Wednesday, February 11, 2004

A Fluid Mind

A Fluid Mind

Sometimes I think I do not possess any skill at all except the ability to learn, improvise and produce something out of nothing. That "ability" has pulled me through many difficult times in the past. Whenever it looks like there's a dead-end ahead, I know I could conjure up something and find a way forward if I put my mind to it.

I think a lot of people give up thinking when faced with a difficult problem. They recoil from tasks that they have no experience in doing. They will only do something if they have been trained and instructed what to do from step 1 to step 10.

I always believe that one must maintain a certain forward momentum in one's thinking. Thinking guru Edward De Bono advises us to think in terms of "designing a solution forward" rather than "solving a problem". The former attitude is positive and exploratory, the latter, passive and limited.

The mind needs to get into a mode where it behaves like flowing waters--fluid, flexible, probing and always finding its way around obstacles. "Water Logic", as de Bono calls it. There's a certain inevitability in the way water finds its way to the sea, as I expounded in one of my blog entries last year. If the mind has the nature of water, it will always find its way towards a solution.

Water is always "confident" of flowing to the sea because it is its nature to do so. Similarly we ought to think of our mind as always having an ability to find a way forward. As the old adage goes: "when there's a will, there's a way".

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