We all know that there are times when things are going great and times when everything seems to be falling apart.
But what do we do when things aren’t going our way?
How can we make the most of difficult situations?
The answer is to go with the flow.
But what does that mean?
The ancient philosophy of Daoism revolves around the idea of finding harmony with the world around us. The best way to achieve this was to learn from nature. In particular, we can learn a lot from water.
Water is the element that flows around us, and it always finds a way to adapt to its surroundings. It is never forceful, but it is also never stagnant.
Just like water, we should learn to go with the flow. When things are going well, we should enjoy the moment and not try to force anything. And when things are tough, we can be adaptable and find ways to work around the obstacles.
Here are five tips to help you go with the flow.
Soft Always Overcomes the Hard
On the surface, water seems weak. It can be easily contained and doesn’t appear to have much strength. But as anyone who has been caught in a flood knows, water can be incredibly powerful. It is capable of breaking through even the strongest of barriers. The secret to water’s strength is its softness.
“Water is soft and weak, yet for attacking hard and strong, nothing can surpass it.” — Laozi
Unlike hard objects like rocks, water can flow around and over obstacles. This allows it to build a tremendous force, which it can use to its advantage. In the end, soft always triumphs over hard.
That is why so many martial arts rely on using an opponent’s momentum against them, and why the best defense is often a good offense.
By harnessing the power of softness, we can overcome any obstacle.
Daoism sees water as a metaphor for how we should live our lives. We should be soft and malleable to adapt to the ever-changing world around us. But at the same time, we should be relentless in the pursuit of our goals. We should never give up or give in.
Stay in Motion
Another important lesson that Daoists took from the water was the significance of staying in motion. Just like water always flows downhill, we should always be moving forward in life. Stagnation is just as deadly for us as it is for a pool of water. By constantly moving and progressing, we can avoid many pitfalls that life throws our way.
“Water’s characteristic is its flowing; a man’s character lies in his dejecting.” — Laozi
This doesn’t mean that we must always be in a hurry or that we should never rest. We should just make sure that we are always moving forward, even if it’s just a small step. Remember Laozi’s words: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Of course, there will be times when we have to slow down or even stop completely. But even then, we should never lose sight of our goals. We should always be ready and willing to start moving again as soon as the opportunity arises.
Don’t Resist Change
One of the most difficult things about going with the flow is accepting change. We are creatures of habit, and we often resist anything that disrupts our routine. But if we want to live harmoniously with the world around us, we must be open to change.
“All things in the world come from being, and being comes from non-being.” — Laozi
In Daoism, change is a natural and essential part of life. Everything is in a constant state of flux, and nothing remains the same for long. We must learn to embrace change if we want to go with the flow
Change is a natural part of life, and it’s something that we should welcome, not resist.
If you find yourself resisting change, ask yourself why. What are you afraid of? Is there something you’re not ready to let go of? Once you understand your resistance, it will be easier to let go and embrace the change. And when you do, you’ll find it can be a liberating experience.
Live a Simple Life
Daoism believes we should live simple lives close to nature. We should also appreciate the small things in life and not become too caught up in material possessions. This doesn’t mean moving to a cave and living off the land (although some interpret it that way).
Instead, it means we should focus on what’s truly essential in life and not get distracted by superfluous things.
“In dwelling, live close to the ground.” — Laozi
We can stay grounded and focused on what’s vital by living close to the ground. We can also avoid getting caught up in the vanity and materialism of the world. Instead, we can live a life of simplicity and contentment.
Of course, this doesn’t mean we should never enjoy the finer things in life. But we should be careful not to let them become our primary focus. We should always live for the right reasons and not just follow the crowd.
Find Your Own Way
The final lesson that Daoists took from the water was the significance of finding your own path.
Water doesn’t follow a straight line, it meanders and flows where it wants to go.
In the same way, we should never be afraid to veer off the beaten path. We should always trust our instincts and go where they lead us.
“Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.” — Laozi
This doesn’t mean we should never listen to advice from others. But always be careful not to blindly follow someone else’s opinion. We must trust our own judgment and find our own way in life.
That can be easier said than done. We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with opinions and advice. It can be hard to filter out the noise and trust our intuition.
But if we can learn to do this, we will be much happier and more fulfilled.
Life is full of ebbs and flows, but if we learn to go with the flow, we can live a more peaceful and harmonious life. We must accept change, live simply, and find our own way. And when we do, we will flow through life with ease.
Summary & Conclusion
Here is a summary of the five ways how you can go with the flow when everything is falling apart:
Soft always overcomes the hard: We should be soft and malleable to adapt to the ever-changing world.
Stay in motion: By constantly moving and progressing, we can avoid many pitfalls that life throws our way.
Don’t resist change: If we want to live harmoniously with the world around us, we must be open to change.
Live a simple life: We should focus on what’s truly essential in life and not get distracted by superfluous things.
Find your own way: We must trust our judgment and find our way in life.
Daoism offers some valuable lessons that we can all apply to our lives regardless of our religious beliefs (or lack thereof). By learning from nature and focusing on what’s truly meaningful, we can find harmony and peace in our lives.
Going with the flow isn’t always easy. It can be difficult to let go of control, and it’s natural to want to fight when things are tough. But if we can learn to go with the flow, we will find that life is much more enjoyable — and much easier.