Avoiding Turbulence

Watch the video of this post.

Listen to the podcast of this post.

If you've followed me for awhile, you know I'm a science geek.  I LOVE to apply scientific terms like momentum, energy, power and resistance to our everyday life.  When we apply these concepts from a scientific perspective, they reveal a lot about our life experiences.

Today, I'm going to geek out on a concept you probably don't like much.


For 30 years, I traveled the world as a consultant.  Turbulence is that event when you're on a plane and it starts shaking.  You clench the armrest or the person next to you.  

But the first time I got familiar with turbulence was not on a plane.  It was in my Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering.  The class was called Transport Phenomena.  I spent a whole semester studying how fluids and gases flow through pipes.  

Fascinating, right?

There are two types of flow.  Laminar Flow is smooth and predictable.  Turbulent Flow is chaotic and unpredictable.  

Stay with me here as I describe Turbulence.  

Turbulence is distinguished by three characteristics:  

Characteristic 1:  Eddies  

When water flows through a hose real fast, the water swirls inside the hose.  That means water isn't flowing in one direction.  Flow slows.  Apply more pressure?  More eddies.  More turbulence.  Less flow.

When you can't get something done, you put more pressure on yourself, right?  That works when you are flowing.  Put too much pressure on yourself and your actions don't all flow in one direction, do they?  You just created Eddies.  When your actions aren't aligned to a single motion, you are creating turbulence.  Stay in the Flow!

Characteristic 2:  Chaos

We're going to go a little deeper here with your science lesson.  Chaos isn't just 'when things go wild.'  It has a particular technical definition.  Chaos is the phenomenon when small changes within a system generate large and unpredictable changes in direction.  

You know when that one little thing annoys you SO MUCH that you throw your hands in the air and you do something else.  Hmm….you probably changed direction quickly and not predictably nor productively.  Chasing shiny pennies is an indicator of being in turbulent flow.  Recommendation?  Stop.  Focus.  Breathe.  Slow the Flow.

Characteristic 3:  Diffusion

I LOVE this one.  Diffusion means that where there is turbulence, ENERGY is diffused.  It takes a lot of energy to create those little swirlies and go against the flow.  Energy dissipates.  More turbulence and energy is released all over the place.  

Ever feel a dissipation of energy?  Did I just hear you say, "Yea, Daily?"  When you feel overwhelm, fatigue, or doubt or if you feel like quitting, being stuck or burned out, your hose isn't flowing.  Just drips.  Dissipated Energy.  Turbulence won your day.  Take One Simple Action.  If you must, make it small.  Generate a wee bit of confidence.  One simple action begins the next moment in a smooth, laminar flow.

So that's our science lesson for the day on Turbulence.  In summary, turbulence is defined by three characteristics:  Eddies, Chaos and Diffusion.  

These characteristics translate in our lives as feelings of overwhelm, fatigue and doubt.  You have entered…. Turbulent Flow.  To avoid Turbulence, 

  • Stay IN the Flow
  • Slow the Flow
  • Take One Simple Action

If you ever experience Turbulence in the plane, break it down.  It's just eddies, chaos and energy diffusion.  As the pilot takes action to reduce turbulence, you can take one simple action to prevent Physical Turbulence from turning into Emotional Turbulence:  

Breathe deeply and slowly.  Try it now,  On the exhale say, "Ahhhhhh"

Feel the Harmony settling into your soul?   Feel that Laminar Flow?  

You are such a GEEK!

Live 100% Empowered!


Thank you for Subscribing to our Weekly Broadcast