Be Formless, Be Water


Todays guest post is by my buddie Diggy over at Self Improvement

“Empty your mind.
Be formless, shapeless, like water.
If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup.
You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle.
You put it into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.
Water can flow, and it can crash.
Be like water, my friend…”
Bruce Lee

This is the famous philosophy of the most famous martial artist in the world, Bruce Lee. According to him, there is no set technique, there is no fixed form or system that must be followed in combat. If the opponent expands,he contracts. If the opponent contracts, he expands.

Personally, I think Bruce Lee’s philosophy should be applied not just to martial arts, but to everything we do in life. There is no fixed way to live life. There is no set of rules to follow for a perfect life. It is not necessary to live life the exactly way that somebody tells us to.

“In Jeet Kune Do, it’s not how much you have learned, but how much you have absorbed from what you have learned. It is not how much fixed knowledge you can accumulate, but what you can apply livingly that counts. ‘Being’ is more valued than ‘doing’.”

Jeet Kune Do was Bruce Lee’s martial art. The above quote is the philosophy of Jeet Kune Do. It rejects all restrictions imposed by form and formality and emphasizes the clever use of the mind and body to defend and to attack.

The more rigid,fixed and set in your ways you are; the more vunerable you are to getting taken down or knocked out. Just like this applies to martial arts, this applies equally to life. If you are not flexible or unable to adapt to new situations, you get left behind.

” The only constant is change”

The first time I heard this, it didn’t make sense to me. After thinking about it a little more, it is the most true thing in the world. Everything constantly changes (although many principles remain the same). You start as a helpless little baby, grow into a child, then into a young adult, then an adult, and finally become old and finish your journey on this planet. Friends come and go, problems come and go, good times come and go.

There will be periods in your life that are really good and that you never want to end. Sometimes they do end. For some people this is detrimental, and they spend the rest of their lives living in a shadow of themselves because they cannot get over the fact that that good time ended.

Personally I have adopted the philosophy that everything is temporary. Every moment I do something, could be the last time that I do something. It gives a much greater appreciation for life. This way, I do (almost) everything with much greater passion and interest.

Of course there are things that I do not want to end. In fact there are things I will fight for to remain the same and do everything I can to keep them the way they are (things like friendships and family). Up until I have no control over it anymore.

“Accept the things you cannot change, and change the things you cannot accept.”

If something happens that you have absolutely no control over, and it cannot be changed, you have to make peace with it. There is no sense in wasting your life wishing it will change, or that you could go back in time. We make decisions and don’t look back. That is life. Be thankful for the times that we had what we wanted, and if the time has come for it to end, have a sense of peace about it.

When we accept what we cannot change, we are water. We take the shape of the container we are placed in. We adapt and are ready to live life in the best way we can position ourselves in. This may not always be what we want, but sometimes we cannot choose the container we are placed in.

As for things that we have the power to change, that is exactly what we must do. Even if it will take enormous amounts of hard work and effort, if we cannot accept it, then we must change it. This can be things like your financial independence, your friends, your girlfriend, your freedom. If you are in a situation that you are not happy with you need to do everything in your power to change it. Don’t give up until you get to where you want to be.
“Do not deny the classical approach, simply as a reaction, or you will have created another pattern and trapped yourself there.”

This is very important. In the self improvement and personal development niche, many people speak about breaking away from social conditioning. Freeing yourself from the 9-5 wage slave. The thing is, if you do this just because these people tell you to, then you are not changing at all. You are just changing masters, but you are still a slave.

The whole idea behind what we (bloggers about self improvement) write about, is to get you to be truly free. To think for yourself and find out what YOU want with your life. To find your passions and dreams, follow them, and turn them into reality.

Be formless…be water, my friend.

Have a Rockin’ day

8 Responses to Be Formless, Be Water

  1. This post is important because so many internet businesses seem to be pitching formula-based products that basically charge people for a process they could do much better if they just used their intuition and acted on it. Nobody else can think, feel and vibrate (thereby attract) for us…only we can do that for ourselves.

    There is so much to stay about the analogy of water that I hardly know where to start…it’s such a big subject and feels like it’s best kept to a blog *series* of it’s own. :o)

    In the meantime, have either of you seen this documentary about The Great Secret of Water? What scientists are now learning about the structure and ability of water is very exciting~and explains a lot of what has not been understood in the past.

    Many blessings,
    .-= AffirmingSpirit´s last blog ..Cultivating Self-Love =-.

  2. A great post and it describes a attitude I always try to adopt.

    For example, I consider most arguments to be a waste of time. It is more than likely I will not be able to change the other persons mind and no positive good will come from it. I just accept the other person feels as he or she does and move on (unless it is a matter of life or death, of course!).

    I think it is a Hindu philosophy that everything has a destiny. The cup has a destiny to break, for example. If you drop a cup and it breaks, then it is simply fulfilling it’s destiny and you need not worry.

    Now, what was the ‘Serenity Prayer?’ Oh yes:

    God give me the serenity to accept the things
    I cannot change
    The courage to change the things I can
    And the wisdom to know the difference.

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