Water, mind: Keep them clean, keep recharging them

Lakshmi Kothaneth – lakshmiobserver@gmail.com – Be like water, people often say. It is a beautiful thought, flowing like water. Pour water into any container and it can take a shape. The excess might spill over but it can contain.
“I go with the flow,” a leading film actor from India, Mohan Lal, told me in an interview a few years ago. At that time, I thought about it for a while because I believed I had to keep trying until I get what I want, whether it was an interview or a story.
The number of years have an effect on you. Seeing my aggressiveness, a director told me once, “Don’t take it so seriously that it causes stress. Try it for three times, if you do not achieve the desired result leave it and believe it never was yours.”
I could not digest that either. To me, that was like giving up. However, the number of years taught me otherwise. I learnt to let go.
I also learnt going with the flow has a beautiful synchronisation. The actor’s career, by the way, is going strong. He has learnt the art of reinventing himself.
At times, one has to swim against the tide. It can be tiring but if you have a reason, you will find the way.
On a radio programme, ‘A Cup of Inspiration’, Motasim Sultan and I were discussing “unrealistic expectations”. We discussed how we read and hear so much about positive thinking and many think all that is needed is to “think positive”.
But we know opportunities do not just appear from nowhere. If they do, we better be the right ones with qualifications and ability. Motasim, a self-development coach, pointed out that most of the time we are not ready when opportunities arrive.
If we do not continue to flow, we stagnate and we know what happens to water that stagnates. It can either dry up or go stale. If there is a spring to feed, we will continue to replenish. That spring has to be knowledge.
The more we learn and read, the more we understand the vastness of our world and the opportunities it holds.
Here comes my latest understanding of being like water. We often think we are victims of circumstances or surroundings. Are we?
If it is water, it can be frozen, boiled and evaporated. But human mind is stronger. We can stay detached from our surroundings if we want to.
Water can cleanse but it can also be influenced just like our mind. It is up to us to keep it clean and ensure we are recharged regularly. The source for recharge could be books, mentors, teachers, family members anything and everything that leads to good thoughts.
That is because thoughts make us who we are. Our confidence or our intentions are all thoughts-based. In reality, our capabilities are probably more than we can ever comprehend.
There is so much we can achieve if not for our conditioned thoughts and views. Positive thoughts do have an impact.
As is the case with virtues, we truly feel the fulfilment when we try to contribute to society at large. It doesn’t have to be big and it does not have to be high-profile. The best of contributions are made without anyone knowing.
As the saying goes, even a smile is a contribution towards society. Even a drop of water makes a difference because it is lots of drops that make a difference to the ocean.
If we consider ourselves as water and we know what we would not want in it, then how can we afford to pollute the real water which holds our lives?