Bruce Lee Shares His Striking “Feel Good Philosophy” & Wisdom For Daily Excellence

Bruce Lee was truly a phenomenal human being, not only for his martial arts prowess, but also for his deep understanding of philosophy, Optimal Living, and his desire to share his knowledge with others.

Lee, who learned martial arts in Hong Kong before moving to Seattle in High School (fun fact: he went to the same HS as Jimi Hendrix!), studied Philosophy at the University of Washington. During his life, he has written extensively on how we can excel in everyday life, and therefore rock our greatest life.

He certainly practiced what he preached, becoming one of the greatest athletes of all time, a very succesful actor, and one of the most respected philosophers of his era. The volume and quality of work he created despite passing away at an early age (32) is simply prodigious.

Today I want to go back and share some of his best ideas, so we can all learn from this great master and apply his teachings to our life.

To start things off, here is a great video summarizing his Feel Good philosophy. Below are 10 of the greatest quotes from his books Striking Thought: Bruce Lee’s Wisdom for Daily Excellence.

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Top 10 Greatest Quotes from Striking Thoughts:

#10 “Be a practical dreamer backed by action”.

There are a lot of dreamers out there, and countless people working their asses off at their job. But it’s only those who do both, dream big AND act big that really shine and change the world. Choose to be one of them.

#9 “If you love life, then do not waste time, for time is what life is made of.”

Time-management & Personal Productivity are hot topic these days. If you haven’t already, I urge you to make this something you strive to get better at.  My personal method is a mix of Tim Ferriss’ ideas , Leo Baubauta’s “Zen Productivity”the Productivity/Meditation technique, and most recently, Fixed-Schedule productivity.

Learn different methods & principles, try them, see what works for you, and come up with your own style (exactly Bruce Lee’s approach to martial arts). But please take this stuff seriously, for it’s what life is made of.

#8 “Life itself is your teacher, and you are in a state of constant learning.”

This is one of the utmost principles of Optimal Living. Learning is not something we do only in a classroom. It’s something we do everyday, as we try new things, analyse the results, and constantly tweak how we think and act. And that’s how we evolve and get better at life.

#7 “The power of will is the Supreme Court of my mind.”

Willpower is the engine behind living a great life and making things happen. The good news, it can trained and developed. In new his book aptly named “Willpower”, Florida State University Professor Roy Baumeister tells us: “If you exercise it, you can make it stronger. There’s nothing magical about it.’’ How do we do that? Best way I’ve found: take on The 30 Day Cold Shower Challenge.

#6 “Remember my friend, that is is not what happen that counts, it’s what you make of it. It can be stumbling block or a stepping stone.”

Everyday, stuff happens. Some is awesome, some… not so much.  I’ve personally developed a strong faith that everything happens for a reason, and as Steve Jobs says, we simply can’t connect the dots forward. When something bad happens to me, I make it a game of seeing how quickly I can start looking at it in a positive lights, and even turn it into an opportunity.

#5 “There is no such thing as defeat until you admit so yourself.”

Persistence, persistence, persistence. It’s without a doubt one of the most essential human traits for life excellence. It’s a better predictor than talent and intelligence in the quality of the life we create. Whenever I get scared about my plans to start a business next year, I remind myself that failure is impossible because I simply won’t give up until I make it work and achieve my goals. Plain and simple.

#4″When I look around, I learn one thing: to be yourself, and express yourself.”

We each can offer wonderful gifts to the world but do so, we need to let our through colours shine through. Sadly, we live in a society that makes this way harder than it should be, but the truth is that we’re all unique beings, and we should embrace our uniqueness, not hide it. So live for yourself, do what feels right to you, and don’t worry about what other think.

#3 “Concentration is the root of all higher abilities in men.”

Concentration is a lost art in today’s world. Distractions come in more shape and forms than ever before, and this is affecting many of us. But without concentration, nothing great gets done. In my opinion, the best way to build our concentration ability is without a doubt the daily practice of meditation.

#2 “Real Living is living for others”

We all have these phases when we get all caught up in our own stuff (I’m certainly prone to that), but we need to keep remembering ourselves that, as my friend Amber Rae says, “Lasting happiness is rooted in helping others“. Sometimes, it’s good to pause and reflect on how we’re living, and whether we’re really offering our full gifts to the world.

A little bonus: It’s been shown that whenever we help someone, it significantly boosts our levels of serotonin, one of the main feel good neurotransmitters in our brain). It also boost the serotonin of the person we help, AND anyone watching our good deed. How cool is that! 

#1 “I’ve come to discover through earnest experience and dedicated learning that ultimately, the greatest help is self-help. It is the only help.”

We are in control of our life. We write our own story, and and everyday, through all the small decisions we make, we shape ourselves into the best version of ourself, or a diluted version of it. The moment we realise this, we can seek the best resources, and use them to build up our abilities, become extraordinary, and make our life a masterpiece.

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These are all very powerful pieces of wisdom, and the best way to integrate them into our lives is to focus on one at a time.

Personally, these days I’m working on  #3 “Concentration is the root of all higher abilities in men.”. I really need to focus all my mental resources so I can finish my MBA and wrap up the Australian Dream in style, before setting off for some travelling adventures and returning to North America for the next chapter of my life.

