When I was a kid, I loved to follow my father around as he would wash the car in the driveway. I would watch as he poured the washing fluid in the bucket and fill it with water, observing the water mixing with the soap and filling to the top with water and suds, shortly after tossing a washcloth and sponge into the bucket. While he was busy doing work washing the car, I liked to take the sponge and repeatedly wring out all of the water over and over. I would use it to wash things off of the driveway such as ants and other bugs. This wringing out of the sponge was also effective in erasing my sidewalk chalk drawings. I got a sense of enjoyment watching all of the water escape the sponge and observing the power it had wherever I chose to let the water go.
In certain aspects, your mind is just like that of a sponge. It absorbs just what you put into it. As water and soap mixture in a wash bucket seeps into the sponge, the information and material you consume throughout your life seeps into your mind in the same way. The bucket is what you fill your life with, in terms of experience and stimuli and your mind is the sponge, which continually soaks up the knowledge and experience you continuously expose yourself too. As much as you need to be aware and careful of what you put into your bucket, you should be equally aware of where you wring out your sponge of knowledge and information.
When I was a kid, I quickly found out that a sponge fully saturated and then wrung out can have a big effect. In my younger years I used it to wash and redo my chalk drawings and rid bugs and sand piles from the driveway, along with over-saturating parts of the lawn. Your mind and the use of your knowledge may be used in a similar manner. You can use it in positive or negative ways. You can concentrate all of your energy and knowledge in one place, saturating a spot until you complete the goal or possibly wash away abad habit. Or you can spread it out, like when you squeeze a sponge while whipping your arm around, you will sling the water in multiple directions. You’ll get water everywhere and it may not be as effective, but depending on what you are doing, maybe this is a good solution. The choice is yours.
The takeaways of this analogy are twofold; Watch what you put in your bucket, and
watch where you wring out your sponge.
What you put in your bucket is what you fill your life with; what you learn, what you absorb in terms of knowledge and experience, the people you associate with. All of these items are what comprises the substance in your personal bucket. What you choose to fill it with is your choice. I would advocate filling your bucket with things that can help you, propelling your mind forward to a healthier stronger state, reaching peace, fulfillment and life satisfaction. But at the end of the day, you are the person to make that choice. So first, watch what you put in your bucket.
Second, and arguably equally as important, watch where you wring out the sponge. That is to say be aware of how you use the information you absorb, and make sure you are using it in the right areas. It is a prompt to tell you to use what you absorb in a beneficial way. Use your knowledge to help others or to build something; a business, a hobby, create something etc.Conversely you can use your knowledge in a negative manner; to argue with people on the internet, trying to bully your opinions on people or outshine them with your knowledge. Or you can opt to not use it at all, simply absorbing information and not putting it to use, a dormant sponge just lying in the bucket, continuously soaking.
You are the bucket, and you are the sponge. You fill yourself up with whatever material you want throughout your life, and your mind absorbs all of it. At your own will, you can use this absorbed material in whichever fashion you choose. Most people waste theirs, squandering it on irrelevant things, not directing it at any certain object or goal, others simply never use it. Everything they learned and absorbed; things they know could help them get left sitting idly, never to be utilized to their potential.And some people take the sponge and direct it at one thing, focusing all of their knowledge and energy toward one goal, achieving it by pouring out all they learned into one area, wringing out this focused knowledge and experience to create and effect on their environment, whether it be washing away old thoughts or breaking ground with a new idea or creation and putting it out into the world.
Mind your sponge, and fill your bucket with good stuff.