Bruce Lee Quotes

Lee Jun-fan (李振藩; November 27, 1940 – July 20, 1973), known professionally as Bruce Lee (李小龍), was a Hong Kong-American actor, director, martial artist, martial arts instructor, and philosopher. He was the founder of Jeet Kune Do, a hybrid martial arts philosophy drawing from different combat disciplines that is often credited with paving the way for modern mixed martial arts (MMA). Lee is considered by commentators, critics, media, and other martial artists to be the most influential martial artist of all time and a pop culture icon of the 20th century, who bridged the gap between East and West. He is often credited with helping to change the way Asians were presented in American films.

Many of Bruce Lee’s statements are derived from his own studies of various schools of philosophy and the martial arts, and are sometimes paraphrases of previous expressions by others which he wrote down for his own instruction.

We have collected and put the best Bruce Lee quotes in the following categories. Enjoy reading these insights and feel free to share this page on your social media to inspire others.

May these Bruce Lee quotes on many subjects inspire you to never give up and keep working towards your goals. Who knows—success could be just around the corner.

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Bruce Lee Quotes

A good teacher can never be fixed in a routine… each moment requires a sensitive mind that is constantly changing and constantly adapting. A teacher must never impose this student to fit his favourite pattern; a good teacher functions as a pointer, exposing his student’s vulnerability and causing him to explore both internally and finally integrating himself with his being. Martial art should not be passed out indiscriminately. – Bruce Lee

A good teacher cannot be fixed in a routine. He must not impose his student to fit a lifeless pattern, a preformulation. – Bruce Lee

A good teacher protects his pupils from his own influence. – Bruce Lee

A man must constantly exceed his level – Bruce Lee

A man strikes you, make him bleed. He makes you bleed, you break his bones. He breaks your bones, kill him. Being hit is inevitable, strike back twice as hard. – Bruce Lee

A person cannot forget someone who is good to them. – Bruce Lee

A purpose is the eternal condition of success. – Bruce Lee

A self-willed man obeys a different law, the one law I, too, hold absolutely sacred the human law in himself, his own individual will. – Bruce Lee

A simple life is one of plainness, in which profit is discarded, cleverness abandoned, selfishness eliminated, and desires reduced. – Bruce Lee

Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own – Bruce Lee

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

All I can offer is an experience but never a conclusion, so even what I have said needs to be thoroughly examined by you. – Bruce Lee

All knowledge leads to self-knowledge. – Bruce Lee

All knowledge, is ultimately, self knowledge. – Bruce Lee

All types of knowledge ultimately lead to self-knowledge. So, therefore, these people are asking me to teach them, not so much how to defend themselves or how to do somebody in. Rather, they want to learn to express themselves through some movement, be it anger, be it determination or whatever. So, in other words, they’re paying me to show them, in combative form, the art of expressing the human body. – Bruce Lee

An idea, by itself, it not erroneous but judgment makes it. – Bruce Lee

An instructor should exemplify the things he seeks to teach. It will be of great advantage if you yourself can do all you ask of your students and more. – Bruce Lee

An intelligent mind is an inquiring mind. It is not satisfied with explanation, with conclusions. Nor is it a mind that believes, because belief is again another form of conclusion. – Bruce Lee

Any idea that is constantly held in the mind and emotionalized, begins at once to clothe itself in the most convenient and appropriate physical form that is available. – Bruce Lee

Any technique, however worthy and desirable, becomes a disease when the mind is obsessed with it. – Bruce Lee

Are you a flowing entity, capable to flow with external circumstances, or are you resisting with your set choice pattern? – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

As long as we separate this oneness into two we won’t achieve realization. – Bruce Lee

At this moment stop inwardly – when you do stop inwardly, psychologically, your mind becomes very peaceful, very clear. Then you can really look at “this”. – Bruce Lee

Basically, human traits are the same everywhere. I don’t want to sound like “As Confucius say” but under the sky, under the heavens, there is but one family. – Bruce Lee

Be a practical dreamer backed by action. – Bruce Lee

Be flexible so you can change with change. – Bruce Lee

Be happy, but never satisfied. – Bruce Lee

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

Be like water, my friend. – Bruce Lee

Be like water; water has form and yet it has no form. It is the softest element on earth, yet it penetrates the hardest rock. – Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee Quotes

Be self aware, rather than a repetitious robot – Bruce Lee

Because of styles people are separated. Research your own experience, absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is essentially your own. – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

Before me now there is only one real fact — Death. The truth I have been seeking — this truth is Death. Yet Death is also a seeker. Forever seeking me. So — we have met at last. And I am prepared. I am at peace. Because I will conquer death with death. – Bruce Lee

Being able to find the correct conduct for a special situation is happiness – not a strict standard for every situation. – Bruce Lee

Believe me that in every big thing or achievement there are always obstacles, big or small, and the reaction one shows to such obstacles is what counts, not the obstacle itself. – Bruce Lee

Belts are only good for holding up your pants – Bruce Lee

Boards don’t hit back. – Bruce Lee

Bring the mind to a sharp focus and make it alert so that it can immediately intuit truth, which is everywhere. – Bruce Lee

But neither can you 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. – Bruce Lee

But to those who kept saying
“It can’t be done,”
Never are the victories
Or the honors won.
But, rather,
By the believing, doing kind,
While the doubters
Watched from far behind. – Bruce Lee

By adopting a certain physical posture, a resonant chord is struck in spirit. – Bruce Lee

Can you look at a situation without naming it? Naming it, making it a word, causes fear. – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

Cease negative mental chattering. If you think a thing is impossible, you’ll make it impossible. Pessimism blunts the tools you need to succeed. – Bruce Lee

Circumstances hell! I make circumstances! – Bruce Lee

Concepts vs. self-actualization. – Instead of dedicating your life to actualize a concept of what you should be like, ACTUALIZE YOURSELF. The process of maturing does not mean to become a captive of conceptualization. It is to come to the realization of what lies in our innermost selves. – Bruce Lee

Conditioning obstructs our view of reality. We do not see IT in its suchness because of our indoctrination, crooked and twisted. – Bruce Lee

Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the ability to act in the presence of fear. – Bruce Lee

Dedication, absolute dedication, is what keeps one ahead! – Bruce Lee

Dedication, absolute dedication, is what keeps one ahead. A sort of indomitable obsessive dedication and the realization that there is no end or limit to this because life is simply an ever-growing process, an ever-renewing process. – Bruce Lee

Defeat is a state of mind; no one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality. – Bruce Lee

Defeat is not defeat unless accepted as a reality-in your own mind. – Bruce Lee

Defense is attack, attack is defense, each being the cause and result of the other. – Bruce Lee

Do not be tense, just be ready, not thinking but not dreaming, not being set but being flexible. – Bruce Lee

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

Do not hold to what you have. It is like a ferry boat for people who want to get across waters. Once you have got across, never bear it on your back. You should head forward. – Bruce Lee

Do not like, do not dislike; all will then be clear. Make a hairbreadth difference and heaven and earth are set apart. – Bruce Lee

Do not precede others, always follow them. – Bruce Lee

Do not run away; let go. Do not seek; for it will come when least expected. – Bruce Lee

Don’t be in a hurry to “fix” things; rather, enrich your understanding in the ever-going process of discovery and finding more the cause of your ignorance. – Bruce Lee

Don’t indulge in any unnecessary, sophisticated moves – Bruce Lee

Don’t strive to become, but be. – Bruce Lee

Don’t be forecasting evil unless it is what you can guard against. Anxiety is good for nothing if we can’t turn it into a defense. – Bruce Lee

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

Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. – Bruce Lee

Don’t ignore the five senses in search of a sixth. – Bruce Lee

Don’t think. FEEL. It’s like a finger pointing at the moon. Do not concentrate on the finger, or you will miss all of the heavenly glory. – Bruce Lee

Each moment that passes changes you…You can’t even own yourself. How can you ever hope to own anyone or anything else. – Bruce Lee

Eat. This time you’re eating paper. The next time it’s going to be glass. – Bruce Lee

Efficiency is anything that scores. – Bruce Lee

Either push your limits or die. – Bruce Lee

Either you understand or you don’t, and that is that. – Bruce Lee

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

Emptiness the starting point. — In order to taste my cup of water you must first empty your cup. My friend, drop all your preconceived and fixed ideas and be neutral. Do you know why this cup is useful? Because it is empty. – Bruce Lee

Empty your cup so that it may be filled; become devoid to gain totality. – Bruce Lee

Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless – like water. – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

Empty your mind. You know how water fills a cup? It becomes that cup. You have to think about nothing. You have to become nothing. – Bruce Lee

