There is a certain rhythm to nature, life, the universe—everything progresses at a certain pace. If you are in sync with this cadence and tempo, then you will be in harmony. If not, then you will experience dissonance, which causes angst and frustration.
I just discovered this the other day. I was driving along, tailgating the drivers in front of me, weaving in and out of traffic, in my usual haste to hurry up to get where I was going. As you would expect, I felt anxious and stressed. It suddenly dawned on me that my speeding was causing me to race up to and catch every red light, in which case I was forced to slam on my brakes, stop, and wait for it to turn green. Then I recalled what a limo driver once told me several years ago: “On these main streets, all of the lights are timed. If you go the speed limit, or maybe just 2 or 3 mph over, you’ll make every green light.”
So I decided to just drive a couple of miles over the speed limit, as most other drivers do. Now I was in harmony with the timed lights, the law, and my fellow drivers. It was much less stressful. I was making green lights, had no reason to worry about being pulled over by a cop, and experienced fewer glares from other drivers. Rather than being anxious, I felt a sense of peace.
What did I learn from this? I discovered that the one simple key to achieving harmony with the world around you is:
Go with the flow.
I have written about flow before, in a post called Remind Yourself What You Once Loved About Your Job. I have now discovered it can also be applied to many other aspects of life.
How about your social interactions? Have you ever had a conversation with someone and you are not really listening to what they are saying, but rather thinking about what you want to say next? (You are so busted!) Then you interrupt them impatiently to make your brilliant, not-to-be-missed point. Wouldn’t you be better off going with the flow?
Or what about investing? I have written several posts about the benefits of so-called “passive” investing, in which you just take what the market gives you, while keeping fees and taxes (so-called “friction”) low. Isn’t this also a case of going with the flow and being in rhythm with the financial markets, rather that fighting and clawing in an effort to beat them, by trading stocks and churning your portfolio?
I think going with the flow is a concept worth considering in all aspects of our existence. God created the universe, and we are all small but vital parts of His blueprint and design—it serves us well to be in harmony with it.