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Be Water, my friend!

This year has been such a challenge. Galore of changes. Some chosen, most forced. Pleasant for some, painful for many. One can look at it as an aberration or make it a year of transformation.

Personally, for me it has been a year full of learning. Moving into a new job, virtually onboarded and working so long without meeting my team or my bosses. Moments of glory and moments of self doubt. Of confidence and lack thereof.

On personal front, staying with parents after a long time. Getting to see the problems they face health wise in person what otherwise I only used to get to hear. It is not easy to see them get old. It's a very different dimension to life.

A whole lot of these things piled on and started to impact me to an extent where I lost control of my time and ability to stay calm.

It was International Men's day yesterday and I am told Men are supposed to be strong all the time and show no signs of weakness. But I couldn't. I was breaking.

I reached out to a mentor who gave me a patient hearing and probed all the right questions to ensure I reflected, introspected and course corrected. She told me to not lose self-belief, come what may. To know that I am bigger than the situation. To not be stubborn; to observe and to adapt. To take a balcony view and find some humour. And, finally that "This too shall pass"

It was reassuring. How often we tend to fall in the pit of self doubt and lose confidence.

The conversation reminded me of an unforgettable quote by Bruce Lee (a master of martial art and a master of mind)

"Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless - like water.

Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, 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.”

We have to adapt and become a dimension of the situation we face and yet not lose the original essence of self. We can become the cup or the teapot or the bottle but we will always remain Water.

And this can be done when we are empty. Emptiness is full of possibilities. Shed the baggage we carry and absorb the new.

I am refreshed after that conversation. Making amends to the extent possible. And silently thanking the mentor for the conversation.

I know many of you would be facing similar challenges.

  1. Remember there is help. Just ask for it.

  2. Don't take yourself seriously.

  3. Allow new ideas and inspiration to knock the doors of your mind. Read. Talk.

  4. Be aware. Absorb the presentness with open arms

  5. Shed the baggage. Be empty.

And finally remind yourself to Be Water!

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Amit Ahlawat
Amit Ahlawat
Nov 20, 2020


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