Bruce Lee was so much more than just a kung fu a** kicker.
If you love your life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of. — Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee’s name is as household as the Pope, Dalai Lama, or Mother Theresa.
Regardless of whether you’re a Baby Boomer, Gen X, Gen Y, or the current Tik Tok generation, there’s a very good chance that you know who Bruce Lee was.
In only 32 years on this planet because of an untimely death, Bruce Lee left a mark on this world that is still felt to this day.
While he is known mainly for his amazing martial arts moves and the movies in which he starred, he was also an amazing philosopher that often dropped nuggets about life that were very inspirational and helpful as a guide to how one should strive to live their life.
Here are five of his most inspiring quotes that will hopefully motivate you to live a life as impactful as possible.
1. “Obey the principles without being bound by them.”
There is the famous saying that rules were made to be broken resonates with individuals who would probably consider themselves as rebels in life.
However, Bruce probably would not have put himself in that category as he was more focused on understanding the background and history of something before deciding what he was going to adopt and what he was going to completely ignore.
Bruce Lee’s impact on the world was partially created by his controversial belief that everyone could learn Kung Fu. This was in direct conflict with many of the old masters of the art who felt that its secrets were only meant for the Chinese.
This caused a lot of strife and negative feelings towards Bruce from some in the Kung Fu community who felt that he was harming the sacredness of the doctrine. There was even a fight in which if Bruce Lee loss, he no longer would be allowed to teach Kung Fu to anyone non-Chinese (just like out of a movie)!
Bruce believed in tradition but only to a point and bucked against it when he felt like it no longer made sense. In life, there can be a number of different things that can possibly hold us back if we’re not careful in regards to thinking for ourselves and truly questioning the status quo’s presented to us.
To make a difference, sometimes we have to question what we’ve been told and be willing to break the shackles of the rules that aren’t servicing our future success.
2. “It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”
As we get older, we have a tendency to acquire more “stuff.” It almost seems like a rite of passage. The older you get, the more you have to buy things to make you feel like you’re adding to the scoreboard in some way.
For many people, this translates into the older they get, the more frustrated, overwhelmed, and exhausted they become…mostly because they are so focused on maintaining and keeping up with all of their “stuff.”
To have a more focused life and be able to make an impact on the world, Bruce was saying to stop trying to do EVERYTHING and instead focus on the most important things that will allow you to achieve your long term goals and have peace of mind in the long run.
Less is more when it comes to having the focused needed to create impact.
3. “A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”
I wrote recently about five contrary beliefs that often hurt more than help one’s long term success and one of those things was telling everyone your goals.
Five myths that will hurt more than help your success journey
This quote seems to speak to that a bit in that some goals are not really meant to be reached, but they are there to keep you inspired and focused on something as your North Star.
A North Star goal can be anything that you aspire to accomplish one day that allows you to wake up motivated everyday to work to achieve it.
It may be something that could be impossible to achieve (e.g., World Peace), but it can help guide you daily in your decision-making and focus.
4. “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”
Action begets more action which often begets results.
Many times, when someone is considering something new, there is the fear of analysis paralysis as it relates to having to know everything about something before being willing to make a move.
In one study, it was shown that workers spend more than half of their workday gathering and analyzing information instead of acting upon it.
This often causes many people to ponder something continuously but never really make a move to do anything that they say they are going to do.
In Bruce Lee’s mind, you have to be a person of action. You need to think about it and consider all the different aspects of your decision, but sooner or later, a decision needs to be made.
Don’t let thinking too much prevent you from the action it takes to get sh*t done.
5. “Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out an look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”
Trying to be someone else can be exhausting.
Living in a world in which everyone posts about how great their lives are and all the amazing things they are doing, it can be tough to feel like living in one’s current situation is enough.
However, we all have our unique talents and something special about us that no one else can duplicate and to truly have a chance to be successful in life, we must be willing to lean into that instead of trying to mimic the success and actions of others.
The next time you feel yourself envious or wanting to live the life of someone else, remember how special you are and how by being your most authentic self you have the best chance possible of sharing your specialness with the world.
No one can be you BETTER than you can, so why not be the best you possible to hopefully make your mark on the world like Bruce Lee.
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Thanks for reading again, and remember…
You never lose the battle until you stop fighting…