Do You Float or Swim?

There are three types of people in this world, those that can count and those that can’t. (Sorry, couldn’t resist one of my old favorites- let’s try this again…)

There are two basic types of people the world, floaters and swimmers. Think about your life… which of the following resonates the most with you:    The River Of Life

Are you floating along, taking life as it comes and guides you or do you swim against the current, making your own way?

There are pros and cons to both.

The floaters literally go with the flow. Their stress levels are low and they adapt to whatever the river of life gives them. When life pushes hard they adapt easily and see the silver linings. However they only go where the river flows and are vulnerable to going places they don’t want and being at the mercy of the current.

The swimmers shape their destiny. They go where they want and when they want and very rarely go where they don’t want to be. When life’s current pushes them in a way they don’t like they push back or swim around it. As a result of their proactive approach they are often more stressed out and expend much more energy, mentally and physically fighting the river of life.

I’m a floater, most definitely. I don’t have a problem with swimming I just like the concept of floating. Quite a few quotes out there claim that dead fish are the floaters and the lively are those who swim against the current. Others say it’s the smart ones that float and let the river do all the work while the dumb ones fight against it and tire themselves out to get almost nowhere.

I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer but I think we all need to ask ourselves this question. Do we float with or swim against life? And how does that impact our life both positively and negatively?

If you are a floater and never find yourself getting where you want maybe it’s time to swim a bit. If you are a swimmer and find yourself exhausted and frustrated with life then maybe it’s time to float a bit. Or better yet, learn the skill of when to float and when to swim.

Let the river of life guide you through the rapids and swim when the waters are calm.

The other way to think about it is this: if you find yourself constantly swimming against the current never getting what you want to go and maybe you’re in the wrong river or you need some help (life jacket, flippers, etc.). If you find yourself floating along and never ending up where you want to go then maybe you’re in the wrong river or you need to get yourself an oar. Be a floater with an oar. Or a swimmer with flippers. Or better yet, find a partner who has a raft and oars or flippers and life jackets (shout out to my wife here).

The River of Health

Now think about your health journey. The same question: Do you float or swim?

Are you someone who floats along, just letting health be what it may or are you someone who swims against the current and battles it? Are you someone who accepts aging and health decline or are you fighting (kicking and screaming) to keep your health?

Once again, probably pros and cons to both. There is benefit to being a health floater, particularly when it comes to stressing out over health, exercise and the perfect diet. But ignorance is only bliss until the river dumps you off a waterfall. The swimmers control much more of their health destiny and can manipulate their river ride to a very strong degree but they often end up having to dedicate a lot of time and energy to do so, often to the detriment of other things.

I was a health floater most of my life until my health awakening a few years ago, which I think of my learning how to swim, when I became a swimmer and one that used his new found ability at every opportunity. Not surprisingly, I think I tired myself out after a few years of hard swimming and have since settled into being a floater again who tries to swim only when an opportunity presents itself and goes with the flow the rest of the time. Needless to say I feel like this has me navigating the river of health much more effectively and I am enjoying the ride quite a bit more.

A couple things to remember:

– Some parts of the river look calm on the surface but have a big current underneath. Think about that in your life- when does it seem like things should be working out but they just aren’t?
– Every once in a while the river is shallow, particularly around the rapids. Stand up or grab a rock if you can because it can really help in a time of big currents.
– There are sides to every river that might offer opportunities for rest or achievement, look out for them but make sure you choose good places to bank.
– Swimming sideways is an option. You don’t always have to head up or down stream.
– You’re very rarely alone on any river in your life. Keep your eyes open for fellow river goers.

Life and health are rivers. Whether you are a floater, swimmer or somewhere in-between, the best approach is this: find the right river for you, get a few tools to help then enjoy the ride.

Thanks for reading, have a great day!



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