Only one thing is guaranteed in life – and that’s change. While most of us may know this in theory, we tend to not be equipped with the knowledge of how to embrace change. We have naturally evolved to seek stability and comfort during periods of change – or homeostasis. This serves us biologically. Our bodies regulate internal bodily functions to create stability and balance during changes to our external environment.
However, homeostasis does not serve us psychologically. This is because we gravitate towards the known, stability and comfort, even though deep down we know it’s not always in our best interests. This tendency over time means we sacrifice our dreams, personal growth and life calling by clinging on to the comfort of familiarity.
How can we shift to embrace change? A legendary martial artist has one answer:
“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
Become Like Water
When we learn to be like water, it’s easy to see that life is like a journey down a river. It’s alive, chaotic and fluid with unknown twists and turns. While water may slow down to rest, it’s constantly moving on its path. Moving through life like water allows us to adapt to our circumstances and change with its natural momentum. When change is calling, we learn to let go, trust the unknown and embrace the next turn.
Conversely, when we resist change and cling on to familiarity, we become like a rock in a river. We stop moving in our journey and feel the full impact of the water hitting against us. The longer we stubbornly resist the momentum of change, the more pain and suffering we endure. Eventually, the flow of life will catch up with us and force us to move out of our comfort zone, causing huge amounts of chaos in the process.
Check out Part 2 for practical tips to embrace change – and don’t forget become like water, my friend 🙂