Empty yourself! Open up! After all, the usefulness of a cup is in its emptiness. – Bruce Lee

Evaluation by others is not a guide for me. – Bruce Lee

Even though I, Bruce Lee, may die some day without fulfilling all of my ambitions, I will have no regrets. I did what I wanted to do and what I’ve done, I’ve done with sincerity and to the best of my ability. – Bruce Lee

Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. – Bruce Lee

Ever since I was a kid, the word “quality” has meant a lot to me. – Bruce Lee

Every man today is the result of his thoughts of yesterday. – Bruce Lee

Every morning like a scholar at his first class I prepare a blank mind for the day to write upon. – Bruce Lee

Everybody has to think for himself. A right way for a big man may not be a right way for a small man. A right way for someone who is slow may not be a right way for someone who is quick. Each person must understand his weaknesses and his strengths. – Bruce Lee

Everyone wants to learn how to win, but no one wants to learn how to accept defeat. – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

False teachers of the Way of life use flowery words. – Bruce Lee

Fear comes from uncertainty; we can eliminate the fear within us when we know ourselves better. As the great Sun Tzu said: “When you know yourself and your opponent, you will win every time. When you know yourself but not your opponent, you will win one and lose one. However, when you do not know yourself or your opponent, you will be imperiled every time. – Bruce Lee

Fear comes from uncertainty; we can eliminate the fear within us when we know ourselves better. – Bruce Lee

Flow in the living moment – We are always in a process of becoming and nothing is fixed. – Bruce Lee

For it is easy to criticize and break down the spirit of others, but to know yourself takes a lifetime. – Bruce Lee

For something that is static, fixed, dead, there can be a way or a definite path; but not for anything that is moving and living. – Bruce Lee

For those who kept saying it can’t be done: Never are the victories or the honors won. But, rather, By the believing, doing kind, While the doubters watched From Far Behind. – Bruce Lee

Forget about winning and losing; forget about pride and pain. Let your opponent graze your skin and you smash into his flesh; let him smash into your flesh and you fracture his bones; let him fracture your bones and you take his life! Do not be concerned with escaping safely- lay your life before him!! – Bruce Lee

Freedom lies in understanding yourself from moment to moment. – Bruce Lee

From form to formless and from finite to infinite – Bruce Lee

Gather materials. Masticate the facts. Relax and drop the whole subject. Be ready to recognize and welcome the idea when it comes. Shape and develop your idea into usefulness. – Bruce Lee

Genius: The capacity to see and to express what is simple, simply! – Bruce Lee

Get maximum effect from minimum effort. – Bruce Lee

Give recognition where it is due. Compliments stimulate more effort and desire to improve. Be generous with honest praising. – Bruce Lee

Give up thinking as though not giving it up. Observe techniques as though not observing. – Bruce Lee

Go toward self-actualization rather than self-image actualization… Search within… for honest self- expression. – Bruce Lee

Good technique includes quick changes, great variety and speed. It may be a system of reversals much like a concept of God and the Devil. In the speed of events, which one is really in charge? Do they change places with lightning speed? The Chinese believe so. To put the heart of the martial arts in your own heart and have it be a part of you means total comprehension. – Bruce Lee

Happiness is good for the body, but sorrow strengthens to spirit. – Bruce Lee

Have no rigid system in you, and you’ll be flexible to change with the ever changing. – Bruce Lee

Having no limitation as limitation. – Bruce Lee

Having totality means being capable of following “what is,” because “what is” is constantly moving and constantly changing. If one is anchored to a particular view, one will not be able to follow the swift movement of “what is. – Bruce Lee

He who wants to succeed should learn how to fight, to strive, and to suffer. You can acquire a lot in life, if you are prepared to give up a lot to get it. – Bruce Lee

Here I am as a human being…how can I express myself, totally and completely? – Bruce Lee

Here now, forever more our lives must part. My path leads there and yours another way; I know not where tomorrow’s path may lead, nor what the future holds. – Bruce Lee

Humility forms the basis of honor, just as the low ground forms the foundation of a high elevation. – Bruce Lee

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. I treasure the memory of the past misfortunes. It has added more to my bank of fortitude. – Bruce Lee

I am not afraid of a person who knows 10000 kicks. But I am afraid of a person who knows one kick but practices it for 10000 times. – Bruce Lee

I believe in having a few pupils at one time as it requires a constant alert observation of each individual in order to establish a direct relationship. A good teacher can never be fixed in a routine… each moment requires a sensitive mind that is constantly changing and constantly adapting. – Bruce Lee

I believe in teaching just a few students, as teaching requires a constant alert observation on each individual in order to establish a direct relationship. A good teacher cannot be fixed in a routine, and many are just that. During teaching, each moment requires a sensitive mind that is constantly changing and constantly adapting. – Bruce Lee

I couldn’t go wrong because what I always like about myself is this stickability toward quality and the sincere desire to do it right. – Bruce Lee

I create opportunities. – Bruce Lee

I do my thing, and you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations. And you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, And if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped. – Bruce Lee

I do not fear the man who practices 1,000 kicks one time each. I fear the man who practices 1 kick 1,000 times. – Bruce Lee

I don’t believe in pure luck. You have to create your own luck. You have to be aware of the opportunities around you and take advantage of them. – Bruce Lee

I don’t believe in system, nor in method. And without system, without method, what’s to teach? – Bruce Lee

I don’t know what is the meaning of death, but I am not afraid to die – and I go on, non-stop, going forward. – Bruce Lee

I don’t believe in different ways of fighting now. I mean, unless human beings have 3 arms and 3 legs, then we will have a different way of fighting. But basically we all have two arms and two legs so that is why I believe there should be only one way of fighting and that is no way. – Bruce Lee

I don’t believe in getting something for nothing. – Bruce Lee

I don’t want to do anything halfway. It has to be perfect. – Bruce Lee

I have the absolute confidence not to be number two, but then I have enough sense to realize that there can be no number one. – Bruce Lee

I hope martial artists are more interested in the root of martial arts and not the different decorative branches, flowers or leaves. – Bruce Lee

I like light rain. It gives one such a sense of calmness and tranquility. I enjoy walking in the rain. But most of all, I like books. I read all types of books – fiction and nonfiction. – Bruce Lee

I might be able to help you to discover and examine your problem by awakening your awareness of their cause and effect, but I cannot teach you, for I am not a teacher, and I have no style. – Bruce Lee

I no longer cover paradise. More important, I no longer fear hell. If you ask me what I will be in heaven, I will say this: Why should I think about something so far away when there are so many things in this life I have not finished learning about? – Bruce Lee

I personally do not believe in ‘style’. Because of ‘styles’, people are separated. They are not united together because styles became law. – Bruce Lee

I personally do not believe in the word style. Why? Because, unless there are human beings with three arms and four legs, unless we have another group of beings on earth that are structurally different from us, there can be no different style of fighting. Why is that? Because we have two hands and two legs. … because of styles, people are separated. They are not united together because styles become law. – Bruce Lee

I personally do not believe in the word style. Why? Because, unless there are human beings with three arms and four legs, unless we have another group of human beings that are structurally different from us, there can be no different style of fighting. – Bruce Lee

I present a possible direction, nothing more. It is like a finger pointing away to the moon; don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory. – Bruce Lee

I refer to my hands, feet and body as the tools of the trade. The hands and feet must be sharpened and improved daily to be efficient. – Bruce Lee

I think of myself as a human being. – Bruce Lee

I treasure the memory of the past misfortunes. It has added more to my bank of fortitude. – Bruce Lee

I try to live freely from moment to moment, letting things happen and adjusting to them. – Bruce Lee

I wish neither to possess nor to be possessed. I no longer covet ‘paradise’. More important, I no longer fear ‘hell’. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, but I did not observe it, until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, consuming myself. – Bruce Lee

I, Bruce Lee, am a man who never follows there formulas of the fear-mongers. So, no matter if your color is black or white, red or blue, I can still make friends with you without any barrier. – Bruce Lee

I’m not one of those guys that can brush people off. Besides, I feel that if I can just take a second to make someone happy, why not do it? – Bruce Lee

I’ve always been buffeted by circumstances because I thought of myself as a human being affected by outside conditioning. Now I realize that I am the power that commands the feeling of my mind and from which circumstances grow. – Bruce Lee

Ideas are the beginning of all achievement – in every industry, in every profession. – Bruce Lee

Ideas are the beginning of all achievement. – Bruce Lee

If anyone still believes in racial differences, I think he is too backward and narrow. Perhaps he still does not understand man’s equality and love. – Bruce Lee

