Coincidence or pattern? A brief case study with Water.

Lin Lim, Ph.D.
2 min readFeb 11, 2021


Photo credit:

Yesterday a rough day or a day of growth? Which was it? Could it be both?

Yesterday, started out just like any other day. The different thing was going to be my first time out to buy groceries in about 2–3 weeks. Within the 2+ hours, while I was out, my day changed dramatically.

Getting home, I walked in carrying groceries and was confronted with a layer of water, silent and determined, advancing from the bathroom through the dining and living area towards the balcony. No sound, all was quiet in the house. How strange, where did it come from?

3 hours of cleanup, mopping, and calls later, I had a weekly support group to facilitate with two other colleagues.

We all came prepared for our individual segments. Guess the topic one of my colleagues decided to speak about during our session? You guessed it! Water!

Our group was a parenting support group.

As I heard her reciting Bruce Lee’s thoughts on water, I wondered how my reflections on her words might have changed as a result of my earlier encounter with water, initially as an enemy, then with admiration for the qualities of water.

Coincidence or pattern? Our brains are pattern seekers, that is how we make sense of and integrate incoming sensory information. Our current experience is influenced by the memories of our past experiences. Being aware is the first step towards reshaping your current experience into a positive narrative.

I chose to conclude that yesterday was a day of growth and I found meaning from coincidental occurrences with water.

Bruce Lee:

“Be Water, My Friend.

Empty your mind.

Be formless, shapeless, like water.

You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup.

You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle.

You put it into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.

Now water can flow or it can crash.

Be water, my friend.”



Lin Lim, Ph.D.

Life-long learner, parent, advocate for gifted and twice-exceptional families. visit