The Resilient Lawyer – Kill the Motor Dude!

If you have ever watched Finding Nemo you can’t help but fall in love with the 150-year-old sea turtle, Crush.  I love watching Crush and the other sea turtles float through the East Australian current.  One of my favourite moments is when Squirt is accidentally propelled out of the current.  Marlin panics, while Crush calmly tells him to “Kill the motor dude.  Let’s see what Squirt does when flying solo.”  Moments later, Squirt re-enters the current proclaiming:  “Whoa, whoa, that was so cool!”  Crush’s reaction to Squirt’s predicament is understandable once you consider how Disney describes him: “Young at heart, he has a laid-back surfer dude attitude and goes with the flow.”

So what does this scene have to do with resilience?  Let me give you an example.  Recently, I was reflecting on why I had been feeling a little miserable the past few weekends.  Like many, I love weekends – using them to have some fun and to recharge my battery for the work week ahead.  So, I asked myself, was I miserable because we were locked down and could only go out for essentials, or was there something more?  As you can probably guess, there was something more.

In fact, there was a pattern.  As I headed into each weekend, I was setting up firm expectations of how I wanted them to go.  When they started not going the way I expected, or planned, rather than going with the flow, I was rigid and inflexible.  This, in turn, caused me stress which of course negatively effected my mood and attitude around my family.  By the time Sunday night came around, I felt just as depleted as I had felt at the start of the weekend – all due to the stress of fighting against the way things were going.

Once I saw this pattern, I set an intention this past weekend to just “go with the flow.”  This simple act of deciding not to be so attached to a “plan” for my time off, made the time feel much more “off” than before.  I also saved myself a lot of energy that would otherwise have been stubbornly spent resisting the natural course of any normal weekend made unpredictable by family, homecare, and the global pandemic.   By the time Sunday night came around, not only did I notice that I was happier, but I also noticed that my battery was fully charged.

In the end, we all have expectations on how we want things to go.  When the outcome goes another way, we often feel anxious and disappointed.  However, if we take a lesson from Crush and take a moment to just “Kill the motor dude”, we can put ourselves in a position to go with the flow and see where that takes us.  By doing so, like Squirt, we might have a “so cool” moment that is just as good as, if not better, than the outcome that we thought we really wanted.  Not to mention the fact that we can have this “so cool” moment without all the added stress of fighting against the current.