The neat thing about flow is that it comes in handy in the most unusual ways. Take what happened to me the other day.

I’ve been buying these rice chips at Trader Joe’s that are sold under the Trader Joe’s brand. I’ve been buying them for at least six months, at the same Trader Joe’s grocery store. Well, I really like these chips and had suddenly run out of them. No big deal, right? Wrong.

I head to the same store, go the same aisle, and couldn’t find my chips. I asked three Trader Joe’s employees where the chips were. Not only had none of them ever heard of them, but they literally suggested Trader Joe’s never carried such an item and that maybe I was thinking of something else! I felt like I was in some sort of Twilight Zone episode where everyone says I’m crazy but I know I’m not.

Which brings me to the part about flow. While this grocery incident is minor, the fact is there are many, many bigger similar instances going on every day. The news is notorious for this. I’ve literally seen two totally conflicting news stories two days apart. Most are about hot topics like jobs or the economy. For example, Monday the story is how the  jobless rate is at its highest level. Tuesday’s story is how more jobs were created than ever and the economy is on a rebound.

Of course, there are more insidious versions of this. You’ve heard the phrase, “always get it in writing.” Well, this Twilight Zone stuff is the reason why. You need only look at political candidates before and after the election to see cases in point. Car dealers, business people, and similar are notorious for promising things and then later acting like they never uttered a word. And if you’re like me you’ve encountered this with technology as well. Take E-mail. The same way you’ve always accessed it, day after day, is suddenly totally different. Yet you’re supposed to think this is the way it always has been, especially when customer support says so.

That’s why flow is so important. Even if you never got it in writing and everyone around you is saying it never happened/was said, through flow you know it DID happen and that you’re not crazy. In this way you can take logical steps to rectify the situation without coming from a “crazy” point of view. It’s very empowering, and works!