[The Four Elements] Water
When I'm thinking of water, I see two valences. It can be a lake; it's still clear-minded, focused, and calm, or it can be continuously moving, like an ocean with its big waves or a stream of water; it's empowering, perseverant, and never stops. Both types fill up spaces proportional to their volume. The way they do it differs. One is mindful, whereas the other uses force. But even so, none of them can remain untouched by external factors. When the weather becomes extreme, things go wild.
The same pattern applies to how our bodies' energy fluctuates. We mentioned in our previous article that Earth is the product. In ancient cultures, water symbolized the human body's energy. Taking this as a starting point, we have to ensure our vitality is always right by having a consistent sleeping schedule, exercise, and not working long hours. We know how easy it is, especially now with the COVID-19 pandemic, to work more at home than we would in the office because there's no stopping cue. We can be calm and diligent, but sometimes we can destroy everything in our path. We're able to trash something we've built over the years in a matter of seconds, but we're also capable of crafting things out of thin air.
Now moving this analogy to a higher level, let's consider that the energy of a company is given by its people. If one person is a stream of water and joins another one along the way, their strength grows. If a few more come together, it's soon going to turn into a river that's hard to stop. This is exactly what happens inside a team or a small company. We each bring our contribution and add value to the whole. The more we are and learn how to join our forces harmoniously, the stronger we become. This is not only applicable to a company. It can be a small community, a city, a school, etc.
If you prefer to take the journey alone, being a single stream of water is hard to reach very far unless you have diligence and resilience. With independence comes the price of responsibilities falling all under your roof, and sometimes that can become tough, even unbearable, to a point where you'll just give up. Not many people are built to handle the pressure on their own. Be careful when choosing to go solo over working for a bigger company.
Another important aspect of water is that it's colorless. It might taste or smell different, but it looks the same all over the world. There's always been a struggle in the world to fight for the same rights, the same treatment. In a company, people should be treated like water, the same, and as an essential part of it.
Water has many nuances. It's a source of life for plants, trees, animals, and human beings. Without water, we wouldn't exist. Just like without people, there wouldn't be a company or a product to sell in the first place. It's the people that build a culture, form a country, a community. In a world where everybody seeks people's attention through social media, blogs, books, movies, TV series, newspapers, podcasts, and videos, we need to take a moment and offer our gratitude to the communities and people for their contribution to our companies and the planet. Each soul matters, and only together, can we build a better world for the next generations.
So what do you have in mind when someone tells you, "Be like water"?