"Don't push the river, it flows by itself."
I have some news for you! Are you sitting down? Ok, good. This isn't necessarily bad news, it just is. Are you ready? Here it goes: You are not in control.
Are you freaking out? Don't. The thought of not being in control may be a scary thought... or not. It just depends on the way you look at it.
We can try to be in charge, to control everyone and everything in our lives and get upset, anxious or angry when things don't go exactly the way we planned. Or, we can recognize that the world spins through space without our help, that people do what they do, and that our lives will flow where they will despite our trying to make things otherwise.
Now, recognizing that you don't have any control doesn't mean that you should give up, stop planning, or stop caring. No matter how organized we are or how much structure we create in our lives, there will always be things beyond our control. Our work is simply to try our best, to go ahead and plan, organize, structure our lives, but be prepared to roll with the changes as they come (and believe me, they will!).
So, repeat after me: "I am not in control." Feels kind of liberating doesn't it? The more we try to control or create structure, the more these things can be a big source of anger, frustration and stress. When we let go of the idea of control we are more able to go with the flow.
"Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” - Lao-Tzu
Some ways to practice going with the flow:
by Leo Babauta