I heard a business presenter once speak about the flow of life. He talked about finding the rhythm of life, and going with that. In hindsight I think it was a bit too jungle for the concrete and steel labyrinth I lived in at the time, but I think I know what he means now (fifteen years later!) There is a way of doing life – not a work life balance, and not the juggling of priorities but a deeper ebb and flow of things – that one can find.
When you find it, and go with it, everything just… works. Some days are designed to go quick and fast. Hot and heavy. The pace just runs, all day and you manage to keep all those balls in the air. Other days are supposed to drift. Light and breezy. Full of fresh air and fragrance. No I’m not even talking about work days and weekends, or having a holiday. I mean how to take the day. If you can just let go of your… control and let go of your… ambition for a minute and rest.
I’ve done that three days in a row now. I guess one of the joys of working for yourself is that you can fit things in, and take time out. Drop a kid off to the doctor (or for their license); pick up groceries for dinner (cook dinner!); make a dozen business calls, write a blog, take a nap. I know you can’t always do that when you work for a corporation… but you are in charge of your workflow – how much you take on, to whom you say yes and no. It is the stress reducing action of letting go of performance.
I’ll give you an example. I am after five corporate contracts right now, and I have four CEO/owner/chairman to call about the work our company does for them today as well. But having done everything I can for these nine issues, I have to let go. They are not a measurement of my performance. You win some, you lose some. You bid for work, you land some, maybe enough. Your bank balance is running down, you need contracts… but let go. Don’t stress. Give it your best and take a break!
I have found half an hour to garden, in the middle of the day and right then a contractor calls to tell me they’ve landed work. I rejoice with them, and ponder following up a statistical analysis we’ve been trying to get done for months. One call to the right person at the right time and she offers to finish for us. Today. Amazing. I lose a large contract, and feel badly for a minute before the phone rings and get news that we’re in the bid for another one. Just go with it. Just ride the wave. Enjoy it and don’t let those ups and downs define you.
Image: “Go with the Flow” Photograph – Julie Kenward