Mind like water

by oneafrikan on September 29, 2005

Have you ever wished you could have a watch, one where you just pressed the stopwatch button, and the world would stopped moving, so that you could get everything done that you needed to – I’m sure there have been one or two movies about that? I have! And I keep asking Santa every year…

One of the things that I’ve been thinking about lately is the concept of “Mind like water”, essentially where you act without thinking, where you flow, where you’re in your groove. There’s an old interview with Bruce Lee (which you could probably find online if you look hard enough) where he talks about mind like water and how it echoes how water moves, that first got me onto the idea itself.

Starting to adopt the GTD way of doing things also brought me closer to it (David Allen is a Karate buff) – when you are on top of everything that you have to do, when your tasks are out of your mental RAM and in a reliable system, then you can truly be creative, think and productive.

More than anything, mind like water is about being able to react and adapt as circumstances change, so that you aren’t just knocked off your feet, but rather where you just change into a more appropriate position. And when you’ve changed position, you still have access to everything that you know you should do.

Why am I writing about this? ‘Cos I’ve got shedloads of stuff going on inside my head that just won’t quieten down. Some of it work related, some of it personal, some of it code related, and all of it vying for attention all the time. I spose it’s ‘cos I’ve let my system degrade into a pile of papers and unsorted snailmail the last few weeks, while transitioning from one chapter of my life into another. In years past I would have either let the pile accumulate, or just “consolidated” it into a larger list. But not today. Today I decided it was more important to have a mind like water, then to spend time reading and answering email. More important to have mind like water, then to write code with a mind that couldn’t think for all the internal noise.

So, of all the things that I would like to blog/write about (and there are many), I think this should come first – because for me it’s so relevant, and I think potentially so for other folk.

If you have internal noise that’s keeping you from being the best you could be, or stuff on your plate that just shouts at you whenever you think about it, take the time to put it in it’s proper place, and make the commitment to deal with it when appropriate. Don’t ignore it, don’t assume it will go away.

Cool – that feels a lot better.

Tags: GTD, mind like water, productivity


Thanks for the inspiration. GTD has helped me with the stuff in my head (I had misread it “shed” :-) and I’m trying to get to a working level of 100% out of my head. I’ve found it takes work, but it’s worth it.

by Matthew Cornell on October 4, 2005 at 6:06 pm. Reply #

Yea, it takes a lot of work to get up and running, and to trust your system, but when it starts making a difference in your life, you’ll be glad you tried.

Good luck, and shout if there’s anything I can help with ;-)

by Gareth Knight on October 4, 2005 at 6:14 pm. Reply #

PS – cool site – have signed up to the feed ;-)

by Gareth Knight on October 4, 2005 at 6:15 pm. Reply #

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