Bruce Lee continues to be an inspiration to millions long after his untimely passing.
While better known for his amazing martial arts ability, incredible physical prowess and acting (as well as writing, directing and choreographing!), Bruce was also a philosopher. He was a free thinker who read and studied the work of the philosophical greats but then formed his own views.
Fortunately, as well as being a voracious reader Bruce also kept his own notes and journals. Reflections of his thinking at the time. These captured words and thoughts share some of the wisdom of a man deeply motivated to be the best he could be.
We can learn much from Bruce's rich pool of written work. Here are seven Bruce quotes to inspire you:
1) Be You
"Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it."
Bruce wasn't afraid to be who he was. To have an opinion. To be passionate. To live life the way he wanted to live his life. To be true to himself.
2) Get Out of Your Own Way
"As you think, so shall you become."
Bruce dreamed and thought big thoughts and he achieved big things in his life because he teamed that with action. As hard as he obviously worked on his physical being he also worked hard on his mind and thinking.
3) Don't Let Circumstances or Others Hold You Back
"To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities."
Bruce faced much adversity in his life. However, he refused to let it hold him back.
Recovering from a broken back didn't stop him writing a book.
Facing pressure and threats from others didn't stop him teaching martial arts to westerners.
Being from a Chinese background with Chinese features didn't stop him breaking into Hollywood at a time when he was told it wouldn't/couldn't happen.
Bruce refused to let others small time thinking hold him back. He thought bigger thoughts and dreamed bigger. His resolve was too strong to be caged by others.
4) Choose Your Attitude
"Choose the positive. You have choice, you are master of your attitude, choose the positive, the constructive. Optimism is a faith that leads to success."
A big believer in the power of positive thought, Bruce led by example.
5) Trust Your Own Inner Compass
"I am not teaching you anything. I just help you to explore yourself."
Bruce was astute enough to realise that while reading and absorbing the work of the great thinkers was important he also had to explore himself. Understand himself. Understand what drove him. Understand what made him tick.
He encouraged others to do the same.
6) Make It Your Own
"Absorb what is useful, Discard what is useless, Add what is uniquely your own."
Possibly my favourite ever quote and one I try to abide by as much as possible. Learn from other sources and people but no one person has all the answers. Keep an active mind and don't lose your sense of curiosity.
7) Less is More
"It's not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential."
This quote really distils simplicity in two succinct sentences. Hacking away the essential means less noise in our lives but more meaning.
Bruce's work will forever live on and the world is a richer place for his influence. His philosophy on how life should be lived is a lesson for us all. Something we can borrow from and make our own.
Recommended Further Reading:
Bruce Lee -- Wisdom for the Way
Striking Thoughts -- Bruce Lee's Wisdom for Daily Living