My typical Saturday morning involves freshly-brewed coffee accompanied by lo-fi hip-hop instrumental beats that encompass the atmosphere of the room. This weekend, an audio recording of an infamous Bruce Lee quote begins to play as the experimental music transitions into the next song: “Water.”
“Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless, like water. Water can drip, and it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
That statement is profound, yet quite simple: Be like water. Being liquid means that you follow the path of least resistance. It means that you live in flow. When we embrace our natural state of flow, we allow ourselves to swim with life’s current rather than against it. So why wouldn’t we want to be water?
Here are three ways in which we can all be more like water:
1. Let life flow and come to you.
Water moves effortlessly and spontaneously. Like liquid, when we try not to resist the current, things usually go our way. Sometimes, we are pressured to move faster or try harder, but in actuality, our constant striving is counterproductive.
We often attract what we truly want when we stop putting forth effort. We make our best decisions faithfully and hastily. Ironically, the things that we work to will into manifestation usually never come to fruition.
When we force ourselves to be happy,we become unhappy. When we try to relax, we end up feeling more anxious.
The best relationships are ones we don’t seek. The best opportunities appear when we’re least ready. Our most profound achievements aren’t the goals that we consciously pursue every new year, but rather goals of passion, self-attainment, and internal growth. When we pursue our passions, everything else tends to fall into place.
2. Remain frictionless and flow at your own pace.
Water doesn’t force its existence; it just is. The harmony between H2O and the universe gives this liquid the inherent ability to flow with the forces of nature. When we go with life’s flow rather than forcing our stream, we can discover and embrace endless opportunities.
For most of my life, I’ve tried to dictate my direction. I forced life upon myself instead of allowing experiences to guide me forward. I pushed myself up the stream instead of allowing myself to flow with life’s current.
If we practice mindfulness, we can adopt an “allowance” mindset. With this newly-adopted perspective, we accept what is. When we are mindful, we become more fluid, embracing our harmonic relationship with the world.
3. Be like water: formless and without ego.
Water is shapeless. As we pour it into a bowl, it becomes the bowl. When we get rid of predestined beliefs, we transform into formless beings, not allowing reality’s obstacles to faze us.
Similar to the zig-zag, snake-like form of a river or stream that flows down a mountainous terrain, life will set you on a path, and without notice, will divert you off that path when necessary.
Our natural inclination is to resist the new path. But change is inevitable, and when we question our life’s changes, we start to doubt our purpose and begin to ask questions that never have clear answers. Instead of opposing life’s changes, let life flow naturally in whatever way it chooses.
Be like water and take on the form that the world has in store for you. Be the most authentic, fluid version of who you are, as clear liquid never goes stale. As Mr. Lee says, “Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”