Going With the Flow

Going with the Flow:  not making any waves, doing as others do, swimming with the current

 The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it.  Woodrow T. Wilson

The opposite for courage is not cowardice, it is conformity. Even a dead fish can go with the flow. Jim Hightower  

 On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

     Most of us have a tendency to “go with the flow”. This means we do not want to stand out, to be made fun of, criticized or noticeably different than others. It is easier to go with the current than to swim or row against it. Most of the people, most of the time will choose to go with the flow. We want to blend in and do not particularly want to be noticed. As a rule we do not want to be singled out, made an example of, or be in the spot light.

    There is an also an element of “average”, being in the comfort zone, maintaining status quo, and complacency that fits in well with going with the flow. On the other side, those that get things done, that move ahead, or stand out from the crowd, tend to be those that often do not go with the flow. They swim upstream against the current, they may “stand out like a sore thumb”, tend to create controversy by challenging and questioning, and last but not least, are not likely to blend in. Those that go with the flow are those that fall in line and march to the beat of the normal drummer or “Pied Piper”. Those that march to the beat of a different drummer are also the “round pegs” that do not fit in square holes. “Non-Flow-Goers” do not tend to fit in the “standard box” very well.

     There are probably characteristics in all of us that cause us to not go with the flow on some occasions or in some areas of our lives or personality. This is part of what makes us different and unique. We are not meant to be the same as everyone else. Each of us has our own unique strengths and weaknesses. In some ways we should seek to go against the flow in areas where being different is good and to go with the flow in those areas that are good and desirable. Each of us must take responsibility for how we are engaged or less than engaged in our lives.

     The less we think about what we are doing, the more we get complacent, the more others dictate how we life, the more we give up our dreams and aspirations. This means we are likely to fit in well with most everyone else.   

Challenge: You should dare to be different in ways that help you use your skills, talents and abilities to live up to your true potential. Regrettably the majority choose to go with the flow of conformity. You can be like those who lean toward average; underachieving and underperforming; or you can strive to be all you can be. If you want to be your best, it will require that in many instances you choose to go against the flow.

 Wisdom: Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. Dr Seuss

Spiritual: (NIV)

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:6

The path of righteousness is like the first gleam of dawn shining ever brighter till the full light of day. Prov 4:18

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight. Philippians 1:9

It is easy to forget that the ways of the world are not the ways of God. Those that go with the flow are probably not seriously seeking God’s guidance and direction. They are motivated by greed, selfishness, doubt, fear and a long list of undesirable traits. Those swimming against the ways of the world are listening to the Holy Spirit for their sense of direction and purpose. They are more and more motivated by God’s spirit of love.

Prayer: Help me to overcome my selfish ways and to learn to have a more loving attitude.                                         


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