Table of Contents
20. Be Yourself
Always be yourself. Express yourself. Have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.
Bruce’s words emulate his uniqueness and focus on his admiration for originality. He felt all people have a unique center to themselves that sets them apart from all others. His words indicate the importance he placed on having confidence, strength and faith in oneself. Through faith Bruce believe inner peace was possible and he felt strongly that all people have the ability within to become the unique and original people they have the potential to be. He wanted people to step outside the box and realize copying another’s personality because you think it works just fades the original light one possesses within. Through faith, one could find a way to have success in your own personality, and to embrace it.
19. Mind over Matter
I wish neither to possess nor to be possessed. I no longer covet ‘paradise’. More important, I no longer fear ‘hell’. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, but I did not observe it, until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, consuming myself.
If you’re starting a new job or enrolling in college, you might be faced with unforeseeable problems. You might find yourself in a challenging situation that presents you with obstacles you’ve never had to face before.
Dig deep and trust that the answers are already inside of you. Lack of self-confidence will literally suck the life right out of you. Bruce Lee oozed confidence and found his greatest power within.
Take stock of your previous life experiences and press on. There is a wealth of information inside of you that’s never been fully tapped before. It’s only when you are tested that you have the opportunity to prove your own sense of self-worth. Therefore, exist in the moment and rely on your own internal reserves.
18. Expect The Unexpected
Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.
I was the epitome of a geek when I was in high school, so needless to say I had a bit of a problem with bullies. I was constantly fending them off, until one day I had enough of one particular girl calling me a “Boffin”. I pointed out that one day she will be serving me in some fast food outlet and regretting that comment. Six years later I was in a shop in my designer suit and heels, and who served me but my old school bully. It was then I realized that despite my adversities I had come out on top with a first class degree and a successful career, and my earlier struggles gave me the strength to succeed in life.
17. Examine Yourself Before Judging Others
Self-knowledge involves relationship. To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person. Relationship is a process of self evaluation and self revelation. Relationship is the mirror in which you discover yourself – to be is to be related.
Bruce recognized that one of the keys to understanding who you are is who you are in your relationships. Relationships challenge you, enlighten you, fortify you, break you down, and teach you lessons about life and yourself. Bruce understood that people wouldn’t be the people they are today without the experiences they have had in their relationships. Existing in every sense of the word is a relationship to Bruce. Your relationship with nature, the world and when you are alone is just as relevant to your bonds with family, friends and colleagues. Self revelation is a lifetime process and Bruce saw his true sense of being in his interaction with others.
16. Live Life to Achieve “Something”
A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.
Imagine that as long as you can remember, you have dreamed of being a movie star. As your life has gone on, however, your path has gone in a different direction. Nevertheless, that burning ambition is still there deep down and drives you to keep on trying to achieve more and to never settle. You can’t watch a film without thinking up some character that you could play in the sequel, and this spontaneous creativity is what compels you to write what could possibly be your big break. You had never planned on being a writer but this unrealistic dream of being a Hollywood success keeps you inspired, and helps you realize your true calling. Never give up on your dreams though!
15. Be Organized and Do 1 Thing at a time
It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.
When your thoughts and environment are disorganized, it is easier to fall into the trap of procrastination. It becomes harder to decide when tasks need to be done . It becomes easy to get overwhelmed with the enormity of a project, if you cannot even decide how to do it.
Once you start a project, it seems easier to complete it. When college students are given a final project assignment on the first day of class, which is worth 60% of their grade, they often are gripped with dread as to the work they must do to finish this assignment. One step at a time, things get accomplished, but it is human nature to sometimes “not see the forest for the trees.”
14. Be Flexible and Be Aware
Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.
Bruce Lee once said, “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”
Bruce Lee was a phenomenal martial artist. He developed his own unique style called Jeet Kune Do, which borrowed elements from every other martial art form he studied. Bruce took what was useful for his purposes and unapologetically discarded everything else.
This quote is especially purposeful if you’ve ever spent any time on the internet. You’re constantly being bombarded with information. Some of it’s useful but you have to use discernment in digging through all the media. Find something that resonates with your core, but avoid falling into social media traps. Use the internet to enhance your life. You don’t have to fight every chat room bully.
13. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Don’t think. FEEL. It’s like a finger pointing at the moon. Do not concentrate on the finger, or you will miss all of the heavenly glory.
Bruce Lee seemed to move with such fluidity and grace. His martial art form, Jeet Kune Do, encouraged students to shut off their brain and just feel the right path. That’s how Bruce Lee had such lightning-fast punches and kicks. Thinking takes too long and sometimes you just have to feel your way through. It’s like dancing. Sure, you can learn the exact steps but it’s more fun if you just let your body do all work.
When you’re trying to reach a specific goal, don’t think too hard about it. Don’t concentrate on the techniques and steps when you could just “feel” what’s right for your current situation. It takes a certain level of faith and trust, but you can certainly feel the moon.
12. Believe In Yourself
If there is a God, he is within. You don’t ask God to give you things. You depend on God for your inner theme.
When you believe in God, you believe in good orderly direction. You know in your heart that everything happens for a reason, and that God would never lead you into a situation that might hurt you.
Praying to God, not the “foxhole prayers”, but really listening to your inner voice that believes that “God helps those who help themselves.” Self reliance will get you further than turning your life over to God without question. Doing something about a situation, rather than accepting what is going to happen as part of God’s will, is being proactive. Peace of mind that you have taken all possible steps to solve a problem is priceless.
11. Learn to be More Understanding
A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.
The analytical skills of a wise man far exceed those of a foolish one. A wiser man usually will not take things at face value. So even if a foolish question is asked of him, he will find the underlying meaning of it. A joke we all have heard as children which goes why did the chicken cross the road? The simplistic answer is to get to the other side. However the wise man, may answer because the traffic light was in his favor.
A foolish man’s capability for analysis is less. Even a supposed wise answer may be accepted without question simply due to the inability of him to understand the rationale of the question or the answer.
10. Change Is Good
Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.
When one attempts to do the same thing over and over again, they will continue to get the same results. Change is progress, fighting change is often futile. A parent is opposed to their daughter or son marrying someone they do not approve of. The result of this more often then not is the alienation of the parent from the child.
In hindsight perhaps it might have been better not to argue with their children about their choice of a mate. Not necessarily paying for the wedding, but trying to understand that the choice is their child’s to make and not the parent’s. Even though the parent considers their child incapable of making a rationale decision, the fact remains that they are adults.
9. Don’t Fear Failure
It is not a shame to be knocked down by other people. The important thing is to ask when you’re being knocked down, ‘Why am I being knocked down?’ If a person can reflect in this way, then there is hope for this person.
Fear of failure is just as dangerous as not ever trying at all. Failure is growth. Humans are here in this dimension to learn from trial and error. Trial and error is growth.
It is only the man or woman who does not try who will not grow. “To err is human…, to forgive, divine” Alexander Pope quoted from his “Essay on Criticism”. What this means basically is that we are made to continually make “errors” on this dimension in order for us to develop into who we really are and what are sole purpose is.
Bruce Lee’s quote “Don’t Fear Failure” is a perfect example of the human condition…
Not fearing failure is our duty from birth to death.
8. Admit When You’re Wrong
Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.
The mistakes that you made in your life, are always forgivable once you mustard up the strength to admit to yourself that you have them. No one is perfect. Forgiving yourself, first, then seeking forgiveness from others who have hurt us; removes us from being their victim. This does not mean that you forget what happened. This means that they will no longer have the power to have control over you any longer as their victim.
Then you can work on correcting the mistakes that you made and were responsible for. While putting yourself first and loving yourself, you also have to take responsibility for you. Then work on ways to better yourself. Plus you can learn from your mistakes too.
7. Spend Life Learning New Things
Time means a lot to me because you see I am also a learner and am often lost in the joy of forever developing.
When you do not improve yourself by learning new things, you have a tendency to stagnate. That’s why the saying “even old dogs can learn new tricks” is so apropos. The people who tell themselves and anyone else who will listen that they are too old to go back to school, are in effect afraid to be in a classroom with students who might be 20 years younger then them.
