One of the best, yet most vicious, scenes in movie history comes in David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross. The scene features Alec Baldwin, a higher-up at a real estate sales company.

Baldwin’s character comes to one of the firm’s satellite offices to strike the fear of God into its underperforming sales staff, played by the likes of Jack Lemmon, Alan Arkin and Ed Harris. Here’s but one example from the scene.

Baldwin removes a gold watch from his wrist and lays it before Harris’s meek character. Then —

“That watch costs more than your car. I made 970,000 dollars last year, how much you make? You see pal, that’s who I am, and you’re nothing. Nice guy? I don’t give a shit. Good father? Fuck you, go home and play with your kids. You want to work here, close.”

I told you it was vicious.

Always Be Closing

And it brings us in a roundabout way to the subject at hand. Because what Mamet made famous in this monologue was the acronym ABC, which stands for Always Be Closing.

It means to never let up when selling. Always be trying to close the sale.

If ABC is the key to sales, then ABF is the key to living a good life. What is ABF?

Always Be Flowing.

Most of you have an idea what flow is. It’s being in tune with what is. It’s being in harmony with the present moment.

It’s easier to describe being in flow by relating its opposite, which is resistance. People who constantly reject and resist what’s happening in the present moment are not in flow.

We live in flow when we accept what life brings our way. When we don’t resist what life brings our way.

Why we resist

Why do we resist so much? Because our egos want us to. It rains on your wedding day. Resist. You hit five red lights in a row. Resist. Your kid won’t put on his sweatshirt even though it’s freezing outside. Resist.

But realize that being in flow doesn’t mean we jump for joy that it rained on our big day. Or that we love sitting at red lights. Or that we give up on getting our kid to put on the sweatshirt.

Not at all. It simply means that we flow with the reality of life instead of resisting it…And then we respond to it from a place of acceptance and presence, not ego.

Some of you might be saying, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I get it. I’ve heard this before. Flowing with life is a great thing. Being in flow is where it’s at. What’s new here?”

ALWAYS be flowing

Fair enough. The one thing I’d like to put a fine point on is the ‘A’ in ABF. Always.

Why? Because some of you might think, “Sure. I love being in the flow with a beautiful sunset. Or a relaxing walk with my husband. Or listening to a Puccini aria.”

The key, though, is to work on ALWAYS being in flow. Even during the challenging times. In fact, especially during the challenging times.

It’s about accepting reality

Remember, flow is about accepting whatever reality life brings our way. Good or bad. It’s reality. So flow with it.

It never makes sense to resist reality. It always makes sense to flow with it.

How do we do that? We whittle away at the little bugger that prevents us from flowing — the ego.

When we do that, we’re able to let life unfold by itself, without us (the ego) getting in the way.

The leaf and the wind

As Mickey Singer said in a recent talk, we want to be the leaf and let the wind (life, the Tao, nature, the Universe, God) blow us where it will.

We continually let go of anything that gets between the wind and the leaf. Any egoic thoughts or emotions…let them go.

Just keep letting go.

Be the leaf that flows with the wind of life.

Because life’s greatest treasures come to us when we flow with it.


Always be flowing.