How can YOU use some of Bruce Lee’s wisdom to achieve daily excellence in your own life?

Think about it… and let me know!

Cheers,

Phil

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20 Comments

  • Good post mate! It's awesome to see that Bruce Lee had the courage to let his true self and greatest gifts shine through, despite the potential negative opinions of others.

  • Thanks buddy! Yeah that's certainly one of the reasons why he achieved so much in so little time!

    I've thought about this quite a bit today, and Im definitely going to try and integrate that even more going forward!

  • Nice! Pas facile de tout adopter ces modes de vie. On ne peut qu'essayer le plus possible. De quoi est-il mort d'ailleurs?

    • En effet Fred, c'est pour ça que je crois que c'est mieux de se concentrer sur 1 point a la fois! Figure out what would be the most beneficial to you, and start working on it!

      Pour ce qui est de sa mort… ça semble un peu flou.. et controverse.

      "Donald Teare, a forensic scientist recommended by Scotland Yard who had overseen over 1,000 autopsies, was assigned to the Lee case. His conclusion was "death by misadventure" caused by an acute cerebral edema due to a reaction to compounds present in the drug Equagesic.

      The preliminary opinion of Peter Wu, the neurosurgeon who saved Lee's life during his first seizure, was that the cause of death should have been attributed to either a reaction to cannabis or Equagesic. However, Wu later backed off from this position, stating that:
      "Professor Teare was a forensic scientist recommended by Scotland Yard; he was brought in as an expert on cannabis and we can't contradict his testimony. The dosage of cannabis is neither precise nor predictable, but I've never known of anyone dying simply from taking it."

      Hmmm…

  • Great post man!!!

    haha, and thanks for that “Fun Fact,” can you imagine what being in that classroom was like? haha, and imagine also how you would feel just being another kid from that class today and knowing… “WOW if I had only lived by these simple, zen, productivity principles, I could have had an AMAZING life too”.

    I’m sure a lot still had great lives, just not public ones… that’s totally cool.

    I take a page from Bruce Lee’ playbook everyday. When I say my “Definite Chief Aim” I always end mine the way Bruce Lee did with the mantra of…

    “I will live the way I please, and achieve inner harmony and happiness”.

    POWERFUL SON!!!!

    BTW, number 5 is great and so true. Once you realize you are the only thing that could stop yourself from realizing your dream, you just step aside and let the universe flow through you!

    Surfs up!

    • Wise words my friend :)

      I’ve started using a similar mantra: “I love and accept myself completely, I remove all resistance and I’m free to be me.”

      I think we’re at the point where we really have what it takes to make massive things happen, it’s really just a matter of believing in ourselves 100%, sharing ourselves fully, without hesitation..

      And let our friend the Universe do the rest :)

      Cheers bro!

  • Excellent! read and Bruce Lee…deep!

    • Thanks Elaine! Yeah he was a very chilled out guy, but also very deep. My kind of guy really :)

      Take care!

  • Never knew Jimi and Bruce went to the same high school! Wow! They are both icons to me!

  • Bruce Lee is my idol….i started matrial arts b/c of himand his philosophy. He was an awesome man…deep…deep…deep!!! And is truly missed…

  • 6,5 and 1 really hit home.

  • Monsieur ,
    J’ai bien aimé les 10 commendements et ça donne de charge et du courage pour continuer à lutter afin d’obtenir le souhaité.
    Mais , ça reste de simples jolies phrases. C’est facile de les écrire de les lire et de les dire. Mais est-il facile de les appliquer sur le terrain.
    Laisser moi vous dire Monsieur que c’est pas simple et surtoit dans le tier monde.
    J e vis dans pays de tier monde. J’ai dû lutter pour finir mes études et pourtant je fait partie des élites mais je continue à souffrir pour gagner ma vie.
    Pour finir , je dois avouer qu’il y a une seule chose que je peux l’approuver c’est le fait de vivre pour autrui et que c’est un sentiment formidable le fait d’arriver à aider les autres même en les offrant un sourire. Je vis ce sentiment tous les jours parce que j’aime aider les autres et je vis pour ça. Merci pour votre intérêt et je m’excuse si je vous ai dérangée.

  • He is widely considered by commentators, critics, media and other martial artists to be one of the most influential martial artists of all time http://nas.myftp.org/bruce-lee

  • Audio began playing any time I opened up this weblog, so frustrating!

    • One theory that is popular in South-East Asia but relatively unknown in the West is that Bruce Lee challenges Diki Zulkarnain, a silat exponent while he was in Indonesia. Although Lee won the fight, the silat fighter perceived Bruce Lee to be arrogant and had used secret mantras while fighting him, resulting in internal injuries for Bruce. The injury continues to haunt him till his sudden death due to the blows received from the fight.
      http://nas.myftp.org/bruce-lee/?pid=4795

  • You made some nice points there. I did a search on the matter and found mainly persons will go along with with your blog.

  • Good post thanks for sharing. I’m a Seattle native and a huge Bruce Lee fan.

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