The 8 Best Ways to Avoid Being Driftwood

The Driftwood Principle

Are you driftwood floating down the river of life, going wherever it takes you?  Do you let life make decisions for you?  Do you let it wear you down sometimes?

What happens to driftwood?  Over time, it becomes worn, it goes where the river takes it, and sometimes it is broken on the rocks as it goes downstream.

Many people are driftwood.  They go where life takes them.  They do not make decisions that alter their course.  And ultimately, their condition becomes a result of what life does to them.

Why are these people driftwood?  The simplest answer is because it is easy. It is the do nothing option.  It is easier not to make choices.  Not to be wrong.  Not to be embarassed.  It is easy to be lazy.

Q: If you do nothing differently, where will you be next year?

A: The same place you are today.

Do you want to be driftwood?  Or would you rather set your own course for the destination of your choice?

How Not to be Driftwood…

There are many ways to chart your own course in the waters of life.  Some are as simple as making choices and taking action, instead of letting life do it for you.  Here are the “8 Best Ways to Avoid Being Driftwood:”
  1. Make Decisions – Our society has conditioned us not make decisions.  We feel shame  if we are wrong at something.  Also, with so many options, we think that if we make a choice we will miss the next better option.  The reality is that there are very few, if any, decisions in life that cannot be changed at a later time.  Make choices.  Be Bold.  Set your own path.  It feels good.  And yes, you can change your mind later.
  2. Do Something Extra – One of the best ways to ensure you are getting to your destination is to do “just a bit more.”  Too often we are satisfied with the status quo.  Instead, push yourself to do that one more thing.  That one extra step.  Over time, these little “one steps” will put you so far down the course you will be astounded at how far you have gotten.  So, do that one more task before leaving work.  Finish that one more item at home.  It will pay off in spades.
  3. Do Something Different – Let’s face it.  You always do the same thing.  You have the same routine.  You always park in the same place at work.  Order the same thing when you eat out.  If you do what you have always done, you will get the same results.  To jumpstart your life and creativity, do something differently.  It will surprise you how little changes will have dramatic impacts on your life.
  4. Do Something Physical – Working out is one of the best medicines.  It energizes your body.  It energizes your mind.  It pumps you up.  If you lazily float down the river of life, you will become a sloth.  Choose to be active and you will be amazed at the results.
  5. Have a Hobby –  As I have said before, you don’t have time not to have a hobby. Hobbies are not mere pastimes.  Our hobbies are our interests and they define us.  Whether it is gardening, collecting, golfing, or blogging, hobbies are one of the best ways to ensure that you have a passion with which you can grow.
  6. Interact with Someone New – This one is related to “Do Something Different,” but involves reaching out to a person that you would not have normally.  Who is that person at the office that you have passed for 2 years and never greeted?  My favorite application of this one is to reach out to someone that you feel animosity towards.  “The best way to make an enemy a friend, is to do something nice for them.”  You may learn something about someone new, and about yourself.
  7. Be in Control of Your Time –  Do you let others steal your time? Or do you defend it? If you let others monopolize your time, they will take it.  If you stand up for your time, people will respect it.  Being in control of your own time is essential to ensuring that you can do what you want to do.
  8. Be Positive – Positive attitude always wins, even in a losing situation.  You can make mistakes and still be positive.  You can lose and still be positive.  As Rocky said, “It’s not about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward… And that is how winning is done.”

Set Your Own Course

So, are you choosing your our path?  Or are you letting life take you where it wants?

Make a choice.  Any choice.  Go out there and do what you want to do. Don’t be Driftwood.

What life choices have you made recently?  Please share.


11 thoughts on “The 8 Best Ways to Avoid Being Driftwood

  1. This is a great metaphor. It reminds me of a poem that my grandmother used to tell my father when he was young:

    ‘Tis easy to drift in the current swift
    To lie in your boat and dream
    But in nature’s plan, it takes a real man
    To paddle the boat upstream

    I spent a long time trying to rewrite the third line using the word “woman” instead of man. I haven’t succeeded… yet.

  2. This is a great metaphor. It reminds me of a poem that my grandmother used to tell my father when he was young:

    ‘Tis easy to drift in the current swift
    To lie in your boat and dream
    But in nature’s plan, it takes a real man
    To paddle the boat upstream

    I spent a long time trying to rewrite the third line using the word “woman” instead of man. I haven’t succeeded… yet.

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