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InspirEmail

InspirEmail No 157 - April 20, 2009
'Inspirational messages to refresh the spirit and boost the emotional bank account'

Go with the Flow

Scientists studying fish behaviour have made fascinating discoveries. The thing I found most interesting, was how fish swim upstream or in rough waters. Their research indicates fish negotiate turbulent waters using an efficient method that literally allows them to 'go with the flow.'

Rocks and branches, beneath the surface of a river, create strings of small whirlpools or 'vortices' in the water. Fish swimming upstream, manage to make their way though this turbulence without tiring themselves.

A fish's body is similar to the sail on a boat or the wings on an airplane. Their swimming style resembles a flag flapping in the wind, which allows the spinning water to pull them forward. It's similar to a sailboat tacking back and forth to move forward against the wind. When a stream of water flows around the fish, it produces thrust, pushing the fish forward. The fish actually slalom through the vortices.

With sensors attached to the fish, the scientists discovered fish use less energy swimming this way than simply swimming head first into the currents. Perhaps we can learn something from this. Life is a river. We're the fish. There are always strong currents and vortices ahead. The people who handle them best, are the ones who use them to propel themselves forward. Those who go head first into the current, grow tired and frustrated, and washed backward.

Seven months after I lost my first wife, I sat at my desk, wearing a black shirt. I looked down. The shirt was covered with white specks. I hadn't noticed them when I dressed that morning.

I'm very careful when doing laundry. I check the pockets for Kleenex, or whatever my son may leave in his. I missed something. My shirt was a mess. I looked pathetic. I knew my co-workers were making comments behind my back. I was a young widower, working in a stressful job, trying to survive. The current was strong. I was swimming poorly. I wanted the day to end.

Later that day, my boss came up to me. 'Mike, do you have a moment?'

Our company was in trouble. Business wasn't going well. The look on his face told me what was coming.

'It's that time?' I asked.

'Yes,' he replied.

I followed him to the conference room and  was handed my package: two weeks severance pay - not much. It was better than my co-workers received. A week later, their pay checks bounced and the company shut down.

I came home in a daze. I'd lost my wife and now was out of work. What was I going to do? How could life be so cruel?

I thought of the fish. They knew how to deal with a strong force and take advantage of it. I decided to go with the flow. The force of the water didn't push me back. I swam like the fish and used the current to propel me forward. I struggled, but I found another job. In an eddy, I found new love.

My life came together. I swam like the fish and went with the flow.

Won't you join me? The water's fine. Let's go with the flow.

Written by Michael T. Smith

Michael is a writer in his spare time and believes in sharing a smile, a wave, a kind word and a tear. He lives with beautiful wife Ginny in Idaho and works as a project manager in telecommunications when he is not writing. His life experiences have given him a special heart that shows in his writing. For Mike's contact details and to subscribe to his free Hearts and Humour newsletter, please visit . . . Positive Inspirational Links >>>



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