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Going with the Flow or Taking Charge

For the most part, I’m a “go with the flow” guy.  Lately though, I’ve been wondering if that is the best way to navigate life.  Should we leave our lives to the fates or be proactive and carve our own paths wherever possible?  Or perhaps it’s some combination of both?  Heavy questions for a Friday morning in the summertime!

Life is complicated with many twists and turns, offering us different choices, opportunities, and disappointments.  Often these things catch us by surprise, but sometimes we see the crossroad ahead that may offer new paths in our lives and are faced with decisions. These moments can be both exciting and scary as we consider which path to take. Some see life as a river, flowing naturally, and they think it’s best to let things happen without forcing them and are content to “go with the flow”. They believe that by being open-minded and flexible, unexpected and wonderful things will come their way. This approach can be magical as it allows us to adapt, change and grow as individuals, but do we end up where we really wanted to be?

On the other hand, some people prefer to be proactive in shaping their destinies. They believe in planning and taking control of their lives wherever possible. These individuals set clear goals, make decisions based on their ambitions and think that by being proactive, they can achieve success and happiness. This approach can be beneficial, especially when we have specific dreams and know what we want. It gives us direction and helps us navigate challenges effectively but may lead to some disappointment. There are always factors outside of our control, hence the phrase “control what you can; don’t worry about the rest”.

So, which approach is better? The answer, like most things, is it’s a balance between the two.  Both perspectives have their merits, but navigating life requires a toolbox of different approaches, perspectives, and attitudes to be successful depending on the situation.  Balance is essential. Letting life take its course can lead to pleasant surprises and unexpected opportunities and allows us to be adaptable and open to new experiences, leading to personal growth. By going with the flow, we might discover passions we didn’t know we had or meet inspiring people who positively influence us.  But sometimes we need to plan and take the reins to direct our lives where we want or need them to go.  If we are successful, taking intentional steps can give us confidence and a sense of purpose. By planning and making informed decisions, we can tackle challenges with more effectiveness and achieve our goal.

The difficultly can be recognizing when to take control and when to go with the flow and see where you end up.  Often hard to recognize, this is the real decision point and one that is best made intentionally through careful thought and consideration.  Sometimes circumstances give us a clear answer but often we must figure things out on our own. There are some things that are best left to fate, some that require our effort and control, and while it may not be too late in many cases to change course between the two approaches, it can be difficult, and opportunities can be lost, or situations can become irreversible.

In the end, finding the right balance is about knowing ourselves and the right timing for each approach. Life is unpredictable, and while we can’t control everything, we can control our attitudes and reactions. Remember that each person’s journey is unique, and by finding the right mix of going with the flow and being proactive, we can create a fulfilling and exciting life journey.


“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm, and harmony.” – Thomas Merton


What approach will you take this weekend?

Have a great weekend.