There is no doubt that Bruce Lee was one of the most successful martial artists that was widely known for his unique style. Besides being an amazing actor, Bruce was also a successful film director, screenwriter, and also a philosopher. Bruce was famously known for his unique style and that he founded Jeet Kune Do, a martial art form. Time Magazine named Bruce Lee as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century. Besides that, there was a statue of Bruce Lee unveiled in Los Angeles’ Chinatown in 2013. If you want to learn more about motivation, click on this link.
You can read more about Bruce and his biography from Wikipedia.
If there was someone who knew the secret to achieve greatness and becoming extraordinary, Bruce Lee was one of them. His achievement in the filming industry shook the world and even today, thanks to social media and games, youngsters know who he is.
Today, we are going to learn from this extraordinary man who once kicked a man so hard that when the man fell to a bystander, the bystander broke his arm.
Not only that, when Bruce was filming a scene in Enter the Dragon, his kick was extremely fast that the director had to retake the scene in slow motion so that viewers could see clearly that it wasn’t a fake.
Bruce Lee was said to practice 5,000 punches every day. And he was a big fan of Muhammad Ali. It was said that he watched Ali’s fights obsessively. Do you know that Bruce was also good at poetry and Cha Cha dancing? Surprised?
Therefore, if you want to produce outstanding results in your industry like how Bruce Lee did in the martial art and acting industry, learn from the man, Bruce.
Adopt his beliefs, model his thinking and characters, and then modify and make them yours.
So here are the 15 amazing quotes from Bruce Lee that will surely inspire you to achieve greater success in life and at work.
1. “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”
Overthinking is often what makes us fail to take action. The more we think about something, the more likely we are not going to do it.
Jim Rohn once introduced a law he called the Law of Diminishing Intent. He said, “The longer you wait to do something you should do now, the greater the odds that you will never actually do it.”
So don’t wait and don’t think too much. When you have decided on something, just do it.
If you have set a goal, take action and work on it. Make it happen. And don’t overthink.
2. “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”
I love this quote a lot. Many people are addicted to soft life where they want everything to be easy and they only want to do what is convenient for them.
If this is what is happening to you right now, you have to understand that this is not how you build strength and growth.
Arnold Schwarzenegger puts it well, he said:
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”
So do not pray for an easy life. Stop hoping that the competition will be low or that you are going to get lucky and win.
Instead, choose to learn, grow, and improve yourself so that you have the strength, the potential, and the skills to go through tough times.
Focus on leveling up yourself, my friend.
3. “Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own.”
According to Bruce Lee who created his own Kungfu style, he said that we should make use of what is useful and throw away what is useless. And then add in and modify what is specifically ours.
This is how he founded Jeet Kune Do. When you look at his acting, you will notice that he has his own fighting style. In the movie, you can see Bruce Lee often shouted as he made his moves. That was his style.
When Jackie Chan was a nobody, he learned from Bruce that he needed to create his own fighting style too. Jackie then combined action and comedy, which was well received by the people. And today, Jackie is also a famous movie actor.
So what can you learn, unlearn, add, and edit to become your own? In business, this is often called, unique selling proposition, a USP.
4. “To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”
Never ever get knocked down by your circumstances. Learn to overcome whatever circumstance you are facing and create the opportunities.
Many people waited for things to come to them, unfortunately, nothing is going to happen.
If you are going to wait for money to fall into your lap or into your bank account, I’m sorry to tell you that this is not going to happen.
Even if you want to win the lottery, you will need to go out there and buy a ticket.
So don’t wait and start doing. Do whatever you can and take massive action. You will somehow create the opportunity that you are waiting for.
5. “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
How many times have you started a project, give up halfway, and then start a new one? How many times have you started a blog or build a website only to find that you have failed to produce results and wanted to start a new one again?
Stop jumping ship. Stop chasing the next big idea or the next shiny object. It is time to learn from this Bruce Lee’s quote.
Practice the same kick over and over again until you become so good at it that you can’t fail.
