Invest in your FLOW
In 2013, or there abouts, I had an awakening of sorts. At the time I was an pro operative in the global technology business. I was traveling the world influencing business decsions about technology. Its amazing how small a group this influential flow was. We would see the same crew of people in Santa Clara, then Las Vegas, NYC, Singapore, London, on and on. After several years, in this market segment, it started to feel like more of a renuion, than a business function. You had to stay on the road, because that was where the flow was. It was addictive and competitively required. This extended to the airports. I would see people in the airports recurringly. So much so, they would recognize me, and I them. I was in the middle of the flow. I had climbed up through the complexities of business travel, organizational acumen and technology stacks to be on the edge. The edge was the great input valve that poured in the slur of market trends, corporate intiatives and GDP. It was impactful on all fronts, including at home.
Well, I had other pipes where my flow was low. My family, I saw on the weekends. There was a time that I had been out of town for every Wednesday for 5+ years. I am not a golf player, so I spent my weekends as a invested dad and husband. However, there were many routines in life that I knew little about. Those things that took place on Tuesday mornings, and there were many.
This was also true of my community. I knew more people in Silicon Valley than I did in Richmond where I lived. Locally I knew many people casually, but I had no real relationships. The effect was I didn’t know my community, its issues, its character. I wasn’t a booster or volunteer. In many ways I didn’t exist. My house was just another Marriott on the list of places I slept. I lived involuntarily bifurcated.
I mentioned 2013. That year I started a multi-phased journey. I felt a need to change and a little stuck at my level in the company. So in 2013, I explicitly set off “to get fired”. I was going to be more bold, more unexpected, and challenge everyone. My new year’s resolution was to get fired. Thus, I expected to get fired. To my surprise my boldness led to double level promotion, taking over a global business function and reporting to the executives of the company. I was in a new level of flow. This was too much fun, my veins enriched with “super-flow”. Yet my kids were now young adults and the lack of flow in my community felt increasingly present in my mind.
Two companies merged, one being my employer. This transaction afforded me the the opportunity to take some time off. I used the time to evaluate my flow investment. I started working on getting into the flow with my community. I was somewhat naive and clumsy at first, but I kept working at it. I became the sports booster, and the drama stage builder, and the local organizer. Now if this were a TED Talk, my next sentence would state how on this journey, I had fundamentally changed the world. I haven’t…yet. But I have invested in my flow. Today, I met with one of the people in my new flow. Someone I connected with a couple years back, early in my local flow development. We met today on an audacious and righteous topic. We talked about doing something interesting and valuable together, building upon a program he has developed, to take it further. The moral of this story is not only to inspire you to invest in your own flow(s), but to consider your unique value that your flows have created in you, for your next flow. #FlowRider
Thank you for sharing this, Andy! Love the idea of being a flow rider – and being conscious about investing in flow. Terrific!
JW thanks for the feedback. I got to admit I got a little “flow fatigue” typing this out, but flow rider is a keeper.