“Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in 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.” — Bruce Lee
One of the mistakes that all of us make is we are always looking for ways to label ourselves and others. I don’t know why but we have this illusory fear embedded in our being that makes us feel we are going to lose our existence if we don’t hold on to some kinds of labels quite desperately.
We don’t realize that we are not our labels. We don’t realize that we can still exist without limiting ourselves within all kinds of names and labels and tags and boxes manufactured by our society. In fact, without holding on to any labels, we can exist in a much more meaningful way. We can exist with much more freedom of choice. We can be more and do more.
We, however, are not able to let go of all the labels that our society has given to us. We have attached ourselves with the dead titles and labels based on our ephemeral thoughts, feelings, and behaviors without realizing that we are a living organism that is constantly changing and evolving and that we have the innate potential to transform in a consistent manner.
Hence, it is simply illogical and insane to let a dead label define the existence of a living organism. But that is what we are constantly doing. That is what we are constantly letting other people do. Because we are constantly labeling ourselves, and because we are constantly putting ourselves in some kinds of boxes, we are not able to manifest real change and transformation in our life.
After all, how can you change when you have already limited yourself to a fixed person? How can you transform when you have already defined who you already are? How can you change when you are already sure about who you already are based on the labels society gave you? How can your transform when you are not willing to see beyond the facade of your meaningless assumptions? We assume too much. How can you change when you think who you are is what you think and what you think is what others made you think? How can you transform without realizing the true nature of your inner self?
True transformation takes time. True transformation takes courage to go into the unknown. True transformation takes the audacity to stand alone. True transformation takes determination to go deep within yourself to find your true nature which is not influenced by your parents, education, and society.
True transformation takes place when you realize that at the core of your being, you are an emptiness. The emptiness that is beyond all thoughts and feelings and emotions. The emptiness that is pregnant with unlimited possibilities. The emptiness that is full of love and creativity. The emptiness that can be transformed into any shape and size you want. The emptiness that is full of life.
Be empty that you truly are and fill yourself of with the things you want based on your conscience and understanding and intelligence.
In the words of Bruce Lee, empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in 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.
When you truly know, in your heart of hearts, that you are an emptiness that is full of possibilities, you finally become an intelligent and sensible being.
And that is what we all are supposed to be. Now, you have the freedom to choose any labels based on the situations and circumstances not based on the fear and compulsion. It’s not that you don’t need labels to function in the world, its just that we don’t need to limit ourselves to one label and make our life miserable.
So, always question your labels that are limiting you and try to see beyond it. Don’t ever limit yourself. Don’t ever let you past define you.
As Carl Gustav Jung beautifully said “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”
And you can have the freedom to choose anything and anyone you want to become only when you can empty your mind and be shapeless and formless just like a water.