A sponge-like Human
Nope, I am not trying to reinvent another useless superhero like Spongeman having sponge superpowers, throwing flaming bits of itself underwater, but rather imagine a metaphor. So… this (above) is Sponge. Sponge is living a happy life underwater, surrounded by beautifully coloured marine creatures. Sponge has some interesting properties that can be applicable to humans. For example, sponges need to constantly have water filling in their spaces in order to survive, but can also retain only what they want out of it. They can also rebuild their bodies and resist strong currents.
Of course, sponges do not have a nervous system, but what I want to take from this is exactly the fluidity and absorption power they have. If there is something I want to develop for my life, in order to benefit me in the longer-term, besides discipline and self-control, is how to face adversity and be flexible, knowledgeable in the flow. This is valid for businesses as well, but I am in no position to write about that, so I will refrain to my own persona. I am not saying I will not be able to enjoy happiness because of always expecting something bad to happen and steal it away, so I have to be adaptable about it. I think that is terribly sad and avoiding reveling in pleasure or what we like should not be a precedent for taking things for granted. There are two simple, yet lifelong abilities I want to develop for myself:
1. Managing change
As the sponge can behold powerful currents in the water and even remold its body, I want to learn how to handle challenges and changes quicker than my peers. Be more solution-oriented, that is. People spend time first on complaining, then — maybe — on actually accepting and moving towards the change. I would take advantage of that time to see how I can cope with my new, irreversible situation. I can’t hear more complaints around me, unless it’s just for getting it out of the system. The world is getting more and more dynamic, and I feel that if I don’t have the right attitude when different things hit me, I am the only one who has to lose.
You probably know the Chinese explanation for the word “crisis” — opportunity and danger. While it’s good to be aware of dangers, it also does good not dwelling in it. However, I realized the deeper the emotional connection to someone or even something, the harder it is to let go when suddenly something occurs challenging the status quo. Let’s take romantic relationships, the most handy example: a couple in a 5-year relationship. Out of the blue, something happens (e.g. she cheats) and they break-up. The time for both persons to recover after such an event is a waste (technically). Emotionally, people need time to heal their wounds, because it damn hurts, alright. The emotions were deeply entrenched, and then you break the surface, but the roots are still there. How does one deal with that? In this case, I’m not sure a sponge has the answer.
But I’d like to find out how to deal faster with emotional breakdown and move over this imminent “change” that happens. Because emotions are in our way of change management, truth to be said. The more we care about a certain something or someone, the harder, when it changes, it is to let go. (probably it goes the same way around) And I don’t mean to sound like an emotionless robot here, and I also don’t encourage “no strings attached” forever. The ultimate goal is to be so capable of shortening the time of a recovery in order to maximize the time of me being able to enjoy other things for the time I have left. It means to let that water flow through me, and not oppose resistance, as a deed is done anyway. I’m aware… this is not at all easy. Nevertheless, it’s definitely something to aim for in the longer term!
2. Always learning
Similar to the same sponge this whole article revolves around, absorbing water is like absorbing information. I will probably repeat myself, but I believe learning is a constant in our lives, with our will or not. A few days ago, for example, my mom was complaining that she has to learn how to use Windows 10, now that she has a better computer at work. I think if we make this learning be our will, it’s much easier. I refuse to think “oh, but what’s the point of all this knowledge, after all, when we die?” … because the thirst for knowledge should not be a replacement of a mediocre life. I really could care less what other people do.
As for me, I want to read, and care, and be aware of what is happening around me. Again, the more I know, and absorb, the more aware I’ll be in the choices I make, the discussions I have, and ultimately, the relationships I build. It’s creating me perspectives I have never been aware of and asking questions I’d never imagined. I love it! I hope I’ll never cease from loving knowledge, although I can recognize my limitations and lack of interest in some directions. At the same time, it is useless to always look around me and see how others are smarter than me. When we always look around, we don’t have time to look at ourselves. And while it is impossible to know everything in this life, and maybe I’m late in some aspects this also can be a challenging aim for my present and future!
Looking at it like this, it might seem very rational and cold-hearted. While I’m not always a cold-hearted daughter of a gun, I tend to be more rational sometimes. On the other hand… of course I also desire to have an element of surprise, and not be prepared for every possible thing, and let that tiny slip of mystery exist in my life. Surely. Having sponge properties, though, will only maximize the negatives and the lessons. That’s it.