We are certainly living in a liminal space in time with no shortage of hardship and change. It’s during these times that we realize how fluid our lives really are, and that nothing is fixed. Our lives will flow continuously even if we are stagnant.
Life is fluid and ever changing with moments of great joy and of great sorrow. Each time we confront change in our lives, we are at a potentially pivotal intersection, and each faced with the same opportunity to choose our mindset.
A fixed mindset is based on the delusion and the belief that you already know everything that’s needed, and are less likely to seek out new knowledge and understanding to help solve problems as they arise.
A growth mindset is based on the belief that our basic qualities are things we can cultivate through dedication, hard-work; in-turn feeling more motivated to expand our horizons. It’s like changing to a beginner’s mindset – stepping back to zero then starting again. This is about unlearning – to override the past with new ideas and information.
Although people may differ in every which way through our initial talents, aptitudes, interests, or temperaments; we each can evolve and grow through intentional application and experience. Choose to flow and constantly reinvent your future self – while pursuing new dreams and setting new goals.
If you want to achieve and perform at a higher-level we must also have a high tolerance for failure. Honor the struggle and process and don’t hate the hardship. With a fixed mindset often risk and effort are seen as potential giveaways of inadequacies; revealing our short comings. Choose to have a healthy perspective and Interpretation. Those that cultivate a growth mindset are not discouraged by failure, and often don’t actually see themselves as failing in situations.
Don’t take what’s happening personally.
“Perhaps this is what this season is all about: trusting in the unknowns, finding gold in the little things, trading fear of what’s uncertain for freedom to thrive within it.” ~ Morgan Harper Nichols.
We must strive to find a passion for learning and stretching ourselves and staying on course even (or especially) during a hardship – this is the hallmark of a growth mindset. This mindset allows us to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.
A perfect example is an analogy of a river – meaning you can’t touch the same water twice, because the flow that has passed by will never pass by again. Our lives are fluid, and can flow slowly or quickly, and it can change course at any given time. Nothing can stop a river from flowing.
The same happens with life – change is expected.
People often perceive life as a series of idealized milestone events; all of which have a general time-stamp on them. While there are many exceptions to our personal milestones, it’s intriguing for how many people this is a fixed perception of life.
It is certainly easier said than done to go with the flow without trying to control, force, or manipulate it. It’s interesting to see how many people are intentionally trying to initiate change in some area(s) of life, while at the same time, resisting it in other areas.
To live a fluid life, it will be required to constantly identify, accept, and learn how to work with and through our weaknesses; rather than having to pretend to be strong where we are weak. A pivotal change in our life is like a signal – with the goal to flow and get to the other side.
The process of change is difficult for many; while others may find it easy to simply adapt. It is said that sometimes in the waves of change we find our direction – keeping an eye towards the present, and an eye toward the future. If we are always looking to the future, then we will miss the present. And if we are living only in the present, then our future goals may become non-existent and difficult to reach them.
The lesson here is balance – between what has been to what will be.
We must make a daily resolution to live a fluid life even though we can’t always see what the future has in store for us and more often than not go right along with our grand plan. Dream Big.
We can wish for the old or we can wish for the new. To flow in life we must be willing to let the new be new and the old be old – and value both just the same. One is not necessarily always better than the other, and the new cannot be altered to fit within the old. But rather the old can help us live a better new!
Water is the symbol of the great flow of life itself, and there is a lesson in every challenge that we will face. As we fall-forward we must create both individual and collective environments; and learn to be adaptable rather than simply being flexible. The definition is simple; flexible means reacting to events, while being adaptable means being proactive.
′′When the winds of change blows, some build walls, While others put up windmills.” ~ Chinese proverb
To be proactive we must find a common ground, build meaning, purpose and set directions together as groups, as teams, as committees, as communities, and as citizens. These micro-environments should enable a culture to continuously recognize new problems, identify the potential impact as problems arise, and offer solutions in advance. We must learn to overcome our differences.
As we look to the future and flow into times of accelerating uncertainty and hardship; the reality is that change can’t be eliminated. We will continue to confront and upheaval of climate change, poverty, pandemics, financial crisis, terrorism, and disasters…without easy solutions.
The term ‘wicked problem’ was first used in the 1960’s in social planning to describe that a problem is impossible to solve because with each attempt to create a solution – it changes the understanding of the problem. Wicked problems are not fixed, but fluid and are a continual work in progress. We will always be faced with points in our lives that our fluidity or lack of fluidity will be challenged.
Each possible solution may create a new problem.
Let’s find inspiration through potential loss; and not be stagnant and paralyzed by fear of what could be lost. But rather focused on what could happen if change does not occur. Let’s accept the ‘must’ of our lives.
Take this ‘life inventory’ with me today and commit to flow into a life that is richer, abundant, harmonious, peaceful, fulfilling and enriching not only to ourselves but committing to serve at a higher level to those around us. Live a life doing things differently – because if we don’t flow we could lose both the thing we hold onto (the old), and what is to be released to us (the new).
This is the true meaning of life. Live fluid.