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The 101 Ultimate Bruce Lee Quotes

The 101 Ultimate Bruce Lee Quotes

Bruce Lee.

Actor, Martial Artist, Icon, Legend.

Born Lee Jun Fan in San Francisco, 1940, he was nicknamed “Bruce” after the suggestion of an attending physician. The son of a famous Cantonese opera star, he returned to his parent’s native Hong Kong soon after.

Acting was in his blood, and his first appearance on screen was as a mere babe in arms. Throughout his youth he appeared in numerous Hong Kong movies. As he grew up, his other passions developed; dancing (Hong Kong Cha-Cha Champion 1958) and martial arts (Hong Kong Boxing Champion 1958). As well as boxing, he had been schooled in Taijiquan by his father, and, more famously, by the legendary Wing Chun kung fu teacher, Ip Man.

His martial skills continued to blossom, and after returning to the U.S. as a student, he founded his own style; Jeet Kune Do. Such was his ability that luminaries like Steve McQueen and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karate champions like Joe Lewis and Chuck Norris sought him out for instruction. Of course, it was through his incendiary fusion of martial arts and movie performance that he was to become famous.

Despite his early death at 32, just before the release of his most iconic movie, Enter the Dragon, Lee Jun Fan achieved more in his short years than most do in their whole lifetime. A blazing presence on film, Lee re-energised martial arts, and in doing so also became the first Chinese man to be portrayed as charismatic, sexy and powerful; a hero; in a western-made film. He literally changed world culture.

Bruce Lee’s mastery of his own life and creation of his own legend is an example that we all can learn from, and all be inspired by.

On Doubters:

“The doers said,
‘Maybe, but we’ll try,’
And finally soared
In the morning glow
While non-believers
Watched from below.”

On Goals:

“You just wait. I’m going to be the biggest Chinese Star in the world!”

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done. Make at least one definite move daily toward you goal.”

“Don’t fear failure – Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.”

“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”

“Remember, success is a journey, not a destination.”

“The possession of anything begins in the mind.”

On the Mind:

“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities!”

“The spirit of the individual is determined by his dominating thought habits.”

“Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man. But sooner or later the man who wins, is the man who thinks he can.”

“If you think a thing is impossible, you’ll only make it impossible.”

“As you think, so shall you become.”

“Do not allow negative thoughts to enter your mind for they are the weeds that strange confidence.”

“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.”

“The unconditioned mind intuits truth – Bring the mind into sharp focus and make it alert so that it can immediately intuit truth, which is everywhere. The mind must be emancipated from old habits, prejudices, restrictive thought processes and even ordinary thought itself.”

On Philosophy:

“Because one does not want to be disturbed, to be made uncertain, he establishes a pattern of conduct, of thought, a pattern of relationship to man, etc. Then he becomes a slave to the pattern and takes the pattern to be the real thing.”

“Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system.”

“Be self-aware, rather than a repetitious robot.”

“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”

“Flow in the living moment – We are always in a process of becoming and nothing is fixed. Have no rigid system in you, and you’ll be flexible to change with the ever changing. Open yourself and flow, my friend. Flow in the total openness of the living moment.”

“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.”

“All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability. The truth is outside of all fixed patterns.”

“Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”

“If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Moving, be like water. Still, be like a mirror. Respond like an echo.”

“Using no way as a way, having no limitation as limitation.”

On Learning:

“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”

“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”

“Everything you do, if not in a relaxed state will be done at a lesser level than you are proficient. Thus the tensed expert marksman will aim at a level less than his/her student.”

“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.”

“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 means a lot to me because you see I am also a learner and am often lost in the joy of forever developing.”

On Growth:

“Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one’s potential.”

“Be happy, but never satisfied.”

“In order to control myself I must first accept myself by going with and not against my nature.”

“I am happy because I am growing daily and I am honestly not knowing where the limit lies. To be certain, every day there can be a revelation or a new discovery.”

“The moment is freedom – I couldn’t live by a rigid schedule. I try to live freely from moment to moment, letting things happen and adjusting to them.”

“Life is never stagnation. It is constant movement, un-rhythmic movement, as we as constant change. Things live by moving and gain strength as they go.”

“The ideal is unnatural naturalness, or natural unnaturalness. I mean it is a combination of both.
I mean here is natural instinct and here is control. You are to combine the two in harmony.
Not if you have one to the extreme, you’ll be very unscientific.
If you have another to the extreme, you become, all of a sudden, a mechanical man
No longer a human being.
It is a successful combination of both.
That way it is a process of continuing growth.”

“We have great work ahead of us, and it needs devotion and much, much energy. To grow, to discover, we need involvement, which is something I experience every day — sometimes good, sometimes frustrating. No matter what, you must let your inner light guide you out of the darkness.”

On Relationships:

“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.”

“Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.”

“Linda and I aren’t one and one. We are two halves that make a whole – two halves fitted together are more efficient than either half would ever be alone!”

“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.”

“If you don’t want to slip up tomorrow, speak the truth today.”

“For it is easy to criticize and break down the spirit of others, but to know yourself takes a lifetime. To take responsibility for one’s own actions, good and bad, is something else.”

“The more we value things, the less we value ourselves”

“I am learning to understand rather than immediately judge or to be judged.”

“Real living is living for others.”

“It’s not what you give, it’s the way you give it.”

“Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.”

“After all, all knowledge simply means self-knowledge.”

“Never trouble trouble till trouble troubles you. I’ll not willingly offend, nor be easily offended.”

On Training:

“If you want to learn to swim jump into the water. On dry land no frame of mind is ever going to help you.”

“The world is full of people who are determined to be somebody or to give trouble. They want to get ahead, to stand out. Such ambition has no use for a gung fu man, who rejects all forms of self-assertiveness and competition.”

“Preparation for tomorrow is hard work today.”

“Practice makes perfect. After a long time of practicing, our work will become natural, skilful, swift, and steady.”

“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.”

“Art calls for complete mastery of techniques, developed by reflection within the soul.”

“Do not deny the classical approach, simply as a reaction, or you will have created another pattern and trapped yourself there.”

“Obey the principles without being bound by them.”

“Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.”

“The athlete who is building muscles though weight training should be very sure to work adequately on speed and flexibility at the same time. In combat, without the prior attributes, a strong man will be like the bull with its colossal strength futilely pursuing the matador or like a low-geared truck chasing a rabbit.”

“The attitude, ‘You can win if you want to badly enough,’ means that the will to win is constant. No amount of punishment, no amount of effort, no condition is too ‘tough’ to take in order to win. Such an attitude can be developed only if winning is closely tied to the practitioner’s ideals and dreams.”

“‎The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.”

“The martial arts are based upon understanding, hard work and a total comprehension of skills. Power training and the use of force are easy, but total comprehension of all of the skills of the martial arts is very difficult to achieve.”

“To me, the extraordinary aspect of martial arts lies in its simplicity. The easy way is also the right way, and martial arts is nothing at all special; the closer to the true way of martial arts, the less wastage of expression there is.”

“When one has reached maturity in the art, one will have a formless form. It is like ice dissolving in water. When one has no form, one can be all forms; when one has no style, he can fit in with any style.”

On Conflict:

“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.”

“The consciousness of self is the greatest hindrance to the proper execution of all physical action.”

“The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”

“The great mistake is to anticipate the outcome of the engagement; you ought not to be thinking of whether it ends in victory or defeat. Let nature take its course, and your tools will strike at the right moment.”

“Emotion can be the enemy, if you give into your emotion, you lose yourself. You must be at one with your emotions, because the body always follows the mind.”

“Take things as they are. Punch when you have to punch. Kick when you have to kick.”

“A fight is not won by one punch or kick. Either learn to endure or hire a bodyguard.”

“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”

“In the middle of chaos lies opportunity.”

On Defeat:

“Defeat is not defeat unless accepted as a reality – in your own mind.”

“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.”

“Remember no man is really defeated unless he is discouraged.”

“I treasure the memory of the past misfortunes. It has added more to my bank of fortitude.”

On Spirit:

“Satori – in the awakening from a dream. Awakening and self-realization and seeing into one’s own being – these are synonymous.”

“Art is the way to the absolute and to the essence of human life. The aim of art is not the one-sided promotion of spirit, soul and senses, but the opening of all human capacities – thought, feeling, will – to the life rhythm of the world of nature. So will the voiceless voice be heard and the self be brought into harmony with it.”

“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.”

“As long as I can remember I feel I have had this great creative and spiritual force within me that is greater than faith, greater than ambition, greater than confidence, greater than determination, greater than vision. It is all these combined. My brain becomes magnetized with this dominating force which I hold in my hand.”

“Voidness is that which stands right in the middle between this and that. The void is all-inclusive, having no opposite – there is nothing which it excludes or opposes. It is living void, because all forms come out of it and whoever realizes the void is filled with life and power and the love of all beings.”

“Empty your cup so that it may be filled; become devoid to gain totality.”

“The perfect way is only difficult for those who pick and choose. Do not like, do not dislike; all will then be clear. Make a hairbreadth difference and heaven and earth are set apart; if you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between ‘for’ and ‘against’ is the mind’s worst disease.”

“There is ‘what is’ only when there is no comparing and to live with ‘what is’ is to be peaceful.”

“Take no thought of who is right or wrong or who is better than. Be not for or against.”

“to live content
with small means;
to seek elegance
rather than luxury,
and refinement
rather than fashion,
to be worthy
not respectable
and wealthy,
not rich;
to study hard,
to think quietly,
to talk gently,
act frankly;
to bear all cheerfully,
do all bravely,
await occasions,
hurry never.
in other word,
to let the spiritual,
unbidden,
and unconscious
grow up through,
the common.”

“It is compassion rather than the principle of justice which can guard us against being unjust to our fellow men.”

“You cannot force the Now – But can you neither condemn nor justify and yet be extraordinarily alive as you walk on? You can never invite the wind, but you must leave the window open.”

On Limits:

“If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”

On Life:

“The word ‘superstar’ is an illusion.”

“The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.”

“I have come to understand that life is best to be lived and not to be conceptualized.”

“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”

“I cannot blindly follow the crowd and accept their approach. I will not allow myself to indulge in the usual manipulating game of role creation.”

“Many people dedicate their lives to actualizing a concept of what they should be like, rather than actualizing themselves. This difference between self-actualization and self-image actualization is very important. Most people live only for their image.”

“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”

“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”

Featured photo credit: http://wallpaperlepi.com/ via wallpaperlepi.com

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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