There are a lot of forces pulling on my life, and I can exert a certain amount of pull as well, to either amplify or fight the forces I face.
Life seems to require a dance, a dynamic balance of forces, to maintain my equilibrium and make detectable progress in the direction I hope to go.
Some of these forces are negative, or feel that way: friction, gravity, entropy. Things slow down, fall down, fall apart, in my mind and soul as well as in the physical world.
Some of these forces are positive, most of the time: imagination, creativity, opportunity. Life-giving ideas emerge, push down roots and push up tendrils and foliage, and promise future fruitfulness.
Some of these forces are neutral, or seem to be: inertia, momentum, cohesion, plasticity/elasticity. Resilience. Structural integrity. Shear, tensile, and compressive strength. Energy in its various forms! Potential, kinetic, static, electric, chemical-metabolic, ionization/radiation... the models get complex as they become more valid, more robust, closer to actual reality.
But none of them act in isolation, in the external world or in my internal world, although it often feels that way. It is easy to focus on the strongest or the most familiar forces (those are not necessarily the same!) and overlook the effects of the more-subtle or less-understood forces. And it is rare to find a person who perceives the forces pulling on their life in a holistic way, and manages their inner and outer worlds accordingly.
I am striving to grow in this ability, to make this an innate part of my worldview and thus my behavior. I understand this strategically right now; when fully digested, it will become innate, instinctive, as well as cognitive and tactical. With this understanding, I will be able to amplify or quell or redirect or sidestep those forces wisely.
TL:DR— David Allen's "mind like water" is harder to implement than it sounds. Maybe thinking of life as a complex set of force vectors, some of which you can control, is a better metaphor.
...Does any of this make sense to you?
If it does, how are you doing? Are you pulling wisely and maintaining both equilibrium and momentum?