Drifting vs Ascending: Why Moving With A Purpose Means Having A Vision.
Finding Lifes Purpose Through Mind Relaxation.
Today I want to present to you a concept that’s incredibly simple, yet completely overlooked. You understand this concept, and I guarantee that your life will never be the same.
I’m still integrating it into my life, but it’s already had profound changes, which I’ll talk about later in this post.
First, what is drifting vs flowing and why is it important?
These concepts could be called several different things. The reason I choose to call it drifting vs flowing is that of one special you-tuber who coined it.
His name is realmikkois, or at least that’s his YouTube name. He’s a guy who does a lot of videos related to self-improvement.
A self-improvement guy to be sure. He has a specific niche he works with though.
That would be recovery from porn addiction. I’ve talked in other places about my struggle to quit watching porn compulsively. It’s something that can swallow you whole if you’re not careful.
He’s one of the better guys talking about this issue specifically.
He gets into the deep stuff that some other people do not. He doesn’t just give out generic “take cold showers and do lots of pushups,” advice others give for this problem.
That stuff is useful, and those are fine practical tips. But you need mental strategies also. That’s where he excels. His best video is one he did on his own journey. He was eight months into no PMO (Porn/Masturbation/Orgasm). That takes discipline when you consider the normal human sex drive and how it’s always moving us forward.
Pretty intense stuff, obviously. Giving up all that is tough. You won’t make it very far unless you TOTALLY commit. That is, you take the time to orient your entire lifestyle around those goals.
A lot of people try only abstaining, and don’t get very far. Even I have never been able to completely go without that Porn or masturbation for longer than a few months. That’s doing pretty good, but that’s with a ton of effort and many repeated tries thrown in over the years.
I can vouch for the benefits and what to expect, and I may talk about it in depth at a later point.
His video was an explanation of exactly what benefits to expect.
This is where he drops the interesting drifting vs flowing split.
He defined it as this.
Drifting- When something negative outside of your self-seems to be controlling your thoughts, feelings, actions and behaviours.
Flowing- When your true self is in full control of your thoughts, feelings, actions and behaviours.
That’s all there is to it.
Why is that groundbreaking?
Well, how much of self-improvement is focused on figuring out how to not be distracted?
A HUGE amount of it is this and ONLY THIS.
What about procrastination?
The number of people who talk about their procrastination issues is always daunting. Procrastination might be the most common unwanted behaviour people engage in day to day.
That’s what this is getting at. It’s a reminder that there is a simple name for feeling like you don’t have control. There’s a name for feeling as if negative thought patterns, anxiety, depression or ranting and raving is ruining your potential.
It’s called drifting and not flowing.
“Who cares what it’s called.”
“Seems weird to group all that stuff together like that.”
But it isn’t.
Because that’s what you do whether you admit it or not.
How many times have you been about to do something, and then you decided you HAD to get some coffee.
Or you had to check your email for the tenth time that day.
Or maybe, you did nothing at all….
Except think neurotically about whether that you could have gotten that date back in seventh grade if you’d only said this or that.
Just me? I doubt it. We’re all human after all, and these are human issues.
The era of twenty-four-seven on-demand phone and internet pings doesn’t help either. Human beings aren’t meant to constantly be reached, poked, tweeted at, linked (LinkedIn?) and all that other stuff.
We can only handle so much input on a day to day basis before it all becomes too much. In this war against distraction, let’s start there, shall we?
Put Your Damn Phone Down.
Okay, little rude, but you know that’s a true statement. Phone usage is CONSTANT. For those who create original content or need to keep up on a emergency, that’s great!
But when you’re checking your phone for that text back every five seconds like a hamster waiting to be fed?
Nah, not a great way to live life. It’s also incredibly exhausting to have this unmet expectation exhaust you all day long.
Tens of times a day when you think about it.
Who knows, some of you might push 100 times in a day.
It’s okay, that’s an observation, not a “judgement.” Not trying to say you’re a bad person for looking at your phone frequently. It’s understandable that you wonder whether people reach out to you or not.
But, the constant checking up and checking in is only draining you of vital time and energy. So how do you fight off this constant need to check the beeper?
Simple, turn it off once in awhile. Better yet, leave it somewhere, and don’t take it with you.
I know, the horror. It’s not that bad, honestly. Not always having your phone right on you doesn’t mean you’ll miss anything.
At least, you won’t miss anything that important. You see, those updates from your family, boss, girlfriend or boyfriend can ALL wait.
They’ll live if you don’t immediately respond to their texts, calls or attempts to contact you. Anything vitally important can wait an hour.
That’s all you truly need to regain sanity. Turn it off for an hour. Ideally, you want at least one afternoon a week where you leave it off half a day or so.
I personally like Sunday, because it’s such a universal day of relaxation and restoration, but pick the day that is most convenient for you.
Be sure to pick a day where you don’t actually expect a high degree of important notifications.
That’s the first step to upping your game in this department, but there are more.
“But Michael, stuffing my phone down into my backpack isn’t going to solve all my problems just like that.”
Well, you’re right about that. Don’t worry, there’s much more where that came from. Next up, is what I call the check-in.
Pretty simple, actually.
Your mind is wandering like a lost tourist in a strange city. No matter how hard you try to focus, that only makes it worse.
It happens to the best of us, so don’t worry. All you have to do is this.
1). Remember that everything is okay– Your mind wandering is not an actual problem. Often times, we all start to freak out when we can’t focus. It’s as if the feeling of our mind wandering is like a disaster occurring around us. In reality, a frantic mind does release cortisol in a similar way to an actual problem. This isn’t good, because you’re releasing cortisol as if it were a physical threat or problem.
So the first step is beginning a deep breathing pattern and gently saying to yourself that all is well. Take as much time in this step as you need.
You may need a lot of breaths to calm down or only a few.
You may need to repeat a mantra of “all is well,” or “get into your body,” several times or only once. You can also say other similar sayings. I personally use those.
Step two is…
2). Focus on an object near or in front of you- It can be anything theoretically. Is there a lamp? Use that. The dresser drawer near your bed? That works. You can even just use a wall that’s a certain color if you need to. This works well when done outside. Research shows that green is the most naturally focusing and soothing color.
Makes perfect sense. It’s nature, where we all come from. But the point is that using leaves on a tree or pedals on flowers works especially well.
3). Describe the details of the object in as much detail as possible- You don’t have to be a poet either, just make notes of any details that you like.
“The leaves are large and flat.” “They flutter and spin in the sunlight.” Or “The sunlight gleans off of them.” Something like that.
Or, here’s an example using the words in a book or blog you’re reading (like this one).
“The font i thick and the lettering is a Latin style.” “It’s very neat and stylistic.” “It looks like a type of old English writing, like Shakespeare.”
Little silly? Good! It doesn’t have to be technically correct or sound like you’re a scientist. It can be as proper or silly as you want it to be.
The point is to appreciate the little bits and pieces of something to help you focus. These little observations help you remember that you’re living in the present moment.
It helps you keep perspective, and understand that the past is already dead. It won’t ever return, and the future is impossible to predict. Even the future you want is only possible if you do what you need to right now. So this brings you back to where you need to be, in the here and now.