Flowing in the mainstream

Go with the flow or go your own way?

I was having breakfast with a good friend and talking about how to achieve our goals for 2012. We spoke of prosperity, success and happiness, and how our lives would change if we achieved all we set out to do. A fun conversation over several lattes while enjoying the early morning sunshine and watching the flow of people rushing by towards another day at the office.

We were setting short-term targets to hold ourselves to account over the next month when my friend asked if achieving success guaranteed our happiness. Good question. My answer was that it depends on how we define success – if success is more than financial then it makes sense that our definition would include the things that make us happy.

My view of prosperity is that it includes multiple elements that will lead to personal satisfaction and happiness. So how, my friend asked, do we define happiness? And after we define it, how do we find it?

Life is full of contradictions. We have more things but enjoy them less, more technology but less time.  We’ve multiplied our possessions but reduced our values and we know how to make a living but not a life. People are searching for happiness but having trouble finding it.

While many of us have the trappings of success, true prosperity remains elusive. An underlying feeling of disappointment in life and a yearning for something more is all too common. Our society’s obsession with seeking happiness through conspicuous consumption often leads to the very opposite of satisfaction.

We’re promised great things; the benefits of modern life swirl around us and our pursuit  of them encourages us to jump in and go with the flow. We’re lead to believe that living in the main stream brings happiness and abundance. While tempted to swim cross current and take a stand on terra firma, we allow ourselves to be swept along in the illusion of making it to an ocean of prosperity.

The main stream is the easiest option but not always the best. If you have been going with the flow, living up to other’s expectations and still feeling dissatisfied, then it’s time to try something different.  Sometimes you need to get out of the water and find your place in the sun.


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7 Responses to “Flowing in the mainstream”

  1. paulhassing Says:

    You told me I was your only friend …

  2. Adam Finlay Says:

    And me …

  3. Adam Finlay Says:

    Who are you, paulhassing?

  4. paulhassing Says:

    Who are YOU?! When Malcolm got a TXT from you, he told me you were a NavMan downloadable voice app he didn’t want his wife to know about. Silly me swallowed it hook, line and … never mind. Maybe you and I should have coffee. Without .. HIM.

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