5 Bruce Lee Principles to Help You Pursue Your Dreams.

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Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Bruce Lee’s philosophies and quotes can teach us so much about how to live a positive and inspiring life!

Bruce Lee was an actor, martial arts teacher, philosopher, film director, and screenwriter. He was also the father of today’s mixed martial arts movement which has now since evolved into an organized sport known as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Dana White, the founder of UFC, said, “The father of mixed martial arts, if you will, was Bruce Lee. If you look at the way Bruce Lee trained, the way he fought, and many of the things he wrote, he said the perfect style was no style. You take a little something from everything. You take the good things from every different discipline, use what works, and you throw the rest away.”

Bruce Lee massively influenced popular culture, he was called the Elvis of Martial arts by several people during his time. A recent documentary named “I am Bruce Lee” recently showcased how he influenced the world.  The History Channel also did a special on his life entitled “How Bruce Lee Changed The World.”

The movie producer Brett Ratner who worked on films such as X-Men: The Last Stand and the Rush Hour series with Jackie Chan said, “Bruce Lee inspired me and made me dream. He made me realize I wanted to be a film maker.”

LL Cool Jay the multi-platinum rapper and movie star said, “He inspired me to want to do something with my life.”

Here’s five Bruce Lee principles you can use in your life to pursue your dreams!

1. Take knowledge from as many fields as possible

When Bruce Lee was developing his martial arts philosophy’s he took information from a vast field of knowledge; such as boxing, fencing, and even dancing to develop his system.

Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.
~ Bruce Lee

True innovation in any field comes from simplifying a vast amount of information into something that is useful. Bruce Lee became one the most iconic figures of martial arts and the film industry because he rejected what was not needed and adapted what works. If you’re an entrepreneur or working on any type of creative project take what is useful and disregard anything that is not.

2. Break the rules

Bruce grew in Hong Kong where he was taught Traditional Martial Arts. At the time it was against the rules not to follow the traditional teaching of martial arts. Most of the teaching during this time was taught in fixed patterns. Bruce went against the grain, and said fixed patterns do not work in real life.

All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability. The truth is outside of all fixed patterns.
~ Bruce Lee

Every new invention or scientific breakthrough comes from outside of conventional thinking. Steve Jobs did this when he brought the desktop computer to the public. At the time, it was said that there was no need for a computer in someone’s house. Steve Jobs revolutionized the entire computer industry because he broke the rules.

3. Develop your true potential

Bruce was an avid reader of all forms of philosophy and used them to influence not only his perspective on martial arts but also in his film making career.

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. ~Bruce Lee

Don’t let your dreams be controlled by the fear of other people’s opinions of yourself. Work on your self, do something every day that causes you to expand and grow.

4. Don’t listen to other people

Bruce was seen as a “Super Hero” because he leveled the playing field for stereotypes within his culture. He provided an example that anyone from any background or ethnicity could become a movie-star or have a massive impact on the world.

I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.
~ Bruce Lee

So many of us get caught up in other people’s opinion of us that drowns out our true potential. Do what’s unique to you, don’t listen to people who tell you what you should do. Be yourself!

5. There are no limits

On January 9, 1970,Bruce Lee sat down and wrote himself a letter. He stamped on the letter “secret.” The letter says, “I, Bruce Lee, will be the first highest paid Oriental super star in the United States. In return I will give the most exciting performances and give the best of quality in the capacity of an actor. Starting in 1970 I will achieve world fame and from then onward till the end of 1980 I will have in my possession $10,000,000. I will live the way I please and achieve inner harmony and happiness.”

If you always put 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.
~ Bruce Lee

Although his life was short, since he died at the young age of 32, Bruce Lee was on the verge of fulfilling all of the goals that he had written down on that piece of paper. His legacy still lives on and his philosophies provide an example how anyone from any background can become a cultural icon.

July 20, 2012 will be the 39th year since Bruce Lee passed away. His legacy and influence still lives in the hearts and minds of the people he inspired.

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Editor: Lynn Hasselberger

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15 Responses to “5 Bruce Lee Principles to Help You Pursue Your Dreams.”

  1. […] Five Bruce Lee Principles to Help You Pursue Your Dreams. (elephantjournal.com) […]

  2. Andréa Balt says:

    Thanks Robert, I really enjoyed this piece. He was a true artist. I had no idea about the letter-to-self. Really inspiring.

    • Robert_Piper says:

      Thanks Andréa, at one point that letter was framed and hanging up on the wall at a Planet Hollywood, the title of the letter is "My Definite Chief Aim."

      There's a bunch of his memorabilia out there, he wrote a ton of letters and they sell for big money. People even buy his old checks because he signed them.

  3. […] Five Bruce Lee Principles to Help You Pursue Your Dreams. (elephantjournal.com) […]

  4. […] Five Bruce Lee Principles to Help You Pursue Your Dreams. (elephantjournal.com) […]

  5. LOVE HIM!! thanks for sharing never tiring of being inspired by him 🙂

  6. […] Five Bruce Lee Principles to Help You Pursue Your Dreams. (elephantjournal.com) Tu voto:Compartir es Agradecer y Cuidar de aquellos que quieres:ImprimirCorreo electrónicoFacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedInStumbleUponTumblrDiggRedditMe gusta:Me gustaBe the first to like this. Esta entrada fue publicada en Anécdotas, Espiritualidad y etiquetada Action Movies, Artes marciales, Bruce Lee, Cine de Artes Marciales, Filosofía Oriental, Filosofia, Jackie Chan, Jeet Kune Do, Kung Fu, Martial arts, Ving Tsun por Kheldar Arainai. Guarda enlace permanente. […]

  7. Michael says:

    Hate to break it to you, but that image is NOT in the public domain: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bruce_Lee_

  8. […] Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless—like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, 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. ~ Bruce Lee […]

  9. Michael says:

    lovely piece…

    one small thing…there are limits. limits exist. without limits, there can be no matter, no mass, no experience. duality implies inherently limits. to adopt a philosophy which downplays or denies the existence of limits, is to live a philosophy that is inherently untrue. Bruce himself encountered limits he could not go beyond. while his message is meant to inspire, the philosophy of 'no limits' is at best, dishonest, and at worst, dangerous. in this case, a more honest philosophy would be viveka, the proper discernment of true limits from false limits.

    • ThereCanOnlyBeOne says:

      I think you're missing the point. He's talking about surpassing the limits within your own potential. That, within itself, is plausible. There are too many people who aren't anywhere near their true potential because they mentally limit themselves when they face difficulties. If you always quit when you have a problem, then you're never going to advance to the next level in mental and physical evolution. I can see why you're strawmanning his philosophy, although your argument about theoretical physics is completely irrelevant.

  10. Jerferson says:

    surely the legendary Bruce came to teach us how to overcome our limitations to achieving our dreams … a true master of philosophical teachings .. great post despite being old !!

  11. Rh says:

    Nice nothing is ever sufficient me on Bruce lee topic..I really wish he was alive.

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