The Eddy Theory
By Robert Rudelic BS, NMT, MES
When life gets going too fast, many of us like to put it on pause hoping it will miraculously get better on its own.
I’m a class 5 white water boater and on the river, as in life the river never stops. When you pull into an eddy to get a breather, you still have to work to stay there. In life, when we hit pause, life does not stop moving — it keeps going, and when you’re working hard to keep it on pause, something unexpected happens and you find yourself out of control anyway.
Hitting pause in life is a placebo; a way to put off making a choice, a decision, and then taking action. No matter what you do or how long you tread water, in the end you must move or be moved. On the river I’ve learned an eddy is a god send when you’re running a long stretch of class 5 rapids. I can slow everything down long enough to survey what my options are, make a decision and go!!! I’ve also learned, waiting too long results in poor decisions that result in meager execution and poor results. Just like in life — and here’s why:
When I’m looking over a series of class 5 rapids and evaluating which route is most feasible and has the least risk, the longer I look at the rapids the more indecisive I get. I also get more concerned about each detail even while knowing it never goes as planned, and running a class 5 rapid is all about how you react and execute plan B and C. The faster you make a decision and put your plan into motion, the stronger you are, and faster your reflexes are, because you’re not stuck in the grips of fear. Once fear gets ahold of you, your strength, focus and reflexes are diminished — along with the mental grit needed to succeed.
This goes for life. The longer you stay in a bad situation the worse off it seems to you. You wait too long and you get mentally constipated — that’s an emotional loop filled with gloom and doom where all you see is what you can’t have. Imagination, enthusiasm, creativity, problem solving and strategizing are shut out, Your brain shuts down and can’t process information from right hemisphere to the left; otherwise known as homolateral thinking.
Your brain and your emotions are on a counterbalance scale. When your emotions are too high, your brain shuts down. One of the best responses to this is saying to yourself “oh screw it” and Go For It. Without action, opportunities will never appear to you. It’s only when you’re in action that your landscape changes and you can do something to change your direction in life. Just like the river; once you leave the eddy all hell breaks loose, but you are in control of the chaos, because you have a direction and can fight the whims of the waves, self-correct as you go and reach where you want to go in the end.
So, no matter what — don’t stay too long in your eddy, it’s a false place of safety and will eventually push you into action. It’s your choice, whether you’re in control of which direction you’re going in or the river’s choice. I’ll always take my chances on my own decision making process, that way I’m taking the fight to the river and not a victim of its whims.
I’ve been boating for almost 30 years and I’m still here — and still loving it. That’s the same for my life as well. As long as I can pick my route and take action, I’ll never give up until I get to where I want to go.
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Tags: emotional exhaustion, emotions, life coach, mental blocks, mentally constipated, overwhelm
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