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Pivot: Turn Your Ship Around

Pivot: Turn Your Ship Around
This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Flow

If you’re only paddling upstream, it’s probably time to change directions.

It’s just so much work paddling upstream. It feels like you’re always working, getting nowhere and if you slow down, you’ll even lose ground. Oh wait, it doesn’t just feel like that, it is like that.

It’s time for some drastic action.

But you’ve been at it for so long. You know what this life is like, you’re used to it, you still have loads of energy left. You can keep going, you know you can.

But how far have you come? At what cost? You’ve worked so hard to get all this way, but where are you? In the grand scheme of things, on the larger scale of the river’s topographical map, you’ve made progress, but at this rate, let’s face it, you’re never going to get there.

Where is there anyway? How do you even know you’re heading in the right direction? You know it, you feel it, you just know. You’re sure. Or at least, you’re pretty sure.

But turning this ship around is going to take a Herculean effort. This is what you know, this is what you’re good at–no, this is who you are. You are the paddler and all you know is going upstream. How could you possibly change course now? The destination might be just around the next bend.

Face it, it’s not fun anymore. Your shorts are soggy, your feet are waterlogged and your hands are blistered beyond recognition. You know in your heart that you could keep going, but you not-so-quietly dream that there’s an easier way.

It’s time to turn the ship around.

It’s not going to be pretty. Or easy. Or fun.

It’s going to feel strange, painful and ugly. You’ll doubt, second guess and look upstream. But it’s time.

Go ahead and get those second guesses out of there. Have a last look upstream. Wish it well. Thank it for always being there–don’t worry, it’s not going anywhere. If you decide you’d rather push upstream some more, it will faithfully remain pushing downstream.

But turn the bow ever so slightly. Make a shift. Dare to change something up so that you’re not directly fighting your future. Let the current push you so that your vessel turns without any of your effort. If it wants to head back upstream, gently guide it back so you’re soon perpendicular with the flow of the river.

It’s not easy to turn around your gargantuan ship. You’ve been at it for so long, it might be all that you know. I’m not suggesting that this is easy or something to take lightly. But if you have a taste of downstream, you might never look back.

At some point, you’ll be just about ready to fall over. When you’re heading towards the bank and unsure about which way to go, it’s time to let go and take one last stare upstream.

Turn a little more. Do what you have to do. Lose what you have to lose. Shed it, shred it, even heave it overboard. You won’t need what you don’t need.

Once you’re past a certain point, the current will pull you and your first inclination will be to paddle hard, to turn back to what you know. Remember, you can always go back to the hard work. You know it so well. It will be there.

Ready? One last push and you’re no longer heading upstream. It’s another world, but you’re now heading downstream. You’re flowing with the current. Here we go.

Flow Series

  1. Work: Upstream with a Paddle
  2. Pivot: Turn Your Ship Around
  3. Flow: Downstream with a Paddle
Turn Your Ship Around [Billit, Borneo, Malaysia]

Turn Your Ship Around [Billit, Borneo, Malaysia]

Series Navigation<< Work: Upstream with a PaddleFlow: Downstream with a Paddle >>

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