If every man would help his neighbor, no man would be without help. – Bruce Lee

If I should die tomorrow, I will have no regrets. I did what I wanted to do. You can’t expect more from life. – Bruce Lee

If I tell you I’m good, probably you will say I’m boasting. But if I tell you I’m not good, you’ll know I’m lying. – Bruce Lee

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

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. – Bruce Lee

If there is always light, you don’t experience light anymore. You have to have the rhythm of light and darkness. – Bruce Lee

If you don’t aim at an object, how the heck on earth do you think you can get it? – Bruce Lee

If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow — you are not understanding yourself. – Bruce Lee

If you make an ass out of yourself, there will always be someone to ride you. – Bruce Lee

If you make an ass out of yourself, there’ll always be someone ready to ride you. – Bruce Lee

If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done. – Bruce Lee

If you want to do your duty properly, you should do just a little more than that. – Bruce Lee

If you want to learn to swim you have to throw yourself in the water. – Bruce Lee

If you want to truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between “for” and “against” is the mind’s worst disease. – Bruce Lee

If your opponent is at a distance, kick him in the groin. If he gets close, poke him in the eyes, bring up your knee, pop him with an elbow, dig a corkscrew punch to his stomach. – Bruce Lee

I’m a philosophy major. That means I can think deep thoughts about being unemployed. – Bruce Lee

I’m moving and not moving at all. I’m like the moon underneath the waves that ever go on rolling and rocking. It is not, “I am doing this,” but rather, an inner realization that “this is happening through me,” or “it is doing this for me.” The consciousness of self is the greatest hindrance to the proper execution of all physical action. – Bruce Lee

I’m not a master. I’m a student-master, meaning that I have the knowledge of a master and the expertise of a master, but I’m still learning. So I’m a student-master. I don’t believe in the word ‘master.’ I consider the master as such when they close the casket. – Bruce Lee

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

In a cup, it becomes the shape of the cup. In a vase, it takes the shape of the vase and curls about the stems of flowers. Put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. – Bruce Lee

In building a statue, a sculptor doesn’t keep adding clay to his subject. Actually, he keeps chiseling away at the nonessentials until the truth of his creation is revealed without obstruction. – Bruce Lee

In combat, spontaneity rules; rote performance of technique perishes. – Bruce Lee

In order to control myself I must first accept myself by going with and not against my nature. – Bruce Lee

In order to realize our true self we must be willing to live without being dependent upon the opinion of others. – Bruce Lee

In order to taste my cup of water you must first empty your cup. My friend, drop all of your preconceived fixed ideas and be neutral. Do you know why this cup is so useful? Because it is empty. – Bruce Lee

In the middle of chaos lies opportunity. – Bruce Lee

indomitable obsessive dedication and the realization that there is
no end or limit to this because life is simply an ever-growing process,
an ever-renewing process. – Bruce Lee

Instead of dedicating your life to actualize a concept of what you should be like, actualize yourself. – Bruce Lee

Intelligence is the understanding of self. – Bruce Lee

It has no shape of its own, yet it can take any shape in which it is placed. – Bruce Lee

It is a fact that labor and thrift produce a competence, but fortune, in the sense of wealth, is the reward of the man who can think of something that hasn’t been thought of before. – Bruce Lee

It is better to live as a broken piece of jade, than to live as a useless clay. – Bruce Lee

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

It is easy for me to put on a show and be cocky..but to express oneself honestly not lying to oneself, now that my friend is very hard to do – Bruce Lee

It is later than you think! Know yourself! – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

It is not daily increase but daily decrease – hack away the unessential! The closer to the source, the less wastage there is. – Bruce Lee

It is not how much you have learned, but how much you have absorbed in what you have learned. – Bruce Lee

It is not what happens that is success or failure, but what it does to the heart of man. – Bruce Lee

It is true that the mental aspect of kung-fu is the desired end; however, to achieve this end, technical skill must come first. – Bruce Lee

It is useless to try to stir the dirt Out of the muddy water, As it will become murkier. But leave it alone, And if it should be cleared; It will become clear by itself. – Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee Quotes1

Bruce Lee Quotes

It is useless to try to stir the dirt
Out of the muddy water,
As it will become murkier.
But leave it alone,
And if it should be cleared;
It will become clear by itself. – Bruce Lee

It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential. – Bruce Lee

It’s the will that makes men – success takes perseverance. – Bruce Lee

It’s how you react. – Bruce Lee

Its like a finger pointing away to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory. – Bruce Lee

It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential. – Bruce Lee

Its not what happens that counts… – Bruce Lee

Its not what happens that counts… It’s how you react. – Bruce Lee

It’s not what you give, it’s the way you give it. – Bruce Lee

It’s the law of averages: put in more, come out with more. – Bruce Lee

I’ve come to understand that life is best lived, not conceptualized. – Bruce Lee

Jeet Kune Do does not beat around the bush. It does not take winding detours. It follows a straight line to the objective. – Bruce Lee

Just be ordinary and nothing special. Eat your food, move your bowels, pass water, and when you’re tired, go and lie down. The ignorant will laugh at me, but the wise will understand. – Bruce Lee

Keep your mind on the things you want and off those you don’t. – Bruce Lee

Know the difference between a catastrophe and an inconvenience. – Bruce Lee

Let an opponent graze your skin and you smash into his flesh; let an opponent smash into your flesh and you fracture his bone; let an opponent fracture your bone and you take his life! Do not be concerned with your escaping safely; lay your life before him! – Bruce Lee

Let friendship creep gently to a height; if it rushes to it, it may soon run itself out of breath. – Bruce Lee

Let yourself go with the disease, be with it, keep company with it—this is the way to be rid of it. – Bruce Lee

Like a cobra, your strike should be felt before it is seen. – Bruce Lee

Like everyone else, you want to learn the way to win, but never to accept the way to lose – to accept defeat. To learn to die is to be liberated from it. So when tomorrow comes you must free your ambitious mind and learn the art of dying! – Bruce Lee

Like the cobra, you remain coiled in a loose but compact position and your strike should be felt before it is seen. – Bruce Lee

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! – Bruce Lee

Loneliness is only an opportunity to cut adrift and find yourself. In solitude you are least alone. Make good use of it. – Bruce Lee

Loneliness is only an opportunity to cut adrift and find yourself. In solitude you are least alone. – Bruce Lee

Long-term consistency trumps short-term intensity. – Bruce Lee

Love is like a friendship caught on fire. – Bruce Lee

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 – Bruce Lee

Masters in all branches of art must first be masters in living, for the soul creates everything. – Bruce Lee

Maturation is the development from environmental support to self-support. – Bruce Lee

Meditation is the freeing of the mind from all motives. – Bruce Lee

Meditation means to be free from all phenomena and calmness means to be internally unperturbed. There will be calmness when one is free from external objects and is not perturbed. – Bruce Lee

Mind is an ultimate reality which is aware of itself and is not the seat of our empirical consciousness – by “being” mind instead of “having” mind. – Bruce Lee

More and more I believe in the fact that you have two hands and two legs, and the thing is how to make good use of yourself – and that’s about it. – Bruce Lee

My friend, drop all your preconceived and fixed ideas and be neutral. Do you know why this cup is useful? Because it is empty. – Bruce Lee

My strength comes from my abdomen. It’s the center of gravity and the source of real power. – Bruce Lee

My will to do springs from the knowledge that I can do. I’m only being natural, for there is no fear or doubt inside my mind. – Bruce Lee

Never take your eyes off your opponent, even when you bow. – Bruce Lee

Never take your eyes off your opponent… even when you bow… – Bruce Lee

Never trouble trouble till trouble troubles you. I’ll not willingly offend, nor be easily offended. – Bruce Lee

Never waste energy on worries or negative thoughts, all problems are brought into existence -drop them. – Bruce Lee

No man is defeated unless he is discouraged. – Bruce Lee

No matter what, you must let your inner light guide you out of the darkness. – Bruce Lee

No one can hurt you unless you allow him to. – Bruce Lee

Nobility of character manifests itself at loopholes when it is not provided with large doors. – Bruce Lee

Not “what” to think but “how” to think. – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail. – Bruce Lee

Nothing exists except the here and now. – Bruce Lee

Nothingness cannot be defined; the softest thing cannot be snapped. – Bruce Lee

Now I see that I will never find the light Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. – Bruce Lee

Nowadays you don’t go around on the street kicking people, punching people — because if you do (makes gun shape with hand), well that’s it — I don’t care how good you are. – Bruce Lee

Once I slow down because I think I have reached my peak, then my skills will go nowhere but down – Bruce Lee

