Life as a Series of Wins versus Life as a Flowing River

There are two ways to look at life, I believe, and the title has given them away. The way I see it, viewing life as a Series of Wins is living day to day checking off little to-do boxes. Living life as a Flowing River means forgetting the boxes and just doing things as they come to you. The two ways align with the A and B personality types, if people still use that, and perhaps a bit with the left/right brain idea.

I’m not sure which is better, if any. Sometimes little check boxes are necessary. It helps to have things organized in a way that allows you to feel accomplished. As a kid I would sometimes put a gummy bear on the pages of my text books. After every five math problems or half a page of reading, I got a little prize. A little check in the box.

The cons of the Series of Wins is that it never ends. You are never truly done with everything, and this can lead to anxiety. Always trying to finish your list but always seeing another thing to be done. The house is never 100% cleaned, the laundry is never 100% done, the homework may be done for now but you’ll be assigned more tomorrow.

The Flowing River can be nice. Taking things as they come, doing what is necessary when it is necessary to do it. There is no endpoint, no beginning. It’s just things.

I think there can be less stress in the river, less anxiety, but also unfortunately less organization. The river may forget some obligations on the shore and never quite get them done.

Right now I’m living life as a Series of Wins and envying those floating down the river. Perhaps wins are inescapable in a society based on money. Perhaps we’d all be happier listening to Disney’s Pocahontas.

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