Develop a mind like water

“Mind like water [is] a mental and emotional state in which your head is clear, able to create and respond freely, unencumbered with distractions and split focus.”  — David Allen

Imagine, if you will, a lake. It is still, reflecting sunlight like a mirror. If you throw a rock in the lake, the water splashes and then ripples around the rock. In a few seconds, the lake becomes calm again and the water is flat.

Like the lake, a mind like water is at rest by default. When prompted, the mind responds with a splash and ripples; but soon, it returns to a state of stillness.

If your mind is turbulent, ruminating, and racing, you are distracted; you cannot focus your full brainpower to the task at hand; your quality of thought lessens. Conversely, when the mind is still, you can allocate your full brainpower to the task at hand.

Developing a mind like water is a long-term goal — it will not happen overnight — but it is worth the effort. Psychotherapy, self-help books, journaling, and reading Maxims will help you achieve a mind like water. You will never prevent rocks from being thrown into the pond, but, with a mind like water, you can stop them from forming a wave.