Be water, my friend: the 7 laws to adapt to life

In many cases, much of the stress, fear and distress we experience on a daily basis is primarily due to the fear of change.

One day we realize that we have to accept more and more responsibility, we notice how old friendships are fading away, and we even feel insecure when we notice how our own bodies are changing. so many fear of losing our identity and habits over time because the uncertainty it produces of not being certain of what will happen in the future can make our lives bitter.

However, there are certain ways of understanding existence that further protect us from this kind of evil. The motto “be water, my friend” uttered by legendary actor and martial artist Bruce Lee in his last interview is precisely one example of how some philosophies fully embrace the idea that everything is constantly changing, and that it’s good and natural.

    A philosophy of life marked by the acceptance of change

    If Asian cultures like Chinese or Japanese have been characterized by anything, it is to embrace change. While in the West a way of understanding things has dominated which has fueled the need for human beings to dominate nature and modify it at will, in much of the Eastern Territory, until recently, the things were seen in a very different way: abandon the pretension to tame the environment and merge with it, evolving like the planet does.

    This idea was suggested in a very interesting way interview with Bruce Lee recorded in black and white, Which became popular in 2007 when one of its fragments was rescued by a BMW TV commercial from the advertising agency SCPF.

    In fact, the most memorized sentence is precisely this one in which it expresses itself, through a beautiful metaphor, the right thing to stop fearing change and transform itself into change: “To be water, my friend “.

    Be water, my friend: what does that mean?

    This inspiring phrase is not a simple facade, behind it hides a way of understanding things behind thousands of years of tradition. It is a philosophical principle called Wu Wei, Which literally means “No action” and belongs to a school of thought originating in ancient China called Taoism.

    The idea of ​​non-action, as we will see, is radically opposed to the way people in Western countries approach things, because it is based on the idea that acceptance and humility are the best way to live and adapt to constant change that characterizes our world.

      The keys to adapting to change

      The basic idea that governs philosophies such as Taoism, one of the most influential in Chinese culture, is that everything flows and that we should not pretend to protect and remain static. It is a very useful perspective when it comes to living the passage of time and experiences, with all that that entails, and can be summed up in 8 laws:

      1. The natural is the change

      What always stays the same only exists in our imagination, it is not a real thing that defines the world we live in. Even the oldest trees eventually wither and give way to new ways of life and new landscapes.

      2. Reality always precedes our beliefs

      There is no objective way to interpret what surrounds us, because change always precedes our ideas and conclusions. This fact feeds Chinese philosophy an intellectual position based on humility.

      3. Destruction is also creation

      Everything flows, and it even means in the most disastrous events there are seeds of opportunity. Taoism expressed a similar idea through a very famous concept: Yin and Yang.

      4. Our change is the change of the world

      We are not separate beings from the rest of the world; and all the processes that take place around us make that we evolve in one way or another.

      5. Don’t think about essences

      The idea that they all have an essence is counterproductive, because it only leads us to create rigid labels and concepts that do not explain a shifting reality immune to it. the intellectual prisons that these rigid categories assume.

      This maxim is particularly important in recent times, characterized by the rapid evolution of life forms due to technological advancements and globalization. In an age when the internet and 3D printing are changing just a few years after its inception, it is absurd to pretend that everything remains the same, as if to be expected.

      6. Live in the present

      Wanting to build your life from fixed memories and identity ideas only generates frustration, because, as we have seen, the natural is fluidity, change. Reality never responds to the pressures of very delimited concepts; who was shy and discreet yesterday, could today refuse tomorrow by blindly believing in this outdated identity.

        7. Don’t worry about the shapes of who you are, and they are shaped by nature.

        Acting spontaneously and simply is one of the maxims of Taoism, a philosophy in which things are considered to work best when we try less control over our environment and how we project ourselves into it. As Bruce Lee says, water is characterized by its lack of form; it simply adapts to that of your container.

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