In ancient Taoist texts, wu-wei is associated with water through its yielding nature.  Taoist philosophy, in accordance with the I Ching , proposes that the universe works harmoniously according to its own ways. When someone exerts their will against the world in a manner that is out of rhythm with the cycles of change, they may disrupt that harmony and unintended consequences may more likely result rather than the willed outcome. Taoism does not identify one's will as the root problem. Rather, it asserts that one must place their will in harmony with the natural universe.  Thus, a potentially harmful interference may be avoided, and in this way, goals can be achieved effortlessly.   "By wu-wei, the sage seeks to come into harmony with the great Tao, which itself accomplishes by nonaction."