One must always strive to be better. The sky’s the limit. – Bruce Lee

One rule is to not use complicated techniques unless they are necessary to achieve your goal. First, use simple movements, and if they don’t work, then introduce the more complex ones. – Bruce Lee

One will never get any more than he thinks he can get. YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES. Look back and see your progress – damn the torpedo, full speed ahead! – Bruce Lee

Only the self-sufficient stand alone – most people follow the crowd and imitate. – Bruce Lee

Opportunities may come your way or they may not. Luck may come your way or it may not. But if they come your way – and you call that luck – you’d better be ready for it! – Bruce Lee

Optimism is a faith that leads to success. – Bruce Lee

Our grand business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand. – Bruce Lee

Pain is weakness leaving your body. – Bruce Lee

People fear what they do not understand. – Bruce Lee

Pessimism blunts the tools you need to succeed. – Bruce Lee

Pleasure is the flower that fades, remembrance is the lasting perfume. – Bruce Lee

Possession of anything begins in the mind. – Bruce Lee

Practice all movements slow and fast, soft and hard; the effectiveness of Jeet Kune-Do depends on split-second timing and reflexive action, which can be achieved only through repetitious practice. – Bruce Lee

Practice makes perfect. After a long time of practicing, our work will become natural, skillfull, swift, and steady. – Bruce Lee

Preparation for tomorrow is hard work today. – Bruce Lee

Probably the most badass guy who ever lived on this planet! – Bruce Lee

Properties give stable yields, unless there is office or retail glut. – Bruce Lee

Put every great teacher in a room, and they’d agree about everything, but put their disciples in there and they’d argue about everything. – Bruce Lee

Put ‘going the extra mile’ to work as part of one’s daily habit. – Bruce Lee

Reality is apparent when one ceases to compare. – Bruce Lee

Realize the fact that you simply “live” and not “live for”. – Bruce Lee

Recognize and use the spiritual power of the infinite. The intangible represents the real power of the universe. It is the seed of the tangible. – Bruce Lee

Recognizing that the power of will is the supreme court over all other departments of my mind, I will exercise daily when I need the urge to act for any purpose; and I will form habits designed to bring the power of my will into action at least once daily. – Bruce Lee

Remember my friend that it is not what happens that counts, it is how you react to them. – Bruce Lee

Remember no man is really defeated unless he is discouraged. – Bruce Lee

Remember, I am no teacher; I can merely be a signpost for a traveler who is lost. It is up to you to decide on the direction. – Bruce Lee

Remember, success is a journey, not a destination. Have faith in your ability. You will do just fine. – Bruce Lee

Remember, you are expressing the techniques and not doing the techniques. – Bruce Lee

Remember… you are expressing the technique, not doing the technique. – Bruce Lee

Research your own experience; absorb what is useful, reject what is useless and add what is essentially your own. – Bruce Lee

Right conduct is governed by reason and creativity. – Bruce Lee

Running water never grows stale. – Bruce Lee

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

Seek freedom from the conformity of styles – Bruce Lee

Seek to understand the root. It is futile to argue as to which single leaf, which design of branch, or which attractive flower you like; when you understand the root, you understand all its blossoming. – Bruce Lee

Set patterns, incapable of adaptability, of pliability, only offer a better cage. Truth is outside of all patterns. – Bruce Lee

Since weight training involves repetitions, a great deal of energy must be exerted. Therefore, weight training should be practiced only every other day. – Bruce Lee

Sorrows are our best educator. A man can see further through a tear than a telescope. – Bruce Lee

Stupidity assumes two forms, it speaks or is silent. Mute stupidity is bearable. – Bruce Lee

Styles tend to not only separate men – because they have their own doctrines and then the doctrine became the gospel truth that you cannot change. But if you do not have a style, if you just say: Well, here I am as a human being, how can I express myself totally and completely? Now, that way you won’t create a style, because style is a crystallization . That way, it’s a process of continuing growth. – Bruce Lee

Success is not in reaching the destination, but in making the journey. – Bruce Lee

Take inventory of everyone with whom you have contact. – Bruce Lee

Take what’s useful, discard what is not. – Bruce Lee

Taoist philosophy is essentially monistic. Matter and energy, Yang and Yin, heaven and earth, are conceived of as essentially one or as two coexistent poles of one indivisible whole. – Bruce Lee

That of not being tense but ready, not thinking but not dreaming, not being rigidly set but flexible. Aware and alert, ready for whatever may come. – Bruce Lee

The abdominal and waist region coordinate all parts of the body and act as the center or generator. Therefore, you can promote the ability to control the body’s action and master your will more easily. – Bruce Lee

The aim of art is to project an inner vision into the world, to state in aesthetic creation the deepest psychic and personal experiences of a human being. It is to enable those experiences to be intelligible and generally recognized within the total framework of an ideal world. – Bruce Lee

The aim of art is to project an inner vision into the world. – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

The best form of endurance exercise is the performance of the event. – Bruce Lee

The best techniques are the simple ones executes right. – Bruce Lee

The change is from inner to outer. We start by dissolving our attitude not by altering outer conditions. – Bruce Lee

The classical man is just a bundle of routine, ideas and tradition. If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow — you are not understanding yourself. – Bruce Lee

The consciousness of self is the greatest hindrance to the proper execution of all physical action. – Bruce Lee

The core of understanding lies in the individual mind, and until that is touched everything is uncertain and superficial. Truth cannot be perceived until we come to fully understand our potential and ourselves. After all, knowledge in the martial arts ultimately means self-knowledge. – Bruce Lee

The deluded mind is the mind affectively burdened by intellect. Thus, it cannot move without stopping and reflecting on itself. This obstructs its native fluidity. – Bruce Lee

The doer alone learns. – Bruce Lee

The doubters said, “Man can not fly,” The doers said, “Maybe, but we’ll try,” And finally soared In the morning glow While non-believers Watched from below. – Bruce Lee

The essence: free movement of spirit. – Bruce Lee

The founder of any branch must be more ingenious than the common man. However, if his achievement is not carried on by disciples of the same ingenuity, then things will only become formalized and get stuck in a cul-de-sac; whereby breakthrough and progress will be almost impossible. – Bruce Lee

The future looks extremely bright indeed, with lots of possibilities ahead — big possibilities. Like the song says, We’ve just begun. – Bruce Lee

The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination. – Bruce Lee

The happiness that is derived from excitement is like a brilliant fire- soon it will go out. – Bruce Lee

The happiness that is derived from ordinary life last longer; like coal, it burns gradually and slowly. The happiness that is derived from excitement is like a brilliant fire – soon it will go out. – Bruce Lee

The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity. – Bruce Lee

The highest art is no art. The best form is no form. – Bruce Lee

The highest art is no art. The highest form is no form – Bruce Lee

The highest technique is to have no technique. My technique is a result of your technique; my movement is a result of your movement. – Bruce Lee

The idea is that flowing water never goes stale, so just keep on flowing. – Bruce Lee

The inability to adapt brings destruction. – Bruce Lee

The inner self is the true self. – Bruce Lee

The intangible represents the real power of the universe. It is the seed of the tangible. – Bruce Lee

The law of averages: put in more, come out with more. – Bruce Lee

The man who is really serious, with the urge to find out what truth is, has no style at all. He lives only in what is. – Bruce Lee

The meaning of life is that it is to be lived. – Bruce Lee

The measure of the moral worth of a man is his happiness. The better the man, the more happiness. Happiness is the synonym of well-being. – Bruce Lee

The mind is like a fertile garden in which anything that is planted, flowers or weeds, will grow. – Bruce Lee

The more aware you become, the more you shed from day to day what you have learned so that your mind is always fresh and uncontaminated by previous conditioning. – Bruce Lee

The more complicated and restricted the method, the less opportunity for expression of one’s original sense of freedom. – Bruce Lee

The more relaxed the muscles are, the more energy can flow through the body. Using muscular tensions to try to ‘do’ the punch or attempting to use brute force to knock someone over will only work to opposite effect. – Bruce Lee

The more we understand, the greater and deeper will be our contact with all that is around us. – Bruce Lee

The More we value things, the less we value ourselves. – Bruce Lee

The most important thing to me is, how, in the process of learning how to use my body, can I come to understand myself ? – Bruce Lee

The Now is indivisible. Completeness, the now, is an absence of the conscious mind to strive to divide that which is indivisible. For once the completeness of things is taken apart it is no longer complete. – Bruce Lee

The past is an illusion. You must learn to live in the present and accept yourself for what you are now. What you lack in flexibility and agility you must make up with knowledge and constant practice. – Bruce Lee

