“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.”
Pretty recognizable and powerful quote by Bruce Lee, and one I can definitely get behind. Being too ‘set in your ways’ or abrasive about your beliefs not only makes you kind of shitty to be around, but it stunts your growth as a potential leader and all around human being. (Assuming here that folks who are hard headed and pushy about their ‘truths’ intend to be leaders, and not just assholes.) But we also know that if ‘you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything’, so where is that happy medium of open mindedness yet firmness in belief?
I’m a pretty huge advocate of maintaining a constantly evolving mindset, not just when it comes to fitness (hi Evolve Athletics), but applying that to all aspects of life, love and happiness. What you consider to be your life in this moment, will likely (and hopefully) be very different/have evolved five years from now, same goes for your love and the things that bring you joy. Everything we care about changes, constantly. In these particular aspects, we must be like water, shapeless, as Bruce recommends. We have to be fluid enough to navigate the changes in our lives, our love and our happiness, in a way that allows those things to still bring us the same benefit as they previously have been. For example, theres a reason we all acknowledge and praise couples married 50+ years, or two people who made it through tragic hardship only to come out the other side with a stronger bond than ever…both examples have found a way to balance taking turns being the water and then the cup, continually being understanding and easy with each other from scenario to scenario, and that is a feat of human-ness not all have the capacity to embody. Now, that being said, I personally believe when it comes to PASSION, absolutely none of this applies.
Passion and love are very different, I’m not talking about romantic love anymore, I’m talking about the love of your work or life’s purpose, how being passionate about providing a desired result leads you to love what you do to achieve said result. Sometimes our jobs keep us from other things that we love like travel, our children etc…but it is the passion behind providing beautiful experiences in those areas or for the ones we love that motivates us to stay at work. Maybe you love your job because it allows you to travel to exotic places, or provides education for your kids, and travel is your passion, or being a great parent is your purpose. Those who have passion filled days, or who are continually striving to feed their passions or purpose, tend to live the most rewarding lives, at least from my own personal observations and experiences. In the pursuit of passion, never ever apologize for your enthusiasm.
To create a personal example, my views on training and nutrition have led me on a pretty winding path over the years, usually when I would discover a new protocol I would completely submerge myself and think I had found the end all be all answer to fitness/health and wouldn’t allow my mind to be swayed…like, ever. This type of rigid hard headedness hindered me hugely. I was taking on clients who I knew would never fit into my theoretical box, yet here I was asking them to adapt when I refused to do so myself. I thought I was pursuing my passion, but it was a self gratifying version of passion. It was a passion that only felt fulfilled when I was RIGHT. And I rarely was. It wasn’t until I realized that my passion and purpose had to be bigger than I was that I started to find that balance. If I ever wanted to grow as a professional or coach, I had to be open to all ideals. I had to absorb all the information that I could find and stay hungry for it, but I could never have done that with the self serving attitude I had before. So I became like water, I let training people remain to be what I loved, which meant staying flexible in my methods and continually learning, but I shifted my passion into promoting growth, self confidence, health and happiness to people who’s paths happened to cross mine.
Never be swayed in passion, never falter or second guess what drives you, do not be like water, be like granite, strong and unwavering in the pursuit to fulfill your purpose. I am extremely fortunate that my passion and purpose feed my love; for travel, fitness, human connection and experience, all of which bring me happiness and in turn forms my life. The takeaway here is to recognize the variables, what you cannot control, what you can, when to let go, when to push back with all your heart and mind, when to be water, and when to be granite, and how to differentiate between love and passion. Just think, passion is the main dish, love is the trip to the grocery store, the cooking and the appetizer, all means to the same end with a million ways to be approached, but the end result will always be something you enjoy, are proud of and nourishes the ones you care about, and nothing is more important than that.