acknowledge it's existence, preferring instead to live in a state of denial. Dr John Leach (professor of Psychology, Lancaster University) teaches us: “Denial and inactivity prepare people well for the roles of victim and corpse”. Denial is a horribly counter-intuitive defence mechanism, because lessons will repeat themselves until they are full and learned, so a reactionary Flight response doesn't serve you, as you will have to address the lessons before you are free to move on and ascend.
By accepting the Flow of adversity, you will be acknowledging the Uninvited Challenge has an opportunity of growth and learning for you; you will be seeing it for what it truly is; you will have clarity and truth. When you are in possession of the truth, you are best placed to overcome the Uninvited Challenge masterfully.
Going with the flow should not be misinterpreted as some fluffy Bohemian idyll, where clouds are watched wafting and navels are gazed into. Going with the flow merely recommends you do not resist or attempt to repel the lessons life brings to you, disguised as adversity. We are wise when we look for the growth opportunities in all of our experiences, but especially the challenging ones, because it are these very challenges that wrest us from the complacency and comfort of the Comfort Zone. Change is often preceded by chaos, and chaos (by its very definition) guarantees complete disorder and confusion. It's hardly surprising our natural reflex is to avoid and deflect. However there must be a free flow of energy, the status quo must be regularly agitated to prevent stagnation, atrophy and decay; it's for our own good!
Once you have chosen to Flow (and not resist or repel), your journey through life becomes almost aerodynamically optimised; you have jettisoned the lag. Now that you're dealing with the Uninvited Challenge head on, in full truth, whilst looking for the lessons and opportunities to grow, your passage is smoother and less buffeting than a path of denial would have been. It is precisely at this point you activate your Push protocols, make your progress and invite your triumphs.
I would also like to remind you that the Law of Attraction is always at work, giving you more of what you're thinking, dreaming and fantasising about – good or bad, whether you want it or not. In essence, if you refuse to accept the Flow, causing your own disorder, confusion and delay, it is natural for you to ruminate with self-pity, regret and sorrow – which the Law of Attraction will give you more of. Conversely, if you accept the Flow, jettison the lag and (eventually) feel success and progress beneath your wings, the Law of Attraction will invariably lift you higher still.
The first Law of Cause and Effect teaches us that good deeds bring good results, bad deeds bring bad results and our own deeds bring our own results. By synchronising our Push and Flow responses in accordance with every moment, we choreograph something of a sweet ballet to the rhythm of life.