Bruce Lee once said:
Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way round or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.
Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend.
The meaning of that is simply that being adaptable and flexible is a strength.
Then there’s also one of Aesop’s Fables titled “The Oak and the Reeds”:
A mighty oak tree was uprooted by a gale and fell across a stream into some reeds. “How have you reeds, so frail, survived, when I, so strong, have been felled?” asked the oak tree. “You were stubborn and wouldn’t bend,” replied the reeds, “whereas we yield and allow the gale to pass harmlessly by.”
Moral: yielding does not necessarily mean losing.
And finally this is something I came up with in a moment of brilliance (it doesn’t happen often ;)):
There’s no point pushing up against a rock that won’t budge. Instead, flow around it.
My point to all this? You will come across many difficult problems and stubborn people in life, especially in the workplace. The most obvious solution to a problem may not be the best; winning over stubborn people does not necessarily mean that you have to push them down until they surrender to your point of view, if that is even possible.
Instead, be flexible and adapt to the person and the situation, be prepared to give way a little, or visualise the end point “behind” the problem and go around it. It’s how I deal with stress at work, whether it be from a difficult problem, or an incorrigible colleague or superior.
How about you? ðŸ™‚