Be a Rock Dropped in Water

“When you drop a pebble into a pool of water, the pebble starts a series of ripples that expand until they encompass the whole pool. This is exactly what will happen when I give my ideas a definite plan of action.” Bruce Lee wrote these words when he was just 21 years old.

In the same letter, he provided an exact image of what he wanted to achieve: “I can see painted on a canvas of my mind a picture of a fine, big five or six storey Gung Fu Institute with branches all over the States.” Bruce didn’t ask the universe to “be a Kung Fu master” or “become a famous actor.” He asked for a big building with at least five floors where actual teaching would be happening. In a different letter, he wrote: “I, Bruce Lee, will be the first highest paid Oriental super star in the United States.”

“Know what you want,” he advised us. The what and the why are far more important than the how. The how will have to change countless times before you get there — but if you set the what and why in stone, the when becomes only a matter of time. “I don’t really worry about the reward, but to set in motion the machinery to achieve it,” Bruce wrote.

In Hermann Hesse’s book Siddhartha, the eponymous young Brahman explains to the beautiful but incredulous Kamala how he, too, will achieve his goals in a similar fashion: “When you throw a rock into the water, it will speed on the fastest course to the bottom of the water. This is how it is when Siddhartha has a goal, a resolution. Siddhartha does nothing, he waits, he thinks, he fasts, but he passes through the things of the world like a rock through water, without doing anything, without stirring; he is drawn, he lets himself fall. His goal attracts him, because he doesn’t let anything enter his soul which might oppose the goal.”

How does it work? Why does it work? No one really knows. Whether you call it visualization, “the secret,” or goal-setting doesn’t matter. What matters is that you clearly outline your dreams, commit to them, and then let the universe guide you on your journey. “This is what Siddhartha has learned among the Samanas. This is what fools call magic and of which they think it would be effected by means of the daemons. Nothing is effected by daemons, there are no daemons. Everyone can perform magic, everyone can reach his goals, if he is able to think, if he is able to wait, if he is able to fast.

Don’t be a blade of grass swept around on the ocean. Be a rock dropped in water, and let gravity do the rest.