human face silhouette made of water depicting concept: BE LIKE WATER


“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. 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 and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend”. - Bruce Lee

This quote encapsulates so much that I wouldn't need to add anything else, I could stop the article here, NOW.

However, I am about to dive into 3 lessons we can learn from water to tackle daily challenges and achieve our goals.

What’s more, I am going to share an ancient story - BE LIKE WATER - which teaches us how to properly live rather than simply survive.

It has the potential to change the trajectory of your life FOREVER; provided you don’t just read it, but also act upon it.  

Are you ready?

Let’s crack on.


Water of a cascading mountain stream on large scale rocks

Have you ever seen a stream crashing against an obstacle without finding an alternative route? 

I bet you haven't, and that's because water is a little bit smarter.

Water doesn't stop at the first obstacle, it adapts or finds a way around it and often that means creating new paths.

It creeps through rocks and always finds a way around obstacles and continues its path downstream.

When faced with a problem instead we often get stubborn, we think there is only one way to go.

So we keep doing the same actions, despite the fact that the desired results are not coming.

We then blame fate, randomness, in short, bad luck!

But how can we expect to get different results if we keep making the same mistakes?

Be like water!

If it finds an obstacle, it simply goes around it and continues on its way to the next obstacle and dodges it again till it finally gets to its destination. 

Water doesn't curse fate, God, or the Universe for the rocks it encounters on its path - water doesn't care, it just moves on.


different states of water

Just as there is no single way to overcome obstacles in daily life, solutions that have worked in the past may not necessarily work in the present or future. 

To get the best out of our actions, we need to understand what season of life we are in.

Water adapts to each season - it turns into ice in winter, flows in spring, then evaporates in the heat of summer, and finally pours to the ground in the rainy autumn.

So be like water that becomes ice, steam, cloud, rain, and sea according to the seasons.

If you have achieved important goals in the past, don't rest on your laurels. 

Keep growing.

Experiment, fail, and experiment again. Experiment with new forms, with new actions.

Make sure you don’t confuse being in motion with taking action - which is the n.1 mistake ordinary people make that achievers don’t.


Dynjandi waterfall Westfjords

Have you ever seen water take a path other than the easiest one or the path of least resistance?

Way too often we overcomplicate our lives.

Think for just a moment.

If our goal is to go from point A to point B we tend to come up with the most insane paths.

However, 9 times out of 10 the simplest and most effective path is the direct one; i.e. the path that water takes.


image depicting the path that water and the average person take to achieve their destination

Is this way of achieving goals familiar to you?

Why should we make the pursuit of our goals such a sore, when it can be much more easy and enjoyable?

Next time you set a goal and plan how to achieve it, set aside the overthinking mode - which brings your attention to the challenges rather than the solutions -  and focus on the easiest path to get there instead.


The story I am about to share takes its cue from the famous Tao Te Ching, a fundamental text of Taoism, attributed to the legendary philosopher Lao Tze. 

One day in ancient China, students spotted their master sitting on the bank of a river and asked him, 

"Master, you have been watching the flowing water for a long time now. What do you see"?

The wise man did not answer the question immediately.

Without looking away from the water, he replied,

"Water teaches us how to live. Wherever it flows, it brings life and is distributed to all who need it. It is good and generous.

If the ground is impervious, it succeeds in leveling it. It is fair.

Without ever hesitating, it rushes into deep, narrow ravines. It is brave.

Although its surface is smooth and even, it can conceal great depths. It is wise.

It is able to circumvent the rocks that obstruct its course. It is forgiving.

Yet, it is committed, day and night, to removing all obstacles it encounters. It is tireless.

No matter how many meanders it may be forced to face, it never loses sight of the direction of its goal, the sea. 

It is determined.

No matter how many times it may be defiled, it strives undaunted to return pure. It has the strength to renew itself.

This is why I watch the water. It teaches all of us how to live!


Water teaches us not to stop, to be flexible, to be light, to change direction when necessary, and not to give up despite the risk of breaking against the rocks. Water is not afraid, water is brave; if it encounters an obstacle, it does not confront it, it goes around it or through it. 

Water always chooses the most direct or easiest way to achieve its goal.

Let the water teach you to never give up and adapt to external circumstances and environments.

Most importantly let the things out of your control flow and find another way to live an amazing life.

I bet at this point you got thirsty, at least I am; let’s go and grab a glass of water and let’s start implementing its lessons.

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Christian Caliendo
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