Social Change

Channel your inner salmon

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“Just go with the flow, man.” It’s the battle cry of hipsters, the mantra of the ‘spiritual’ and the ‘enlightened’. Going with the flow is the cool way to live. Maybe, if you believe the hype, it’s actually the only way to approach life.

Why get worked up? Why stress? Why strive? Why struggle? Just go where life takes you. Chill out. Relax. What will be will be.

Of course what will be will be. If you let it. If you let it, what will be can’t be anything other than what it will be.

But why would you let it?

Why would you allow the course of your life – the path of your adventure – to be guided by chance, taking you to some unknown destination that is not of your choosing?

But, more importantly, why would you choose to deny the world the gifts and talents deep inside you, that are only ever brought to the surface by your stresses, your strivings and your struggles? Because that’s what you do when you ‘go with the flow’ – you deny the world around you the opportunity to receive all that you have to offer.

Sure, there may be times when tracking with the currents of life, rather than swimming against them, is the smart choice. But those times are simply interludes – spaces in which you can hide while you catch your breath for what comes next.

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Wrecked

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I’d like to share something personal with you, if that’s OK?

Jeff Goins, a favourite blogger and author of mine, talks about being ‘wrecked’. What he’s referring to is the effect that some events can have on you – how they can ‘wreck’ you. These are the life changing events that impact you to such a degree that there is no way back from them. What was normal is gone, and what now is normal is something new.

I used to think of those events as being confined to third world mission trips, war zones and other far-away situations. I never imagined that you could be ‘wrecked’ in one of the western world’s most vibrant and wealthy cities, home to a multi-billion dollar film industry and over a hundred thousand millionaires. But you can.

A year or two back, I was in Los Angeles for an amazing conference. As part of the conference experience we were housed in a $200 a night hotel. Ensconced in my funky, 300 square foot room, with flat screen TV and mini bar, overlooking the LA offices of major banks and corporations, and surrounded by trendy bars and restaurants, life was as life is. Normal.

But it didn’t stay normal for long.

I quickly discovered that L.A. is a city of extremes. Extreme wealth and extreme poverty. Extreme happiness and extreme despair. Over 126,000 millionaires and over 50,000 homeless.

Like I said, extremes.

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