It is your focus that helps you become the best at what you do. People who can’t focus on doing one thing will never achieve greatness in what he does because he is going to be the jack of all trades.
If you want to be the master, learn to focus, my friend.
6. “If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”
This is one of my favorite quotes from Bruce Lee. Many of us understand that we should value our life, but we often waste our time because we did not realize that our life is actually made of time.
So if you value life, don’t waste time. Use your time wisely.
On average, we spend about 26 years sleeping and another 11 years watching TV. And if you work 40 hours a week between 20 to 65 years old, you will spend about 11 years into working. Not to forget that we are going to spend about 4.5 years eating and up to 8.5 years for shopping.
How do I know all these? Check out these 30 surprising facts about how we spend our time on MSN.com.
You will be surprised by how much time we waste each day, week, month, and even year.
We often take things for granted because we tend to believe that there is always a tomorrow.
Starting from now on, do not waste time. Value your life and learn to value your time as well.
7. “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”
Knowledge is only a form of potential power. Knowing is not enough, until you apply, what you know is just a form of potential power.
Reading books is good, but if you only read and you are not applying your knowledge, you are as good as people who have never read the book.
Therefore, be committed to taking action. Don’t just say that you are going to do it, but actually do it.
Saying is not enough, you must do. Saying and doing are 2 different things.
You get nothing done by saying, but you get results by doing. So, commit to taking massive and consistent action each day to reach your goals.
8. “Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”
Just be yourself. You don’t have to copy someone else or do what someone did. You have to understand that you are unique and there is only one you.
Thus, if you want to shine, you have to shine in your own way, your unique way.
Apple is a successful multi-billion dollar company that many people admire to own, but if you are trying to be the next Apple and do what Apple did, you are going to fail.
Social media like Facebook has a very powerful business model and its system is generating billions of advertising dollars for its company, but if you are trying to build another Facebook, it is not going to work.
The same goes for every other business or any other thing you want to achieve in life. You should not blindly follow or copy.
You can learn, model and add in your own characteristics, but not copy blindly or try to be someone else.
Do you get it?
9. “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.”
This quote is a nice saying and has a deep philosophy behind. To make it simple, what you need to do is to be flexible and be adaptable.
When you are too rigid, it is difficult to change and when things go out of hand, you will fail or go out of business.
Charles Darwin has a meaningful saying about being flexible and adaptable too. He said:
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
This is what Bruce Lee meant by saying that you should be like water. Be formless, be shapeless, and be flexible to change.
10. “If you always put a limit 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.”
Always looking for ways to improve and do things better. There is no such thing as a limit or the best way to do things. It is the best way because that may be the way that you know that is the most efficient.
If Henry Ford was to ask people what people want, they would have told him, “a faster horse”. But Ford dared to think outside the box and look for a better way to commute. And thus, he invented the first car in the world and mass produced it.
Years ago nobody believed that human beings were able to fly. Today, we have airplanes that are able to carry hundreds of people flying through the sky as a way to travel.
Hence, don’t limit your thinking. Always striving to improve and do better.
Remember, records are not meant to be kept, they are meant to be broken.
11. “Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”
This another brilliant quote from Bruce Lee about being flexible to change.
When the change comes, learn to change along with the trend. If you are not willing to make a change, you will suffer the consequences.
Motorola is the first company that invented the cell phone and they were once the market leader, but due to the slow adaptability to change, Motorola becomes a brand that most only keeps in memory.
The same fate goes to Nokia and Ericsson.
Do you know that Google is not the first search engine? It was Alta Vista. But Google comes around, adapt to and march forward with changes, Alta Vista was out of the game and Google becomes the biggest search engine company.
This is why being flexible is important. Things are not going to stay the same forever. They will change.
And when they change, make sure you are as flexible as the bamboo. You bend with the wind.
12. “Defeat is a state of mind; No one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.”
This is another one of my favorite quotes from Bruce Lee. Defeat is really a state of mind.
Think about it, people are only defeated when they accept that they have been defeated in their minds.
