In the video above, artist Tobias Gremmler captures the fluidity of Chinese Kung Fu. You can observe the elegance of the movements as they flow and pause at the right time. It is refined chaos - adapting to an ever changing environment.
Life is a lot like that. We have to flow, change and adapt. The more skilled we are, the easier it looks and more powerful we become.
But there are principles at play that are subtle and go unnoticed to the untrained eye. If you look closely, you will see how the energy flows swiftly and easily. It achieves all things without effort.
The opponents strength becomes their weakness. An obstacle becomes the strategy.
But this is not achieved by fighting strength with strength, but rather yielding to it. Don't stop them where they are strong, but rather where they are weak.
In life's challenges, don't resist, for what you resist, persists. By actively trying to stop a thing, you are making it important. Instead, make it unimportant, yield to it. It is like a big bull charging at you, stand in its way, and it will crush you. Instead, you yield, side step it and let it rumble by.
This phenomena has been studied in psychology, it's known as the "polar bear effect."
"Try to pose for yourself this task: not to think of a polar bear, and you will see that the cursed thing will come to mind every minute."
Whenever you try to suppress a thought or desire, it will only invigorates it and you will think about it more. There is a rebound effect.
If you are trying to quit smoking, you think of smoking more. If you are on a diet, you will think of junk food more. If you are told to avoid a certain topic of conversation, you will slip your tongue.
So, to overcome your vices, you yield to them.
Physically, in Kung Fu, you don't meet force with force, but rather you go around it and use that force upon itself. You use their power against them to take them down harder. Redirect their energy to where you want them to go.
Mentally, you can do this as well. The worse thing you can do with a vice is to resist it, because it will only grow. Redirect your thoughts and energies. Don't suppress them, channel them towards a new outcome.
Focus on where you want to go. It is as easy as that or as hard as that. It is like the skier heading straight for the gondola post who tries everything but can't look away and hits it with a loud gong! If only he could have looked somewhere else, he would've sailed by.
About the blog
Luke Shao and Master Wang are on a mission to share the ancient Chinese approach to acquiring any skill.