The past is no more; the future not yet. Nothing exists except the here and now. Our grand business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at our hands. – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

The point is the doing of them rather than the accomplishments . There is no actor but the action; there is no experiencer but the experience. – Bruce Lee

The point to be made about ego is that man should use his ego and not be used by ego or blinded by it. – Bruce Lee

The poorer we are
inwardly,
the more we try to
enrich ourselves
outwardly. – Bruce Lee

The possession of anything begins in the mind. – Bruce Lee

The primary Reality is not what I think, but that I live, for those also live who do not think. – Bruce Lee

The reward is found in the work. – Bruce Lee

The round of summer and winter becomes a blessing the moment we give up the fantasy of eternal spring. – Bruce Lee

The spiritual power of man’s will removes all obstacles. – Bruce Lee

The stillness in stillness is not the real stillness; only when there is stillness in movement does the universal rhythm manifest. – Bruce Lee

The success of an assailant’s attack depends on surprise, and if you’re sufficiently alert to prevent a surprise, your counterattack is already halfway to being successful. – Bruce Lee

‎The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus. – Bruce Lee

The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus and a chair that’s not obtained from Craigslist that keeps poking into his back. – Bruce Lee

The true stillness is the stillness in movement. – Bruce Lee

The unconditioned mind intuits truth. – Bruce Lee

The unfolding of the bare human soul…that is what interests me. – Bruce Lee

The usefulness of a cup is in its emptiness. Emptiness = Totality. – Bruce Lee

The usefulness of the cup is its emptiness. – Bruce Lee

The void is that which stands right in the middle of ‘this’ and ‘that’. The void is all-inclusive, having no opposite – there is nothing which it excludes or opposses. It is living void, because all forms come out of it and whosoever realizes the void is filled with life and power and the love of all things. – Bruce Lee

The waters are in motion all the time, but the moon retains its serenity. The mind moves in response to the ten thousand situations but remains ever the same. – Bruce Lee

The Western approach to reality is mostly through theory, and theory begins by denying reality – to talk about reality, to go around reality, to catch anything that attracts our sense-intellect and abstract it away from reality itself. Thus philosophy begins by saying that the outside world is not a basic fact, that its existence can be doubted and that every proposition in which the reality of the outside world is affirmed is not an evident proposition but one that needs to be divided, dissected and analyzed. It is to stand consciously aside and try to square a circle. – Bruce Lee

The word “superstar” is an illusion – Bruce Lee

There are lots of guys around the world that are lazy. They have big fat guts. They talk about chi power and things they can do, but don’t believe it. – Bruce Lee

There are no limits. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level. – Bruce Lee

There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. – Bruce Lee

There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level. – Bruce Lee

There are no limits…If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level. – Bruce Lee

There are too many stars and too few actors. – Bruce Lee

There can be no initiative if one has fear, and fear compels us to cling to tradition, gurus, etc. – Bruce Lee

There is “what is” only when there is no comparing and to live with “what is” is to be peaceful. – Bruce Lee

There is a difference: the world, our reaction to it. – Bruce Lee

There is a powerful craving in most of us to see ourselves as instruments in the hands of others and thus free ourselves from the responsibility for acts which are prompted by our own questionable inclinations and impulses. Both the strong and the weak grasp at this alibi. The latter hide their malevolence under the virtue of obedience: they acted dishonorably because they had to obey orders. The strong, too, claim absolution by proclaiming themselves the chosen instrument of a higher power — God, history, fate, nation, or humanity. – Bruce Lee

There is another bit of Chinese philosophy that has a bearing on problems common to all human kind. We say, “The oak tree is mighty, yet it will be destroyed by a mighty wind because it resists the elements; the bamboo bends with the wind, and by bending, survives”. – Bruce Lee

There is intelligence when you are not afraid. – Bruce Lee

There is no such thing as defeat until you admit so yourself, but not until then! – Bruce Lee

There is no such thing as maturity. There is instead an ever-evolving process of maturing. Because when there is a maturity, there is a conclusion and a cessation. That’s the end. That’s when the coffin is closed. You might be deteriorating physically in the long process of aging, but your personal process of daily discovery is ongoing. You continue to learn more and more about yourself every day. – Bruce Lee

There is no such thing as maturity. There is instead an ever-evolving process of maturing. Because when there is a maturity, there is a conclusion and a cessation. That’s the end. That’s when the coffin is closed. – Bruce Lee

There is no weapon more deadly than the will. – Bruce Lee

There will be calmness, tranquility, when one is free from external objects and is not perturbed. – Bruce Lee

There’s only one basic principle of self-defense- you must apply the most effective weapon, as soon as possible, to the most vulnerable target. – Bruce Lee

There’s so much myth and baloney. Like a 80-year-old man able to manhandle a 300-pounder with his little finger. Ridiculous. Or this matter of breaking bricks and boards with the edge of your hand. Now I ask you, did you ever see a brick or a board pick a fight with anybody? – Bruce Lee

Things live by moving and gain strength as they go. – Bruce Lee

Those who are materialistic still hold onto the ego as though it were a possession, rather than using it as a tool. Inwardly, psychologically, be a nobody. – Bruce Lee

Those who are unaware they are walking in darkness will never seek the light. – Bruce Lee

Those who gain, lose. – Bruce Lee

Though methods play an important role in the early stage, the techniques should not be too mechanical, complex or restrictive. If we cling blindly to them, we shall eventually become bound by their limitations. Remember, you are expressing the techniques and not doing the techniques. If somebody attacks you, your response is not Technique No.1, Stance No. 2, Section 4, Paragraph 5. Instead you simply move in like sound and echo, without any deliberation. It is as though when I call you, you answer me, or when I throw you something, you catch it. It’s as simple as that – no fuss, no mess. – Bruce Lee

Though they play an important role in the early stages, the techniques should not be too mechanical, complex, or restrictive. Remember, you are expressing the techniques and not doing the techniques. When attacked, your response is not technique 1, 2, 3, 4, 5–rather you simply move in like sound and echo, without any deliberation. React as when I throw something to you, you catch it. Nothing else. – Bruce Lee

Thoughts backed by faith will overcome all obstacles. – Bruce Lee

Through my own observations. I am convinced that an absolutely honest and direct inquiry into oneself will lead to understanding. – Bruce Lee

To be certain, every day there can be a revelation or a new discovery. – Bruce Lee

To be honest to oneself, and that is very hard to do. – Bruce Lee

To be humble to superiors is duty; to equals is courtesy; to inferiors is nobleness; and to all, safety! – Bruce Lee

To be one thing and not to change is the climax of stillness. To have nothing in one that resists is the climax of emptiness. To remain detached from all outside things is the climax of fineness. To have in oneself no contraries is the climax of purity. – Bruce Lee

To be what I term a ‘quality’ human being one has to be transparently real and have the courage to be what he is. – Bruce Lee

To become a champion requires a good mental attitude toward preparation. You have to accept the most tedious task with pleasure. – Bruce Lee

To change with change is the changeless state. – Bruce Lee

To contemplate a thing implies maintaining oneself OUTSIDE it, resolved to keep a distance between it and ourselves. – Bruce Lee

To develop the creative attitude, analyze and focus on the wanted SOLUTION; seek out and fill your mind with the FACTS; write down ideas, both sensible and seemingly wild; let the facts and ideas simmer in your mind; evaluate, recheck, settle on the creative ideas. – Bruce Lee

To doubt is to think, and thought is the only thing in the universe whose existence cannot be denied, because to deny is to think. – Bruce Lee

To express yourself in freedom, you must die to everything of yesterday. From the ‘old’, you derive security; from the ‘new’, you gain the flow. – Bruce Lee

To live is a constant process of relating, so come on out of that shell of isolation and conclusion, and relate DIRECTLY to what is being said. Bear in mind I seek neither your approval nor to influence you. So do not make up your mind as to “this is this” or “that is that.” I will be more than satisfied if you begin to learn to investigate everything yourself from now on. – Bruce Lee

To live is to express oneself freely – Bruce Lee

To live is to express, and to express you have to create. Creation is never merely repetition. To live is to express oneself freely in creation. – Bruce Lee

To me, racial barriers do not exist in reality. If I say that ‘everyone under the sun is a member of a universal family,’ you may think that I am bluffing and being idealistic. But if anyone still believes in racial differences, I think he is too backward and narrow in his perspective. Perhaps he still does not understand man’s equality and love. – Bruce Lee

To reach me, you must move to me. Your attack offers me an opportunity to intercept you. – Bruce Lee