Knowledge is power, the more knowledge you amass, the more you will be able to do. Fear can be defined as “false evidence appearing real”. When fear becomes a large part of your life, it is not beyond the realm of possible that the thought of doing nothing to improve yourself is attractive.
6. Think Before You Do
To spend time is to pass it in a specified manner. To waste time is to expend it thoughtlessly, or carelessly. We all have time to either spend or waste, and it is our decision what to do with it. But once passed, it is gone forever.
Time is a commodity. It is not one we can store up to use at a later date. If we are diligent in completing our tasks, we will get more time to complete others. Frittering away time by procrastination, results in less being accomplished.
When you do not complete what’s on your agenda, there is no place to get more time for completion. In effect you earn time credits for paying attention to how much time is left to your deadline. Certain types of people never seem to have enough time available for work or leisure activities. It is a purely personal choice to spend or waste time. The time wasters will keep you on the phone when you have work to do.
5. Live Life to the Fullest
The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.
So many of us live a limited life, unwilling to travel outside their “comfort zone.” The biggest obstacle is often ourselves. We stay in our homes, not venturing outside lest someone notice our presence. It is a sad state of affairs these days that people do not even know their neighbors, and their neighbors do not know them.
This could lead to problems when one needs help, and no one is available to give that help. People often live their lives as if nothing will ever happen to them, that they will live forever. They isolate themselves from their surroundings, which is not productive to their emotional well-being.
4. Believe In Yourself
The doubters said, “Man can not fly.” The doers said, “Maybe, but we’ll try.”And finally soared in the morning glow, while non-believers watched from below.
“Believe in yourself and your ability to succeed no matter who thinks you can do this, just know in your heart that you can and you will, then give it everything you’ve got”. These were the words spoken to me by my mother before the start of a twenty-one week state trooper’s academy. She had already seen her son defy the odds in his life, from being born premature with a herniated disk, a collapsed lung from pneumonia at age sixteen, a serious eye injury from an industrial accident while working a summer job at age seventeen, and a single parent father raising a two year old son and three year old daughter. She also watched her son graduate the Academy. Never stop believing!
3. Become the Expert in 1 thing vs many things
I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who had practiced one kick 10,000 times.
To have a consuming fear over anything in life, such as over someone who has practiced their craft twenty-thousand times in one set is nothing. To have an overwhelming distress of someone who has practiced their craft over twenty-thousand sessions is more ample. Would anyone fear the one who continuously hones their craft? It is better to fear that person than the one who has practiced only once.
There are many who would wish their way for a life to become easy and carefree. However, this does not make those who are strong with the ability to endure the hard times. It is better to wish for the endurance and the ability to be strong when time are getting tough. This is better and wise.
2. Be Prepared
Not being tense, but ready. Not thinking, but not dreaming. Not being set, but flexible. Liberation from the uneasy sense of confinement. It is being wholly and quietly alive, aware and alert, ready for whatever may come.
It’s important in life to remain ready but not being very tense. You should not be over thinking any situation. Yet, it is imperative not to be daydreaming. Being flexible is the key. However, you should not be like a stone. Be free from the uncomfortable feeling of being confined. To be completely and silently living, conscious and prepared for whatever circumstances may arrive.
Many wish neither to be controlled nor to control. Also, there are those who do not desire a paradise or do not fear death. The solution for the problem can be seen within you as a human, set from birth. Looking back at the mistakes of life, it is possible not to be aware of them during their creation until now.
1. Be Flexible & Adapt To Your Surroundings
You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Be water, my friend.
One day while in the Highway Patrol Academy, I had a conversation with one of the instructors. He gave me some advice, saying “you will see different styles from each instructor on how to effectively do this job, take that which compliments your skill set and adapt that into your own personal style” Such as with life, we turn lemons into lemonade, mistakes into teachable moments, negative situations into positive. Never stop or quit when faced with challenges, adapt and overcome right in the midst of the very challenge. Accept the situation for what it is no matter how complex, then focus on the solution and become the solution. The answer you seek is already inside of you pull it out.