The ideal is to balance drive & flow
The seemingly conflicting messages that I try apply to my life are to take action & stop trying.
Take Action – if you want to achieve anything, it requires action. It’s a simple truth, to be doing anything different than what you are now, you have to make it happen. Taking action is vital to accomplishment.
“Action is the foundational key to all success.” – Pablo Picasso
Stop Trying – There is a struggle in trying that counteracts with achievement, the answers come to you more easily when you surrender attachment to a result. There is a way to the universe that I’ve experienced (and read about) time & again where only when you let go of trying will the results be revealed.
“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go.” – Lao Tzu
They can seem conflicting, but everything in life is balance, and I knew this apparent conflict had an answer that lie somewhere in the middle. I’ve considered this before, and had pondered the concept: first the action, then the surrender. That seems to make sense but how do you choose when to do which? How do you even know when you’re “taking action” versus “trying”? Can you take action and let go of trying at the same time? As happens often, the answer came to me while listening to music.
Two vital parts of what makes a progressive track great, two balancing yet intertwining features that fill my soul when done beautifully.
Drive – the push, the never stop – never want to stop – feeling, it carries the music the distance, fills you with energy, creates a feeling of strength and power. Drive is the fuel, the deep rhythms that power the music, the energy that gets you moving.
Flow – the let go & ride this wave – the close your eyes and smile – I don’t mind where this takes me since it feels so good, the ups and downs in minute moments that guide you along without forcing. Flow is the light, the “be right where you are”, feeling.
There is no great track that is only one or the other, or that starts with drive, then leads to flow, they are always intertwined.
Drive is not a feeling of “have to”, it’s naturally motivating and energizing, powerful but not forceful. Flow is not a feeling of “I give up”, it’s being at peace with the moment, of letting the wave carry you, of no resistance. When mixed together, they create a beautiful progression.
“Our life is composed greatly from dreams, from the unconscious, and they must be brought into connection with action. They must be woven together.” – Anais Nin
At the end of this thought train, where do I go from here?
There is an anxiety I get when I feel like I am not accomplishing enough, or that I am not achieving at a rate or in the direction I should be. It’s not a good feeling, it’s chaotic and unfocused. When I start to feel those emotions again, I should think about the feelings of drive and flow. I should use the drive energy, the fullness of moving without force but with power to get in motion. What makes me feel that in my every day life? What can I be doing right now that makes use of that feeling? Feeling drive is necessary to taking action.
Once there is drive, there must be flow. So instead of wondering where I’m going or if I’m doing enough, just relax into it. Trust that this energy is going to take me somewhere fun, realize that this is an experience to be enjoyed. Flow within the action by disconnecting from results, attachment, or judgement. Surrender and relax in motion.
Find the things in life where I can experience the connection of drive and flow, to be aware of the moments where I can exude my own energy to contribute to the waves around me.
“Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.” – Anais Nin