On a cool night in New Delhi, India a newly made friend of mine named Nalin Khera said: “I’m jealous of how you can go with the flow.” Cigarette lit; he inhaled, then exhaled. He took it out and picked up a beer, now lukewarm, on the table that sat between us. A wind blew. I took a sip of my beer and asked him, “What do you mean by that?”
This comment came after telling him about my trip to South America and how it was the largest upheaval of my life. I mean, literally, everything that I knew about the world was shifting. The violent and dangerous culture of South America didn’t seem so dangerous after all. What, then, was the media conveying to me back in the United States?
I found myself in China under the exact same circumstances of Chile. Meaning, I found myself going with the flow once again. I talked about my reasoning for coming to China in an earlier blog post here and also details my future plans of traveling to Colombia to do a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing. Essentially, I realized recently that my life has always been about Flow and going with it.
In fact, my most recent vacation again defined my life and its manner of going with the flow by traveling through China on a whim—a trip where I literally had nothing planned besides the date I had to be back by.
Shortly after that trip, I met this man named Simon Svensson another young, like-minded thinker like myself, at my colleague’s wedding in Shanghai. A few weeks after this event, he reached out to me about this networking event he was organizing where he offered me a chance to be a featured speaker and presenter. In true opportunistic fashion, I accepted.
Thinking about my life experiences, I could find no other topic more pertinent to the development of professionals than going with the flow and, perhaps more importantly, not overthinking. In brainstorming a topic for the event, I remembered Nalin’s words and how he wished he could do what I do. I remember many of my friends who wished they had more time or more money or more freedom to travel and experience the world. That’s when it occurred to me that I do have a story to share and that that story can resonate with others and perhaps they can learn something from my experiences.
The speech in its entirety is located below.
Although I have had many experiences about going with the flow, I recognize that traveling is not possible for everyone. People are tied down by commitments such as family, work, money, etc. We have so many commitments in our lives that keep us within the cells of our normal 9-5 life. It is for this reason, that I have decided to start making a new novel (more details to come in a future blog post). In true happenstance fashion, however, while at the event I met a man who, after hearing my topic, recommended me a book called “Flow” by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi where Flow is essentially being absorbed in what one does so much to a point that they lose track of space and time. Find out more about Flow here.
That night, that dialogue with my Indian friend, has actually changed my life a phenomenal number of ways that I cannot really hope to explain. It was almost a surreal experience talking to him and his way of putting things. It made me examine myself and whether or not my overthinking was in fact limiting my potential. That night I thought about what he said in more ways than he knows.
I will see him again in October and I cannot wait for that reunion. It occurred to me then, that while I may have the ability and power of going with the flow, he has the ability of communication—proper communication. I’m not saying I couldn’t communicate, but at this point in my life (during a breakup period with my ex-Filipina girlfriend), I was definitely doubting my ability to communicate.
He recommended me two books titled “The 3% Man” and “7 Habits of Highly Successful People.” Since reading those books, I have begun the never-ending process of continually being the best version of myself. The book I am currently reading is “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg and I am reading it in hopes of continuing to master myself, my vices, my ability to effectively communicate and empathize with people, and most of all, my overthinking. And while I certainly do have the capability of going with the flow, I have found that some of my most terrible experiences have come from overthinking.
Just as I ended my speech above with a poem called “The Dash” here, below, I am also including the image of the speech so that you may fully obtain the essence of the dash and how it affects our lives.
Once we learn how to properly go with the flow, and how destructive overthinking can be to a situation, we learn how to properly live our dash. We learn that we have only so limited time on this earth, so why bother with all the worries that life can usually endow on us. Instead, by not overthinking, by going with the flow, we can truly set ourselves free from the monotony that many people live in life. That idea—setting someone free from the monotony of life—is an idea that fascinates me and the practicality of it, and it is also the same idea that I am currently researching and in the midst of writing about.
More to come on that soon. For now, though, just go with the flow.