If you fail or make a mistake or lose a competition, you are not defeated. You can always, learn, improve, and then come back stronger. You will only suffer the defeat when you accept the result in your mind.
So what if you fail to achieve your goals? Don’t accept it as a defeat, choose to bounce back!
It is absolutely normal to make mistakes or to fail to produce the results you want in life. But no matter what you do, don’t succumb to defeat and give up.
As long as you are not accepting your defeat, you can always come back stronger and stand a chance to make a victory.
13. “Preparation for tomorrow is hard work today.”
Stop saying that you are preparing for tomorrow if you don’t even work hard today. For what you do today will impact the results you are going to receive tomorrow.
People always dream about their future and living their dreams, but they often fail to see that it is what they do today that truly determine what they are going to get in the future.
Thus, if you want to live your ideal life and make all your dreams a reality, you have to be willing to work hard at this present moment. I mean right now. Not later and obviously not someday or tomorrow.
Your success is guaranteed when you choose to work hard today. You may not see the result immediately, but what you do today will give an impact of what you get in the future.
So do what you are supposed to do today. Take action, my friend.
You can achieve your goals and live your dream life if you are willing to work on them today, not tomorrow.
14. “Do not allow negative thoughts to enter your mind for they are the weeds that strangle confidence.”
Negative thoughts are like rats, they come in groups, huge groups. So stop thinking negatively from now on.
Do you know that negative thoughts limit your creativity and attention? Meaning, when you think negatively, you narrow your focus and are blinded by all the other opportunities or openings around you.
I strongly recommend you read this article that I published on my blog:
Although the post is about positive thinking, I do explain the effect of both positive and negative thinking in the post.
Your thoughts and your energy are contagious. When you think negatively, more negative thoughts and circumstances will come to you.
On the other hand, when you are positive, you will notice more opportunities, more good news, and better options exist.
So don’t let negative thoughts enter your mind. Notice how you think, and whenever you start to think negatively, choose to shake it off and bombard yourself with positive thoughts.
15. “Be happy, but never satisfied.”
Last, but not least, you should be happy, but never be satisfied.
Some people may think that this type of thinking is greedy, but it is actually not. I believe that Bruce Lee was referring to growth.
You should never be satisfied and fall into your comfort zone. You should always aim for growth and continuous improvement.
Like what Steve Jobs suggested, “Stay foolish. Stay hungry”.
If people are satisfied with cars, there won’t be an airplane. If people are satisfied with a desktop computer, there won’t be a laptop and tablet. If people are satisfied with where they live, probably we all still living in the cave.
It is dissatisfaction that creates invention and improvement. Growth comes from dissatisfaction.
People hate and are dissatisfied with having to wash their dirty laundry with hands, and that is why they invented the washing machine.
To be honest, I’m very thankful to those who felt dissatisfied and think that life can be much better, which that they invented the washing machine so that I don’t have to wash my laundry with my hands.
Can you see it now? Dissatisfaction is good because you can turn it into a positive force of change that creates new things and stimulate growth.
So, be happy, my friend, but never be satisfied. Aim for growth. Commit to constant and never-ending improvement.
I hope that you inspired by these quotes from Bruce Lee. I’m telling you, I feel the motivation, the drive, and the energy flowing within me as I write this article.
This is the power of positive activity. As I’m writing, I think about all the positive things that I’m writing. And this actually affects my mood and puts me in a higher energy level, making me feel inspired.
I hope that as you read this article, you will experience and feel the same.
Here are the 15 quotes again:
- “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”
- “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”
- “Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own.”
- “To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”
- “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
- “If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”
- “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”
- “Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”
- “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 you always put a limit 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.”
- “Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”
- “Defeat is a state of mind; No one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.”
- “Preparation for tomorrow is hard work today.”
- “Do not allow negative thoughts to enter your mind for they are the weeds that strangle confidence.”
- “Be happy, but never satisfied.”
So, which quote you like the most? And which one inspired you the most? Do share with me your opinion by leaving your comment below.