“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” – Bruce Lee
Too often we are caught up in our need to conform to patterns laid out for us from the time we are born. Thinking “out of the box” is not something we are trained to do even if we are asked to do so. Because it is not an easy task. After all it has taken a lifetime of conditioning to get to this point. Let’s for argument sake call it Point B. So, to move from Point B to Point B (iii) will take some more conditioning and some more effort, effort no one wants to put in.
Change is constant, but change of the mind requires a paradigm shift in thinking, breaking of rules and a constant endevour to evolve as people. Like I said, we are caught up in this inherent need to conform to the set standards and patterns.
Think about it, a good child does this, a good son does this, a good daughter, a good brother, sister, wife, mother, father, grand parent……in this persistent quest for “goodness” we forget the rightness of it all. Norms were set for a reason by our forefathers so there was no eventual breakdown of society as they saw it.
But they also did not foresee the changes in the environment, the competitive work and study structure, the advent and invasion of technology which has opened our eyes, not necessarily our minds to the ever-changing world.
I am not going out on a limb to say that conforming is bad, conforming is fine as long as we understand the limitations of it and find ourselves not getting lost in the bargain and moving away from who we were meant to be.
Let’s take an example, when people say, “oh I cant live in a Delhi or a Mumbai or a small city, or a large city” what is our response to that?
Why haven’t we ever questioned, why not? I mean, what is the issue? Is it the city, is it the temperament, is it the pace, the greenery, the attitude etc etc the list is fairly endless. Ask that question and be amazed that there is no definitive answer. There is no definitive answer to why people don’t like a city.
But I have one, its quite simple really.
People don’t like change. People don’t like to adjust. People like to hang with their own “kind” and people are afraid to move from their comfort zones.
So when you don’t like something and don’t know how to explain it. The simplest thing is, there must be something wrong with the place for me to move. That’s an easy solution.
So why do people not push their envelope then? Push their limits, their boundaries and break out of the chains that hold them back? Because they need to conform, they need to belong. They need to feel secure. Stepping out changes all of that which is necessary to exist.
So here’s my bit. Like Lee said, be like water, amiable, malleable but hold your own characteristics. Water in a bowl is a bowl of water, but water nonetheless. In a bottle, it’s a bottle of water. Water and whiskey does not become whiskey it becomes a drink. Different from one with aerated water. Stay true to who you are. But embrace the change. Because change is constant.