In a previous post, I asked if you were salt or sodium. Today, I will explain why you might want to be water. A contradiction? No, not at all. You can be both sodium and water, by adapting the characteristics of each that are most suitable to your goals.
Sodium, as I mentioned in the aforementioned post, can create explosive results when tossed in water. But, the water is an intregral part of that explosion. The water is where a lot of the potential energy (oxygen and hydrogen) is stored. The sodium is just shaking things up, releasing the energy that is already there.
But, beyond the energy, there are many other reasons why you would want to be like water. In the History of the Great Light, Huai-Nan-Tsze had this to say about water:
“There is nothing in the world so weak as water; yet its power is such that it has no bounds; its depth is such that it cannot be fathomed. In length it is without limit; in distance it has no shores; in its flows and ebbs, its increase and decrease, it is measureless. When it rises to the sky, it produces rain and dew; when it falls upon the earth, it gives richness and moisture; there is no creature in the world to whom it does not impart life, and nothing that it does not bring to completion. It holds all things in its wide embrace with perfect impartiality; its graciousness extends even to creeping things and tiny insects, without any expectation of reward. Its wealth is sufficient to supply the wants of the whole world, without fear of exhaustion; its virtue is bestowed upon the people at large, and yet there is no waste. Its flow is ever onward–ceaseless and unlimited; its subtlety such that it cannot be grasped in the hand. Strike it, you hurt it not; stab it, you cause no wound; cut it, you cannot sever it in twain; apply fire to it, it will not burn. Whether it runs deep or shallow, seen or unseen, taking different directions, flowing this way or that, without order or design, it can never be utterly dispersed; its cutting power is such that it will work its way through stone and metal; its strength so great, it is able to support the ships of the whole world on its great bosom. It floats lazily through the regions of formlessness, foaming and fluttering above the realms of obscurity, that is to say, in the forms of clouds; it worms its way backwards and forwards among valleys and water courses; it seethes and overflows its banks in vast and desert wilds. Whether there be a superfluity of it or a scarcity, the world is supplied according to its requirements for receiving and for imparting moisture to created things, without respect to precedence in time. Wherefore there is nothing either generous or mean about it, for it flows and rushes with echoing reverberations throughout the vast expanse of earth and heaven. It cannot be said to have a left side or a right, filling everything as it does; it winds and meanders backwards and forwards, this way and that, being co-existent in point of time with the entire Universe–for which cause its virtue may be called perfect. And how comes it that water is able thus to bring its virtue to perfection in the world? It is because of its gentleness, weakness, fertilizing properties and lubricity.”
–Huai-Nan-Tsze, Prince of Kuang Ling
History of the Great Light
as quoted in C. H. A. Bjerregaard’s The Inner Life and the Tao-Teh-King
It is amazing that such a simple thing can be all that, isn’t it?
So, how should you be like water? Here are the Five Properties of Water that You Should Emulate:
1. Go with the Flow. Though relaxation is important, that’s the the context that I intend here. Rather, it is to be fluid. Adapt. Change to the circumstances. Water is the only element that occurs naturally in three states of matter: solid, liquid and gas. You need to be flexible as well. Encounter a roadblock in your career or business goals? Flow around it. Flow over it. Rush it and knock it over.
2. Don’t Let Anyone Get You Down. Don’t be discouraged. As Huai-Nan-Tsze wrote, “Strike it, you hurt it not; stab it, you cause no wound; cut it, you cannot sever it in twain; apply fire to it, it will not burn.” Be like water, and don’t let anyone’s discouragement or negativity get you down!
3. Spread Out (But Not Too Thin!) You can spread out. You can flow into niches that the big block companies can’t reach. You can squeeze into small markets and overrun them. You have the flexibility to reach small and large markets.
4. Take It Slow. Over time, water can erode mountains. Water can find its way through the smallest opening and come out flowing the other side. Water can sneak through the dark places no one dares to tread, and spread itself out before any notices its even there. You can do the same to your competitors!
5. Provide a Great Value. At its worst, water destroys and takes life away. It takes far more than what it gives in return! It is unfortunate that many people and companies behave like water at its worst. At its best, water gives life and vitality and benefits everyone it touches. It provides something in far greater value than what it seeks in return. Do the same and you will be successful in your endeavors!
Water is amazingly flexible. You don’t need to limit yourself to these properties either! Decide what is best for you.
Sodium can explode a market and water can get into any market, any way, any how. If you can master the balance of being both, you can master any market you choose.
Explode like sodium and flow like water!
And, always remember to BAA! Believe. Act. Achieve.