Do you love the iconic TV show “Friends” like I do? One of the most memorable scenes from the show that still makes me laugh is the episode where Ross, Rachel, and Chandler are moving a couch upstairs to their apartment. The couch is so large and the staircase so narrow that Ross keeps directing his friends by yelling out, “Pivot! Pivot! PIVOT!” And they soon realize that since they can’t pivot the couch too well up the winding staircase, they will have to pivot their strategy on how to get it into their apartment.

As hilarious as this scene is, it makes me think about how relatable it is to pivot or ADJUST our strategies, perspectives, and sometimes even our lifestyles. That’s why the third word in my acronym for SOAR is “Adjust.”

To adjust means to intentionally change the course or condition of something to achieve the desired result. It could be the slightest alteration, but it could make a huge difference. Everyone makes adjustments all the time. If there’s a thought, a situation, a feeling, or a lifestyle that doesn’t appeal to us, we make a change. Why? Because it’s not creating the desired effect.

It can be as simple as adjusting your route to include a Starbucks run, even if it adds an extra 10 minutes. Or it could be as intense as adjusting to a new lifestyle after moving to a different state.

caught in rip current

To have the flexibility to “adjust” is crucial in the scenario of a threatening rip current. When I STOPPED to OBSERVE my son, nephew, and our friend being pulled out further and further into deep waters, I had to ADJUST or change what I was doing and jump into action. When I was trying to rescue them, I dove into the water with the mindset of being the “life-saver.” I was using all my energy to throw their exhausted bodies up and over the waves while I went under. However, this strategy proved to be extremely taxing on my body. In hindsight, I realize it was nothing short of a miracle that we all were able to reach the shore alive, after how “spent” we all were.

My strategy needed to change. In order to save the kids, I had to conserve my own energy. I had to adjust. I’ve also learned that when you feel the tug of a rip current in the water, you have to ADJUST the direction you’re going by swimming parallel to the shore. When I don’t adjust my direction, I am fighting the current the whole way. It’s also very important to allow your body to float and if you can’t make any progress swimming parallel, allow the current to take you out until it eventually disperses, and then calmly swim back to shore. Practice floating!

The same goes for life. When I refuse to be flexible and adjust my direction in life, I am fighting the whole way. I’m fighting change and sometimes even fighting people. Being able to adjust brings positivity back into my life and is ultimately more nourishing to my soul and others around me.

Journeying through a divorce was one of the hardest adjustments I’ve ever had to make. It required me to adjust my thoughts about my life and the future and my lifestyle. Even though it was scary, I adjusted to these new changes over time, and it brought back peace, hope, and positivity.

Adjustments in the water and life aren’t always easy. We’re usually comfortable with where we’re at, and the “unknown” of making a change or an adjustment can seem scarier than staying where we are. However, the benefits of making the adjustments necessary to save a life (or even save your own life in some way) far outweigh the fear.

Making adjustments is brave. I hope you are brave enough to join me on this journey of life, where—despite the rip currents we may experience—we help each other in taking the necessary adjustments toward being our best selves.

Although each word in the acronym of SOAR has a purpose, let’s focus on the “Adjust” part of SOAR. Sometimes it’s easier said than done, but by asking ourselves the questions below, we can begin to take part in the process of adjusting!

Think On This

  1. Have you ever had to adjust your perspective or attitude regarding a situation? How did it go?
  2. Sometimes certain people or things can help us adjust, like talking to a friend, listening to calming music, or journaling. What helps you make the transition to adjust?
  3. Take note of how you feel and the outcome when you’ve adjusted to a new situation or expectation. Do you experience joy? Freedom? Peace? Celebrate that!

Soaring in life means different things to each of us. But when we learn to ADJUST our direction, strategies, or expectations, we create an environment of positivity for ourselves and others.

ocean at sunset