Don’t fight it. Live it. Love it. Flow with it.

29th January 2016

Gavin Preston

Be Inspired


During a recent mentoring session with one of my clients, the CEO of a high growth medium sized business, we explored how different employees, stakeholders, suppliers and customers of his business respond to growth and change. Did they fight it? Did they engage with it?  This prompted a brilliantly passionate response from my client: “Don’t fight it!  Live it. Love it. Flow with it.”  He was talking about change, about business and about life. By adopting this mindset of success, he is happier, more grateful and more resourceful and less stressed.

Don’t Fight It

When faced with set-backs; when someone blocks our plans; says no to that sales proposal; or something goes wrong on a key project just before the delivery deadline, then a common response is to get frustrated. You may even feel a loss of control of the situation. Frustration escalates into anger and the fight or flight instinct kicks in – “I am going to fight this!”.

Whilst this attitude can give you a surge of energy to address the situation you may not be getting the best out of yourself.  When angry, when in fight or flight mode you are operating from the limbic portion of the brain, the first part of the brain to develop in evolutionary man.  In order to come up with creative solutions, to analyse different options you need to be able to access the cerebral cortex of the brain. You need to be relaxed to do. It is not possible to access the cerebral cortex when in fight mode.

The frustration or fight is often about an obstacle blocking your path.  This is likely to be temporary.  Instead of fight, focus on the outcome you want.  See yourself achieving the result you want and notice that growing sense of certainty that you will find a way of achieving your objective.

Action: Imagine yourself achieving your goal/objective.  Feel certain that you will find a way to reach your goal.



Daniel Pink shares in his book “Drive” that other than for repetitive tasks that require no thought, the biggest motivator for us is having a challenge to solve, a goal to achieve and then achieving it.  As humans we need challenges.  It is part of what makes us feel alive.  We overcome the problems, we achieve our goal and enjoy the sense of satisfaction.  We feel alive.

See the challenges or problems that are thrown your way as part of the game, the game of achieving your objectives.  Smile when that curve ball is thrown at you as you say to yourself ‘it’s all part of the game’.  Play the game to win.

Let go of blame. Tell the internal voice that is ranting, to shut up.  The situation you are in is not about you.  Get over yourself.  Put your focus onto the goal and the customers you serve.

Get creative.  Be playful.  Be curious. See the funny side of the situation.  Bounce possible solutions off colleagues and friends. Be certain that you will find a solution. Enjoy the process. The learning we get overcoming set-backs is invaluable and provide insights that will benefit us in the future.  Life would be boring if we didn’t have obstacles to overcome and the lessons we get from them. That is growth.  As humans that is what we are pre-programmed to do from birth: grow. So enjoy the ride and live.

Action: Get creative, be playful, be curious. Co-create solutions with colleagues or friends.


Pay attention each day to what makes you smile.  Notice during your day what you love doing.  Notice who you love and who loves you and notice how that makes you feel.

This is not ‘pink and fluffy’.

What we pay attention to, focus on, say to ourselves affects how we feel, our emotional state.  Our emotional state is a strong determiner of performance.  If you take two people competing, whether it be in sport, a sales pitch or a selection process, if both have the same skill, training and experience, the person with the more intense positive state will perform better.  Feeling good and focusing on things that make you feel good will raise your performance.

To raise your game, love more.

Love what you do, love the feeling of the sun on your face, love the feeling of the rain in your face, love the taste of your food, love where you live, love your health, your family, your partner etc. Love yourself.

With love comes gratitude.  When you experience these two states more of the time you become more attractive in life, in business and in relationships.

This is not ‘tree hugging’ stuff. This is about you enjoying your business and life more and experiencing a greater sense of fulfilment and attracting the people and opportunities that accelerate you towards your goal.

Babies and toddlers laugh, giggle, smile and love.  Putting the odd tantrum aside, they are in the natural human state.  Life is not meant to be stressed, angry and resentful.

Action: Every day notice what puts a smile on your face and what could put a smile on your face.  Notice what you love and what you could love.  Notice how good that makes you feel and the positive impact it has on your performance.



I love sailing, particularly at sea when the wind gets up.  You cannot sail into the wind and waves.  You cannot fight against nature. But what you can do is make a slight course alteration to the left or to the right and the wind instead of pushing you back, propels you forward.  Your passage over the waves is no longer head on, it is slightly off to one side. Things feel like they are flowing. You are working with nature and not against it.

Too much energy is wasted fighting things. Flow with it.

Don’t walk around the puddles. Do as the toddler would, jump in them.

There are aspects to running your business/your role that you enjoy; the things that you were so absorbed in that time slipped by unnoticed, when everything slotted into place, when you were doing your best work. It is in these moments that you are in flow, in the zone.

By noticing the aspects of your role that put you in flow you can start to shape your day, week, month to spend more time doing those things that put you in flow.  By doing this you will add more value to the team and more value to the bottom line of your business.

We use a powerful profiling tool called ‘Talent Dynamics’ with the high growth business owners we work with and their teams.  It is a joy to see the happiness, effectiveness, performance and profit of the business go up when they apply the insights from this tool.

Action: Notice the things you were doing when you experienced a feeling of being in the zone, ‘in flow’.  Design your time to spend more time doing the things that put you in flow and notice the performance and profitability of your business grow.

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6 Responses to Don’t fight it. Live it. Love it. Flow with it.

  • clive Rayman says:

    Hi Gavin

    That was very good hope you are doing well


  • Very thought provoking ,a lot of wisdom there .

  • Gavin says:

    Hi Jill. Thank you for your feedback. I agree. It is very easy to revert to type. On a regular basis we need to take a moment to notice how we feel and what we are paying attention to and how that is affecting our state and performance. Take care. Gavin

  • Deborah Boden says:

    This is great…I would like to listen to this in the mornings!

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