To realize freedom the mind has to learn to look at life, which is a vast movement, without the bondage of time , for freedom lies beyond the field of consciousness care for watching, but don’t stop and interpret “I am free,” then you’re living in a memory of something that has gone before. – Bruce Lee

To refuse to be cast down, that is the lesson. – Bruce Lee

To see is to be deceived. To hear is to be lied to. To FEEL is to believe. – Bruce Lee

To take responsibility for one’s own actions, good and bad, is something else. – Bruce Lee

To tolerate is to insult. – Bruce Lee

Too much horsing around with unrealistic stances and classic forms and rituals is just too artificial and mechanical, and doesn’t really prepare the student for actual combat. A guy could get clobbered while getting into this classical mess. Classical methods like these, which I consider a form of paralysis, only solidify and constrain what was once fluid. Their practitioners are merely blindly rehearsing routines and stunts that will lead nowhere. – Bruce Lee

Training for strength and flexibility is a must. You must use it to support your techniques. Techniques alone are no good if you don’t support them with strength and flexibility. – Bruce Lee

True friends are like diamonds, precious and rare. False friends are like autumn leaves, found everywhere. – Bruce Lee

True observation begins when devoid of set patterns; freedom of expression occurs when one is beyond system. – Bruce Lee

True thusness is the substance of thought, and thought is the function of true thusness. There is no thought except that of true thusness. Thusness does not move, but its motion and function are inexhaustible. – Bruce Lee

Turn your sparring into play – but always play seriously. – Bruce Lee

Ultimately the greatest help is self-help. – Bruce Lee

Under the sky, under the heavens there is but one family. It just so happens that people are different. – Bruce Lee

Understand your limitations and capitalize on them. – Bruce Lee

Understanding requires not just a moment of perception, but a continuous awareness, a continuous state of inquiry without conclusion – Bruce Lee

Unquestionably man has his will – but woman has her way! – Bruce Lee

Use no way as way. When there is a “Way”, therein lies the limitation. And when there is a circumference, it traps. And if it traps, it rots. And if it rots, it’s lifeless. – Bruce Lee

Using no way as a way, having no limitation as limitation. – Bruce Lee

Using no way as way. Having no limitation as your only limitation. – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

Voidness is that which stands right in the middle between this and that. – Bruce Lee

Walk on. – Bruce Lee

Water is fearless,you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup , you put water into a teapot it becomes the teapot, water can flow drip, creap, or crash! – Bruce Lee

We [tend to] have more faith in what we imitate than in what we originate. We [often feel that we] cannot derive a sense of absolute certitude from anything which has its root in us. The most poignant sense of insecurity comes from standing alone; we are not alone when we imitate. – Bruce Lee

We are told that talent creates is own opportunities. But it sometimes seems that intense desire creates not only its own opportunities, but its own talents. – Bruce Lee

We are told that talent creates opportunity, yet it is desire that creates talent. – Bruce Lee

We can see through others only when we see through ourselves. – Bruce Lee

We do not become. We simply are. – Bruce Lee

We do not see “it” in its suchness because of our indoctrination, crooked and twisted. – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

We have great work ahead of us, and it needs devotion and much, much energy. To grow, to discover, we need involvement. – Bruce Lee

We have more faith in what we imitate than in what we create – Bruce Lee

We have more faith in what we imitate than in what we originate. We cannot derive a sense of absolute certitude from anything which has its roots in us. The most poignant sense of insecurity comes from standing alone and we are not alone when we imitate. It is thus with most of us; we are what other people say we are. We know ourselves chiefly by hearsay. – Bruce Lee

We shall find the answer when we examine the problem, the problem is never apart from the answer, the problem IS the answer, understanding the problem dissolves the problem. – Bruce Lee

What can you take from me which is not already yours? – Bruce Lee

What comes after victory? Why do people value victory so much? What is ‘glory’? What kind of victory is ‘glorious’? – Bruce Lee

What I honestly value more than anything else is quality: doing one’s best in the manner of the responsibility and craftsmanship of a Number One. – Bruce Lee

What is true stillness? Stillness in movement. – Bruce Lee

What is- Bruce Lee is more important than ‘what should be.’ Too many people are looking at ‘what is’ from a position of thinking ‘what should be’. – Bruce Lee

What Is, is more important than What Should Be.

What we are after is the root and not the branches. The root is the real knowledge; the branches are surface knowledge. Real knowledge breeds ‘body feel’ and personal expression; surface knowledge breeds mechanical conditioning and imposing limitation and squelches creativity. – Bruce Lee

What’s amiss I’ll stop to mend, and endure what can’t be mended. – Bruce Lee

When finger point at moon, don’t look at finger or you’ll miss the moon. – Bruce Lee

When man comes to a conscious vital realization of those great spiritual forces within himself and begins to use those forces in science, in business, and in life, his progress in the future will be unparalleled. – Bruce Lee

When one has no form, one can be all forms. – Bruce Lee

When one has reached maturity in this art, one will have the formless form. It is like the dissolving or thawing [of] ice into water that can shape itself to any structure. When one has no form, one can be all forms; when one has no style, one can fit in with any style. – Bruce Lee

When one is not “expressing” himself, he is not free. – Bruce Lee

when one is not expressing himself, he is not free. thus, he begins to struggle and the struggle breeds methodical routine. Soon, he is doing his methodical routine as response rather than responding to what is. – Bruce Lee

When there is a particle of dust in your eye, the world becomes a narrow path – have your mind completely free from objects – and how much this life expands. – Bruce Lee

When tomorrow comes, you must free your ambitious mind and learn the art of dying. – Bruce Lee

When we suddenly awake to the realization that there is no barrier, and never has been, one realizes that one is all things mountains, rivers, grasses, trees, sun, moon, stars, universe are all oneself. There is no longer a division or barrier between myself and others, no longer any feeling of alienation or fear there is nothing apart from oneself and therefore nothing to fear. Realizing this results in true compassion. Other people and things are not seen as apart from oneself but, on the contrary, as one’s own body. – Bruce Lee

When you feel pain, you know that you are still alive. – Bruce Lee

When you fight, if it is a real fight, use every tool that you have, use your whole body. Use your fists, your legs, your fingers, your head if you have to, and hit them in every vulnerable spot, the balls, the eyes etc. to win. – Bruce Lee

When you freely express, you are the total style. – Bruce Lee

When you point to the moon, what do you see in front of your finger; Your task is to feel, not to think, when you can understand that the lesson will be learned. – Bruce Lee

When you say that something is impossible, you have made it impossible. – Bruce Lee

When you’re talking about fighting, as it is, with no rules, well then, baby you’d better train every part of your body! – Bruce Lee

While it may come as a profound surprise to those of us who are in the throes of an emotional or life crisis, the fact remains that the answer to virtually all of our problems resides within us already. It exist in the form of a vast reservoir of free-flowing energy that, when channeled to our muscles, can give us great strength and, when channeled to our brain, can give us great insight and understanding. – Bruce Lee

Who is there that can make muddy water clear? But if allowed to remain still, it will become clear of itself. Who is there that can secure a state of absolute repose? But keep calm and let time go on, and the state of repose will gradually arrest. – Bruce Lee

Willing is not enough, one must apply. – Bruce Lee

Yesterday’s dreams are often tomorrow’s realities. – Bruce Lee

You and your opponent are one. There is a coexisting relationship between you. You coexist with your opponent and become his complement, absorbing his attack and using his force to overcome him. – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

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.You just wait. I’m going to be the biggest Chinese Star in the world. – Bruce Lee

You cannot hurt that which is formless. The softest thing cannot be snapped and emptiness cannot be confined. – Bruce Lee

You have to create your own luck. You have to be aware of the opportunities around you and take advantage of them. – Bruce Lee

You just wait. I’m going to be the biggest Chinese Star in the world. – Bruce Lee

You know how I like to think of myself? As a human being. – Bruce Lee

You know what I want to think of myself? As a human being. Because, I mean I don’t want to be like “As Confucius say,” but under the sky, under the heavens there is but one family. It just so happens man that people are different. – Bruce Lee

You must accept the fact that there is no help but self-help. I cannot tell you how to gain freedom since freedom exists within you. – Bruce Lee

You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. – Bruce Lee

You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend. – Bruce Lee

You must have complete determination. The worst opponent you can come across is one whose aim has become an obsession. For instance, if a man has decided that he is going to bite off your nose no matter what happens to him in the process, the chances are he will succeed in doing it. He may be severely beaten up, too, but that will not stop him from carrying out his objective. That is the real fighter. – Bruce Lee

You must have complete determination. The worst opponent you can come across is one whose aim has become an obsession. – Bruce Lee

