Against the Current

Against the Current Featured Image

Oh the lessons we’ve been learning!

There have been some very big ‘Ah Ha!’ moments in the McArthur household this last month. Both Tonia and I are stubborn human beings, its just who we are at our core. This stubbornness has its advantages as it allows us to be resilient in times of crisis and gives us the strength to stand up to the world when it pushes back.

However, being stubborn does have its faults as it blinds us from the fact that some of the things we are doing are not right for us. If something isn’t going as planned Tonia and I often think ‘We need to keep pushing until it does’

I think we do this partially because you often hear successful people say things like ‘You need to push through the hard times‘ or ‘If I gave up early on then I wouldn’t be here today

While this message has good intentions and is intended to help people to persevere through hard times it can also be confusing and not entirely true, at least for us. Yes, you will need to be persistent in your endeavours and yes you will need to work hard to accomplish any goals but there is another layer to this recipe not included in the above statements. You need to have the awareness of ‘Am I swimming against the current?

Swimming Upstream
Swimming against the current may seem like the right move but eventually will be met with undeniable resistance. Be aware!

What does that mean?

Its quite simple, and something that stubborn people like us do not hear easily. If there is something in your life that has been consistently delivering messages of ‘this is not right‘ or ‘you need to adjust‘ then you need to listen. Now that doesn’t mean break up with that person you just started dating because they don’t like the same movies as you or quit your new business endeavour because you ‘hate filing taxes’ or ‘suck at sales’. Not liking something isn’t swimming against the current its just something that comes with anything in life. What it does mean is that after years of trying to solve certain problems or trying to accomplish a certain goal you are still in the same place AND being met with louder and louder messages of resistance then you really need to take a moment and ask yourself ‘Is this right for me?’
If you see a straight line in this world that’s because man made it, there are no straight lines in nature – Tony Robbins

Here is an example:

The moment we arrived in Kelowna we knew it wasn’t right for us. We had a gut feeling. The more time went on the more this was solidified in small messages such as the building being under construction the entire time we were here, the constant break ins, our strata not taking any responsibility for issues around the complex, the fact that we were having a hard time making friends (were likable people!) and much more. Shit, it took us 4 months to get our name put on the buzzer of the building and we couldn’t even get our mail delivered here. The universe was screaming at us so loudly telling us that we don’t belong here that it wouldn’t even let us have our mail and we were ignoring all the signs!! We stubbornly thought to ourselves, ‘No! We have to push through all of this and earn our way into this new life!’

This went on for 15 months. Tonia and I reached new levels of stress and anxiety about our living conditions. We fought, we cried, we were genuinely dissatisfied and didn’t know what we should do.

Then without warning, the loudest message of all was delivered. Our landlord called us and told us that he was selling the unit and that we basically were being evicted from our home. We spent so much time not listening that eventually the universe stepped in and now in 2-3 months we wouldn’t have a home.

We were devastated. For a small minute, we wanted to pack it all in and quit (seriously). I was out of town at the time and I remember lying on my back on the air mattress in my tent just staring at the roof feeling numb. At one point in the evening I got into a confrontation with of my coworkers grabbed a beer and went for a long walk. I found a bridge over a little river, sat underneath it and like a troll drank my beer and cried one of the hardest cries of my life. I was at my boiling point. Tonia and I spoke later on that evening and we just sat in silence on the phone for minutes at a time. The constant rotation of ‘what are we doing with our lives?’ rolled through our minds. It was a very hard time for us….

Then our stubbornness kicked in and after a day or two of being sad. We picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off and started looking for a new home. Tonia took a day off of work and looked for a new home for us outside of Kelowna. She sent me link after link of homes and I told her to contact everyone, I didn’t even care. There was however one place that kept coming up, even before we moved here but we never fully considered it because it wasn’t where we thought we wanted to be. Trying to be more thoughtful of the signs around us we decided to go take a look at it.

And guess what happened?


Our Porch

Literally one week after getting the phone call from our landlords, we solidified what I would call our Dream Home. We had been asking for lakefront property for years and suddenly it was delivered to us. With a move in date of exactly when we need to be out of our current home, fully furnished, pet friendly, amazing community of people (we’ve already made friends there), live music down the road, everything we’ve always wanted. And it was given to us so easily.

Then it dawned on us. This is why we were receiving those messages all along. Almost as if the universe was like ‘I was trying to give you this the whole time you stubborn idiots!’ This isn’t the first time something like this has happened to us either

This exact same thing happened with our wedding. We spent a year and a half planning a wedding that was such a challenge to put together and after taking some time to really think about what we wanted we adjusted and within 5 days completely re-planned our wedding. 5 days it was done what we were pushing against for a year and a half! Sound familiar?

Winding River

Like him or lump him, I once heard Tony Robbins use an analogy that I feel is appropriate for this lesson. He said ‘Life is not a straight line. If you see a straight line in this world that’s because man made it, there are no straight lines in nature. The way things grow in reality is they move up in a circular pattern and then they come back a little bit and up and around. They wind their way up! Nobody goes straight up and keeps going up it doesn’t look that way

This made me think of the swimming against the current analogy I used earlier. Life is like a river. It takes you around corners sometimes fast, sometimes slow, sometimes you can see what’s off in the distance, and sometimes you cant. Sometimes it actually takes you back a few steps too, but that’s what its supposed to do in order to get you where you are going and its your job not to resist and to let it take you there.

Listen to those messages, let the current take you, don’t swim upstream and if you can remember, try to enjoy it!


Source – Tonia and Colin Entrepreneurs Facebook Page

With Purpose


11 Comments on “Against the Current

  1. Love this! All so very true and I can be the resistant swimming upstream against the current Queen! Thank you so much for the reminder. As you stated Colin, life is a river, curves, fast, slow and sometimes takes us back; using that analogy, river, you made life sound much smoother and actually fun & mysterious-which it is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s hard to recognize the difference between perseverance and stubbornness isn’t it? Life doesn’t always seem so clear cut when you’re in the thick of it but this new way of looking around at things sure does help to simplify


  2. It sounds like you’ve written this about me! Oh the amount of time I’ve wasted on relationships, so called friendships and times in jobs I’ve hated to prove a point and stick it out hoping it will all get better. I lived in an apartment last year which I hated, I was saving money as it was cheap as chips and kept telling myself it was worth it and I had to stick it out. One night I was sat there in this absolute cesspit of a home and I snapped, told PK to look for somewhere else immediately and I’d pay all the moving costs and deposits. A stunning apartment had been placed to let just 20 minutes earlier and I snapped it up, we still living there now and have never been happier with a property in our lives. The universe works in strange ways, and we could all definitely learn to not be quite so stubborn!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It sure does work in mysterious ways. We are seeing the opportunities in front of us everywhere right now. Life seems to always be putting what you want in front of you, it’s your job to recognize what is right in front of you and seize the day (Carpe Diem!)

      Becoming aware is a neat thing!



  3. A brilliant post indeed, so encouraging and I love Tony Robbins work. I like to compliment myself as a resilient person but as you said it has its downside. Keep writing

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amazing! I am ridiculously stubborn and so good at helping other people find the path through difficult times, but when it comes to myself I often can’t see past what is immediately in front of me! It sounds as if it was all meant to be and the view from your new home is absolutely amazing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much, Tiffany! And you’re right, it’s difficult to heed your own advice because you can’t see it as clearly from the inside!


  5. I think we’ve all been there before, albeit different circumstances. I’m so glad it’s all worked out well for you – your dream house sounds wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This article is very relatedable , often we are all very stubborn but sometimes we tend to make simple stuff way too complicated. I’m glad everything worked better for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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