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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 May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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