This is not my pic, I borrowed it from Google Images :)
When I was in my late 20’s I really wanted a kayak. I don’t remember exactly when or how I got the idea, but I thought about it constantly, especially when I saw a river or a lake. I visualized myself paddling around in the water, exploring and enjoying the exercise. The Internet hadn’t been invented yet, so I looked through magazines, catalogs and newspaper ads every chance I got to see what was available. I decided on an inflatable kayak, reasoning that it wouldn’t take up much space when it wasn’t in use.
I also bought the necessary accessories to go with it: the double-ended paddle, life jacket, some rope, a repair kit for leaks, and an air pump to inflate it.
I ordered it through a catalog and then waited. When it arrived, I was so happy and excited. I practiced inflating it and sitting in it in my living room for a few days before I was able to take it down to the river. Finally, the day arrived. I made sure it was firm and full of air, and then I put the kayak and all my gear in the back of my van and headed for the river.
I put the kayak in the water and tied it off so it didn’t get away from me before I could get in. This day was the culmination of months of dreaming and planning. I had thought of everything and planned every last detail. I put on my life jacket, grabbed my paddle, and carefully climbed in. I sat down, untied the rope and let the current take me away from the riverbank. YES, I was finally in my kayak, in the water! “WOO-HOO!”
My plan was to paddle upstream and then let the current carry me back downstream to my van. I reasoned that if I went downstream first, I would quickly be miles from my van. So I pointed my trusty kayak into the oncoming current and started paddling. “Hmm, this is not as easy as I thought.” I was actually getting carried downstream. No matter how hard or how fast I paddled, I was losing the fight. I was being swept farther and farther downstream. “Dammit!” I had no intention of carrying my kayak a mile or more back to the van, so I started paddling back to shore.
My first time out with my kayak was short, frustrating, and much less enjoyable that I had imagined. I felt angry, confused, exhausted, and discouraged. I honestly didn’t know where I had gone wrong.
Fast-forward about 10 years--
I was having trouble in my relationships and I was in a very stressful job. I often felt angry, frustrated, and confused about life in general. I fantasized about quitting, walking away. Instead, I spent more and more hours at work, trying to get caught up. That actually helped the job situation, but it had the opposite affect on my home life. I didn’t know how I had gotten to this point. Why was life so hard? I was exhausted and discouraged. What was I doing wrong?
One day it hit me. I was at work, thinking about the flow of the work I was doing, when a little voice in my head said to me, “You have to go with the flow, don’t paddle against the current!”
I hadn’t thought about my first adventure with my inflatable kayak in a long time, but that day it all came back to me and I finally realized what I did wrong that day and what I had been doing wrong in other areas of my life. I wasn’t going with the flow, I was fighting the current and the current always wins. You will never out-paddle the current. It will only lead to anger, frustration, and confusion. But if you can get yourself into the flow, the current will carry you along with it, effortlessly. Think about that.
Now go take on the day!
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