In his recent podcast, Michael Hyatt recounts a harrowing memory of being caught in a riptide while snorkeling and drifting significantly away from the shore. He recalls how he and his wife collapsed on the beach after swimming with all their might to get back to land. While his focus is on the metaphorical “kick” needed to get one’s self back on track, I think there’s another lesson we can explore.
\’drift\ : something driven, propelled, or urged along as if by a natural agency
Like riptides in the ocean, currents exist in other parts of our life.
In today’s modern American world, the default current encourages us to “reward” ourselves with the latest entertainment, delectable foods, and all the newest goodies for our homes. The advertising messages embedded in our daily life remind us what we “deserve” and promise us that our ills can be cured by the latest pill.
It’s easy to drift with that current. Financing is all but guaranteed on new homes, cars, and gadgets. Fast food is bundled in convenient, family-size portions. The latest television dramas provide an escape from our stresses, and deliver the messages that urge us to stay within the comforts of the current and continue the cycle.
If we reject that current, we can kick and fight with all our might.
Or, we can pick a different one.
We can choose to be propelled by something else all together.
But just as surfers must study all sorts of weather data to predict the perfect wave, we’ll need to identify our key influences to construct an alternative current that supports our goals and dreams.
Instead of wind, temperature, land masses, and depths, we’ll focus on philosophy, people, inputs and habits.
We can reject consumerism and select stoicism or minimalism instead. We can accept that the obstacle is most often the way, and that less stuff usually means less stress.
We can acknowledge that we become the average of the people we spend the most time with, and we can select them carefully. We know that when those around us eat healthy and exercise, we likely will too. We know that our growth mindset strengthens when we’re around others on the same journey. We intentionally join groups that provide encouragement, feedback, and accountability.
We understand garbage in, garbage out. We know that we must fill our minds with nutrients and mindfulness to crowd out the toxic weeds can easily take root. Instead of “must see tv,” we develop our own stations with blogs, podcasts, books, and documentaries. We study biographies and interviews of those we admire to better understand their character and philosophies.
By making our desired behaviors automatic, we’re creating our own personal drift. We will intentionally shape our habits, and over time, they will shape us. We use tools and resources like Lift App to provide support and reinforcement.
We can accept the default current, fight it every day, or craft our own.
- The Obstacle is the Way, Ryan Holliday
- Simplify, Joshua Becker
- Three Questions Every Leader Must Answer to Avoid the Drift, Michael Hyatt
- Building Your Habit Snowball, Habit Chef Podcast