You need emotional content…. – Bruce Lee

You will never get any more out of life than you expect. – Bruce Lee

You will never get any more out of this life than you expect. – Bruce Lee

You will never learn anything new unless you are ready to accept yourself with your limitations. You must accept the fact that you are capable in some directions and limited in others, and you must develop your capabilities. – Bruce Lee

Your inspiration continues to guide us toward our personal liberation. – Bruce Lee

Your mental attitude determines what you make of it, either a stepping stone or stumbling block. – Bruce Lee

Your state of mind is everything. – Bruce Lee

On Art and Artistry

 Art calls for complete mastery of techniques, developed by reflection within the soul. – Bruce Lee

Art demands only immediate, honest and whole-hearted action. – Bruce Lee

Art is an expression of life and transcends both time and space. – Bruce Lee

Art is communication of feelings. – Bruce Lee

Art is never decoration or embellishment. Instead it is a constant process of maturing (in the sense of not having arrived!). – Bruce Lee

Art is never decoration, embellishment; instead it is work of enlightenment. Art, in other words, is a technique for acquiring liberty. – Bruce Lee

Art is really the expression of the self. The more complicated and restricted the method, the less the opportunity for the expression of one’s original sense of freedom. – Bruce Lee

Art is the perfection of nature and life through the artist, who has supreme control of technique and is thereby liberated from it. – Bruce Lee

Art is the way of the Absolute and to the essence of human life – creative action, with sensitivity, that positive state of innocence. – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

Art is the way to the absolute and to the essence of human life. – Bruce Lee

Art lives where absolute freedom is because when it is not, there can be no creativity. – Bruce Lee

Art lives where absolute freedom is, because where it is not, there can be no creativity – art has no ego rigidity. – Bruce Lee

Art must originate with an experience or feeling of the artist. – Bruce Lee

Art reaches its greatest peak when devoid of self-consciousness. – Bruce Lee

Art reaches its greatest peak when devoid of self-consciousness. Freedom discovers man the moment he loses concern over what impression he is making or about to make. – Bruce Lee

Art requires imagination. It requires Creativity. Creativity requires experience and experience comes from your life. And your life is expressed in your art. – Bruce Lee

Art, after all, is a means of acquiring “personal” liberty. Your way is not my way nor mine yours. – Bruce Lee

Artists in all fields must learn to observe choicelessly, to digest their observations, and to express them in their work. – Bruce Lee

I never wanted a job in an office or any job that I had to work eight hours a day at – day in and day out. I don’t think I could have stood it. – Bruce Lee

I’m not the type of guy who can sit in the office doing the same routine day in and day out. I have to do something that is creative and interesting to me. – Bruce Lee

If you are in the now, you are creative. – Bruce Lee

If you are in the now, you are inventive. – Bruce Lee

In all things, it is important to forget your “mind” and become one with the work at hand. – Bruce Lee

It is the creative ability of a human being that separates him from all other animals. – Bruce Lee

One must not merely copy but try to convey the significance of what you see. – Bruce Lee

The aim of art is to project an inner vision into the world without. – Bruce Lee

The human soul is what interests me. I live to express myself freely in creation. – Bruce Lee

The second-hand artist blindly following his sensei or sifu accepts his pattern. As a result, his action is and , more importantly, his thinking become mechanical. His responses become automatic, according to set patterns, making him narrow and limited. – Bruce Lee

The true artist has no public; he works for the sheer joy of it, with an element of playfulness, of casualness. – Bruce Lee

Through art our own souls are what we must employ to give a new form and a new meaning to Nature or the world. – Bruce Lee

To express oneself honestly, not lying to oneself; that, my friend, is very hard to do. – Bruce Lee

True observation begins when one is devoid of set patterns; freedom of expression occurs when one is beyond system. – Bruce Lee

On Martial Art

A fight is not won by one punch or kick. Either learn to endure or hire a bodyguard. – Bruce Lee

A good fighter must sense rather than perceive his chance to strike. – Bruce Lee

A good martial artist does not become tend but ready, not thinking but jet not dreaming. Ready for whatever may come. – Bruce Lee

A good martial artist does not become tense but ready. Not thinking yet not dreaming, ready for whatever may come. A martial artist has to take responsibility for himself and face the consequences of his own doing. To have no technique, there is no opponent, because the word ‘I’ does not exist. When the opponent expands I contract and when he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity, ‘I’ do not hit, ‘It’ hits all by itself. – Bruce Lee

A good martial artist does not become tense, but ready. – Bruce Lee

A good martial artist does not become tense, but ready. Not thinking, yet not dreaming. Ready for whatever may come. When the opponent expands, I contract; and when he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity, “I” do not hit, “it” hits all by itself. – Bruce Lee

A kung fu man lives without being dependent on the opinions of others, and a master, unlike the beginner, holds himself in reserve. He is quiet and unassuming, with no desire to show off. – Bruce Lee

A kung fu man who was really good was not proud at all. Pride emphasizes the superiority of one’s status. There has to be fear and insecurity in pride, because when you aim at being highly esteemed and achieve such status, you automatically start to worry about losing status. – Bruce Lee

A martial artist has to take responsibility for himself and accept the consequences of his own doing. – Bruce Lee

A quality martial artist is always ready for any move, and trains oneself invincible. – Bruce Lee

All martial arts is simply an honest expression of one’s body – with a lot of deception in between. – Bruce Lee

Behind every motion is the music of his soul made visible. Otherwise empty motion is like an empty word; no meaning. Postures without proper channeling of your emotions behind them are dead movements. – Bruce Lee

Finally, a Jeet Kune Do man who says Jeet Kune Do is exclusively Jeet Kune Do is simply not with it. He is still hung up on his self-closing resistance, in this case anchored down to reactionary pattern, and naturally is still bound by another modified pattern and can move within its limits. He has not digested the simple fact that truth exists outside all molds; pattern and awareness is never exclusive. Again let me remind you Jeet Kune Do is just a name used, a boat to get one across, and once across it is to be discarded and not to be carried on one’s back. – Bruce Lee

Forget about winning and losing, forget about pride and pain. – Bruce Lee

Good technique includes quick changes, great variety and speed. It may be a system of reversals much like a concept of God and the Devil. In the speed of events, which one is really in charge?…to put the heart of martial arts in your own heart and have it be a part of you means total comprehension and the use of a free style. When you have that you will know that there are no limits. – Bruce Lee

I have always been a martial artist by choice, an actor by profession, but above all, am actualising myself to be an artist of life. – Bruce Lee

I hope martial artists are more interested in the root of martial arts and not the different decorative branches, flowers or leaves. It is futile to argue as to which leaf, which design of branches, or which attractive flower you like; when you understand the root, you understand all its blossoming. – Bruce Lee

If mere mechanical efficiency can make everyone a martial artist, then all is well. Unfortunately, combat, like freedom, is something that can not be preconceived. – Bruce Lee

If people say Jeet Kune Do is different from this or from that, then let the name of Jeet Kune Do be wiped out, for that is what it is, just a name. Please don’t fuss over it. – Bruce Lee

If you knew you had to fight for your life tomorrow, would you change your training today? – Bruce Lee

Jeet Kune Do favors formlessness so that it can assume all forms and since Jeet Kune Do has no style, it can fit in with all styles. As a result, Jeet Kune Do utilizes all ways and is bound by none and, likewise, uses any techniques which serve its end. – Bruce Lee

Jeet Kune Do: it’s just a name; don’t fuss over it. There’s no such thing as a style if you understand the roots of combat. – Bruce Lee

Let nature take its course, and your tools will strike at the right moment. – Bruce Lee

Martial arts, like any art, is an unrestricted athletic expression of an individual soul. – Bruce Lee

My style? You can call it the art of fighting without fighting. – Bruce Lee

Take things as they are. Punch when you have to punch. Kick when you have to kick. – Bruce Lee

The best fighter is not a Boxer, Karate or Judo man. The best fighter is someone who can adapt on any style. He kicks too good for a Boxer, throws too good for a Karate man, and punches too good for a Judo man. – Bruce Lee

The essence of fighting is the art of moving at the right time. – Bruce Lee

The great mistake is to anticipate the outcome of the engagement; you ought not to be thinking of whether it ends in victory or in defeat. – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

The martial arts are ultimately self-knowledge. A punch or a kick is not to knock the hell out of the guy in front, but to knock the hell out of your ego, your fear, or your hang-ups. – Bruce Lee

The principle of martial arts is not a thing that can be learned, like a science, by fact-finding and instruction in facts. It has to grow spontaneously, like a flower, in a mind free from emotions and desires. – Bruce Lee

