I recommend to all my private clients that the last thing you feed your mind before sleep, should be something positive. The last thing I read is a daily inspiration by Mark Nepo in The Book of Awakening. One night recently, he referenced the environmentalist Kevin Scribner, who teaches about salmon swimming upstream. The gist of the teaching is that salmon bump into blocked pathways until they find where the current is the strongest. The strongest current would indicate that the pathway in that location is unimpeded. That’s great, but that also means the current is the strongest – is it true for us, too, that the best path is also the hardest path? Great, I thought this was supposed to be positive!
In contrast to this almost discouraging concept, Jack Canfield taught me to use joy as feedback that I am on the right course. This is not to say that we should live in a state of constant self-indulgence. Hedonism might bring a temporary sense of satisfaction, but few would define the results as joy. Generally, we find joy in more meaningful pursuits. At first glance, I like the sound of that better than swimming upstream through the toughest current, don’t you? I now think both concepts are true and can live in harmony.
Whether business or personal, think of someone or a decision or situation you have been avoiding. The path straight into facing what is most difficult is the clear, best path forward and you know this in your heart. Out of fear, we continue choosing to bump into the thing we need to face the most. The salmon teaches us that the best path is straight through the tough current and we will be thankful once we choose this path.
Now think about a time in your past, when you dealt head-on with a situation that was bothering you. Regardless of the outcome, I bet there was at least a sense of peace that you got through it. The outcome may not bring instant happiness, but it will put you on the other side of bumping into constant obstacles, staying stuck downstream.
Once the difficult situation has been dealt with, the concept of using joy as feedback begins to make sense again. We cannot move toward love, joy, accomplishment, meaning, or our most important values, if we are stuck in the muck with the frogs.
Go for the joy. Face the fears, obstacles and blocks head on – the best path may be harder, but it is also clear. Consult your heart, gut and mind, then make the clear choice and soldier on.
Michael Kline is a Master RIM Facilitator and Certified Canfield Success Trainer for personal and group transformation. You can reach him through his website www.intus.life, or e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.