"Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around 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." Bruce Lee
I remember buying a set of Bruce Lee books as a 16 year old. Over the last 12 years and mostly over the last three, I have came to understand what Lee was saying more and more. This quote is primarily about one thing to me - effortless power. My interpretation is that it suggests the route to effortless power lies in your adaptability.
Let me remind you of that feeling of effortless power first. Javelin throwers know they have thrown long as soon as the javelin has left their hand because of their feeling of their angles, speed and ease. Footballers know they have 'connected' with a ball similarly, primarily through their feeling of ease. Well executed power always feels easy, even when the actual physical work done is large.
Adaptability is the key to this ease. In a person who holds some parts of themselves rigid, the other parts of themselves take up the slack and overwork therefore movements are not well distributed throughout themselves and cannot feel easy. The javelin thrower with a rigid spine has to over-rely on their shoulder and arm. However far they throw, this can't feel easy because they are not using the strong muscles of their centre to aid their arm and will also be partially robbing themselves of power from their legs by stiffening their spine.
The adaptable javelin thrower holds no part of themselves rigid habitually. They can move where they need to when they need to. Their full self takes part in their throws. Effortless power results from adaptability. This is the basis of real athleticism.
This embedded video will show you how athletic this adaptability can help you be.
Be athletic, like water.