Bruce Lee was a celebrated actor, philosopher, director, producer, screenwriter and martial artist. He was born in November 1940 and died in July 1973 due to a mysterious brain hemorrhage. Though he is probably best known as an action movie star and creator of an innovative martial arts style known as Jeet Kun do, Bruce Lee also was known for his unique attitude towards life that allowed him to achieve at incredible levels. Much of his life philosophy lives on and is still inspiring people to this very day. The following quotes give great insight into the mindset and philosophy that allowed him to reach levels of greatness that most never do.
1. “A goal is not always meant to be reached; it often serves simply as something to aim at.”
Goals serve as something to aim for, so don’t get too hung up on reaching them. Focus on enjoying the journey and the process. If you’re hiking on a beautiful trail, your goal is to get to your end destination, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the walk, or even change direction. Be open, be flexible.
2. “Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”
The happiest people in the world are flexible. They do not have rigid beliefs or try to control and manipulate their surroundings to make them happy. They are okay with how things are. They accept, they live in the now and they breathe. If you want to have a fulfilling and happy life, be flexible and accept things as they are.
3. “If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”
There’s no time for procrastinating, making excuses and succumbing to your fears. I know it can be hard, but you will ultimately die, so why not make the best of your life? Don’t waste time; instead start boldly moving towards your dreams. You will fail and make mistakes along the way, so stay humble and stay in the now.
4. “Real living is living for others.”
The most satisfying way to live is to help and enrich the life of others. If you can find a way to solve other people’s problems while following your passion, you will have found the ideal way to live.
5. “Take no thought of who is right or wrong or who is better than. Be not for or against.”
If we want the earth to become better, we have to let go of judgment, prejudice and rigid beliefs. There is no need to be right or wrong, or say that you are better than someone else. Everything is as it is. If you do not like it, you can do something else, but do not inject negative energy, because it never does any good.
6. “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
If you want to get results and master something, you have to stop dabbling and jumping around from thing to thing. Commit to something and follow through. Most people quit before any results can appear. They give up too soon. Don’t be one of those people!
7. “Using no way as way, using no limitation as limitation.”
You impose your own limitations. Even if a guru tells you that something is impossible doesn’t mean it is. He or she is human just like you. Remember, most great people were told they could never accomplish something, but they went ahead and did it anyway. Listen to yourself and do what excites you.
8. “Simplicity is the key to brilliance.”
Simplify your life and eliminate the unnecessary. We as a society have been taught to consume and amass material possessions. Luckily, we are starting to realize that this doesn’t work. Happiness comes from the inside, not from the outside. Simplicity gives you clarity and peace of mind.
9. “Absorb what is useful, Discard what is not, Add what is uniquely your own.”
In the beginning, learn from someone you look up to, but as you get better and more successful, take what works and discard what doesn’t. We are all unique, so we have to find our own groove and start listening to ourselves. Listen to your heart for guidance. Where is it trying to pull you?
10. “Knowing is not enough, you must apply; willing is not enough, you must do.”
You can read all the information you want, but if you never take action, nothing will happen. You will almost never have crystal clear clarity, so you will have to work through confusion and uncertainty. I know you want a rock-solid guarantee that will tell you that you will be successful, but in reality, no such thing exists. You have to start moving in order to get to where you want to be.
11. “The martial arts are ultimately self-knowledge. A punch or a kick is not to knock the hell out of the guy in front, but to knock the hell out of your ego, your fear, or your hang-ups.”
Everything you do involves your ego. It’s the one that is afraid. It wants you to stay where things are comfortable, convenient and safe. If you listen to your heart, you know that this isn’t the path for you. Go after your dreams and do so boldly. Accept the fear inside you and keep moving.
12. “As you think, so shall you become.”
Think about what you are thinking today. What do those thoughts say about you? About your life? And how well do they really match your plans for your life and your image of yourself?
13. “It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential. If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”
Thinking has its place. It can help you plan a somewhat realistic route to your goal and help you avoid future pitfalls. Over-thinking is however just a habit that will help you waste a lot of time. It’s more useful to replace that habit with the habit of just doing it.
14. “To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person.”
What you see, feel and hear in other people may be a reflection of you. The things you learn by thinking this way may not always be pleasant, but they can be enlightening. They help you to see yourself and also how you may be fooling yourself. And these powerful insights can be very valuable for your personal growth. So, in interactions with others, try asking yourself: what is reflected?
15. “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” “Showing off is the fool’s idea of glory.”
To find more emotional stability and to take control of how you feel you need to get your validation from to a more consistent source. Yourself. You can replace the expectations and validation of others by setting your own expectations and by validating yourself.
16. “To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”
Living proactively is so much more rewarding and exciting.
17. “Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”
But I believe that being the real you will work better. Because there the genuine you is shining through. Without incongruency, mixed messages or perhaps a sort of phoniness. It’s you to 100%. It’s you with not only your words but you with your voice tonality and body language which some say is over 90% of communication on the same wavelength as your words. It’s you coming through on all channels of communication.