Choose the path of least resistance.
External resistance that is.
If you are resisting internally, that is a sign you should lean in and overcome your resistance instead.
Because that is the way of personal growth.
So says one of my Facebook friends in a recent video she shared.
This is the eastern concept of “flow” in a nutshell.
It is a very attractive idea because it makes things so easy to figure out.
But I have questions about this approach.
If you do what is being suggested, this means you simply let your external circumstances guide you. Period. If something external is resisting, you assume you shouldn’t do it, at least not at this time.
But hasn’t most progress historically been accomplished through the “indomitable human spirit” pushing through resistant external circumstances of this kind?
You would not have most of the good things you enjoy today, if people like Edison had not found 1000 ways not to create a light bulb, before pushing through this external resistence and finally achieving success.
Robert Schuller would never have become a published author, had he not pushed through 50 external resistant “No” responses, until he finally published his first book.
And why is the thing you find yourself internally resistant to, the way to go either?
Yes your personal growth gurus incessantly tell you that you should never get enough of changing yourself.
Of overcoming yet one more perceived character flaw you think you have.
But much wisdom in the world of achievement says, you are better to delegate your weaknesses to others and focus on your strengths instead.
Why spend your life trying to be what you’re not?
None of us can be everything, so why should you even try?
Why beat yourself up about what you are resistant too?
Why not just find a way to live a life that flows with your strengths and your confidences?
Why endlessly force yourself to “improve?”
In actual fact the truth lies somewhere in between.
I find much more convincing the essence of the serenity prayer.
You need the wisdom to discern what you can and cannot change, both internally and externally.
And wisdom to tell the difference.
There are times when you should recognize that while external circumstances are resisting you, you should press forward anyway. In doing so you will achieve something worthwhile you desire, or that will be much better overall in the long run, despite the effort that it takes.
You should also be wary that external circumstances are making things too easy as well.
Going with the path of least external resistance may feel better right now.
But in doing so you may fail to bring about what is actually called for in that case.
The same goes for changing yourself.
You could just be wasting needless effort trying to be what you are not, instead of being grateful for who you are, weaknesses and all, and providing the unique, flawed contribution you exist on this planet to make.
This doesn’t mean you should never change anything about yourself at all.
It means that you have apptitudes that are the path to your flourishing.
You should recognize this too.
What I’m trying to say here is that there is no easy formula.
No, “just do this” or “just don’t do that” and everything will be okay.
“Wisdom is proved right by all her children.”
The way of wisdom is not an easy way.
It is subtle and takes more discernment.
You should be guided not simply by what resistance or lack thereof you encounter, whether internally or externally, but by what you think is right and best as you apply wisdom to the situation.
No, the way of wisdom is not the easy way.
But it is the right way.
Your great need is not to learn to simply “flow.”
It is to learn to discern what is that good and perfect will of God instead.
Don’t know what is wisdom in a particular situation?
There is an answer for that too.
It is found in James 1:5.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
We are made to live in relationship with God.
To depend upon his guidance.
This is the true way of “flow.”