There is no mystery about my style. My movements are simple, direct and non-classical. The extraordinary part of it lies in its simplicity. Every movement in Jeet Kune-Do is being so of itself. There is nothing artificial about it. I always believe that the easy way is the right way. – Bruce Lee

To be bound by traditional martial art style or styles is the way of the mindless, enslaved martial artist. But to be inspired by the traditional martial art and to achieve further heights is the way of genius. – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

To me, ultimately, martial arts means honestly expressing yourself. Now, it is very difficult to do. It has always been very easy for me to put on a show and be cocky, and be flooded with a cocky feeling and feel pretty cool and all that. I can make all kinds of phoney things. Blinded by it. Or I can show some really fancy movement. But to experience oneself honestly, not lying to oneself, and to express myself honestly, now that is very hard to do. – Bruce Lee

To me, ultimately, martial arts means honestly expressing yourself. – Bruce Lee

Unfortunately, now in boxing people are only allowed to punch. In Judo, people are only allowed to throw. I do not despise these kinds of martial arts. What I mean is, we now find rigid forms which create differences among clans, and the world of martial art is shattered as a result. – Bruce Lee

Use karate, judo, aikido, or any style to build your counter-offensive. It will be interesting! – Bruce Lee

Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it. – Bruce Lee

Where there is no style, there is no slave. Martial Arts mean honestly expressing yourself. No style. No slave. – Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee Quotes

On Goals and Adversity 

A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at. – Bruce Lee

A self-willed man has no other aim than his own growth. He values only one thing, the mysterious power in himself which bids him live and helps him to grow. His only living destiny is the silent, ungainsayable law in his own heart, which comfortable habits make it so hard to obey but which to the self-willed man is destiny and godhead. – Bruce Lee

All goals apart from the means are illusions; becoming is a denial of being. – Bruce Lee

Be proficient in your field as well as in harmony among fellow men. – Bruce Lee

Character is to the soul what outward appearances is to the body. A man’s genuineness and refinement should not reveal themselves directly; they should express themselves only indirectly as an effect from within. – Bruce Lee

Effort within the mind further limits the mind, because effort implies struggle towards a goal and when you have a goal, a purpose, an end in view, you have placed a limit on the mind. – Bruce Lee

Go bravely on, my friend, because each experience teaches us a lesson. Keep blasting because life is such that sometimes it is nice and sometimes it is not. – Bruce Lee

I am not easily discouraged, readily visualize myself as overcoming obstacles, winning out over set backs, achieving “impossible” objectives. – Bruce Lee

I believe that anybody can think himself into his goal if he mixes thought with definiteness of purpose, persistence; and a burning desire for its translation into reality. – Bruce Lee

I can walk away from millions because it’s not right, but I’ll be damned if I’ll back up an inch from a dime because it has to be so. – Bruce Lee

I couldn’t go wrong because what I always like about myself is this stickability toward quality and the sincere desire to do it right.

I don’t want to do anything half way; it as to be perfect. – Bruce Lee

I will play with my children and joke with my children, but business is business. When the subject is a serious one, you don’t go around trying to keep from hurting their feelings. You say what must be said and set the rules which must be set without worrying about whether they like it or not. – Bruce Lee

I’ll not willingly offend, nor be easily offended. – Bruce Lee

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

If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done. – Bruce Lee

Make at least one definite move daily toward your goal. – Bruce Lee

Persistence, persistence, and persistence. The power can be created and maintained through daily practice – continuous effort. – Bruce Lee

Prosperity is apt to prevent us from examining our conduct; but adversity leads us to think properly of our state, and so is beneficial to us. – Bruce Lee

Recognizing the influence of my subconscious mind over my power of will, I shall take care to submit to it a clear and definite picture of my Major Purpose in life and all minor purposes leading to my major purpose, and I shall keep this picture constantly before my subconscious mind by repeating it daily. – Bruce Lee

Right now I can project my thoughts into the future. I can see ahead of me. I dream (remember that practical dreamers never quit). I may now own nothing but a little place down in a basement, but once my imagination has got up a full head of stream, I can see painted on a canvas on my mind a picture of a fine, big fix or six story Gung Fun Institute with branches all over the States… – Bruce Lee

The power of will is the supreme court over all other departments of my mind. I will exercise it daily when I need the urge to action for any purpose, and I will form habits designed to bring the power of my will into action at least once daily. – Bruce Lee

The way to bring back the dream is to relive the dream as if it were happening now. – Bruce Lee

There is an awareness without choice, without any demand, an awareness in which there is no anxiety; and in that state of mind there is perception. It is the perception alone that will resolve all your problems. – Bruce Lee

This feeling defies description, and there is no experience with which this feeling may be compared. It is something like a strong emotion mixed with faith, but a lot stronger. – Bruce Lee

To strive actively to achieve some goal gives your life meaning and substance. – Bruce Lee

What does self-willed mean? Hell, isn’t it knowing above all, that, indeed, one is the captain of one’s soul, the master of one’s life? – Bruce Lee

Whether it is the godhead or not, I feel this great force, this untapped power, this dynamic something within me. – Bruce Lee

With adversity you are shocked to higher levels, much like a rain storm that is so violent, but yet afterwards all plant grows. – Bruce Lee

With every adversity comes a blessing because a shock acts as a reminder to oneself that we must not get stale in routine. – Bruce Lee

On Life

Bruce Lee Quotes2

Bruce Lee Quotes

Life is an ever-flowing process and somewhere on the path some unpleasant things will pop up – it might leave a scar, but then life is flowing, and life running water, when it stops it grows stale. – Bruce Lee

Life is an ever-flowing process and somewhere on the path some unpleasant things will pop up – it might leave a scar, but then life is flowing, and like running water, when it stops it grows stale. Go bravely on, my friend, because each experience teaches us a lesson. Keep blasting because life is such that sometimes it is nice and sometimes it is not. – Bruce Lee

Life is better lived than conceptualized. — This writing can be less demanding should I allow myself to indulge in the usual manipulating game of role creation. Fortunately for me, my self-knowledge has transcended that and I’ve come to understand that life is best to be lived — not to be conceptualized. If you have to think, you still do not understand. – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

Life is simply what our feelings do to us. – Bruce Lee

Life is something for which there is no answer; it must be understood from moment to moment. – Bruce Lee

Life is wide, limitless. There is no border, no frontier. – Bruce Lee

Life is your teacher, and you are in a state of constant learning. – Bruce Lee

Life itself is your teacher, and you are in a state of constant learning. – Bruce Lee

Life lives; and in the living flow, no questions are raised. The reason is that life is a living now! So, in order to live life whole-heartedly, the answer is life simply is. – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

Live a life worth remembering. – Bruce Lee

Living exists when life lives through us – unhampered in its flow, for he who is living is not conscious of living and, in this, is the life it lives. – Bruce Lee

Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one – Bruce Lee

I did what I came here to do. What I’ve done I’ve done with sincerity and to the best of my ability. You can’t expect much more from life. – Bruce Lee

I don’t know what is the meaning of death, but I am not afraid to die – and I go on, non-stop, going forward with life. Even though I, Bruce Lee, may die some day without fulfilling all of my ambitions, I will have no regrets. I did what I wanted to do and what I’ve done, I’ve done with sincerity and to the best of my ability. You can’t expect much more from life. – Bruce Lee

I have come to understand that life is best to be lived and not to be conceptualized. I am happy because I am growing daily and I am honestly not knowing where the limit lies. – Bruce Lee

If you truly love life, don’t waste time because time is what life is made of. – Bruce Lee

If you want to be immortal live a life worth remembering – Bruce Lee

In Life There are No Limits, Only Plateaus. – Bruce Lee

In life, what more can you ask for than to be real? – Bruce Lee

Intensity and/or enthusiasm is this god within us – one that instinctively becomes the art of the physical “becoming” and within this transition we no longer care to know what life means. We are indeed furnishing the “what is” by simply being. – Bruce Lee

It is the life of perfection which seems to be incomplete, and of fullness which seems to be empty. It is the life which is as bright as light, but does not dazzle. In short, it is a life of harmony, unity, contentment, tranquility, constancy, enlightenment, peace, and long life. – Bruce Lee

It is the man that has nothing to lose or is willing to lose everything to beat you that I am afraid of. If a man is willing to lose his life to bite off my nose then I don’t care how good I am or what I do to him- he’s gonna get my nose. – Bruce Lee

Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system. – Bruce Lee

Real living is living for others. – Bruce Lee

Reality is apparent when one ceases to compare. — There is what is- Bruce Lee only when there is no comparison at all, and to live with what is, is to be peaceful. – Bruce Lee

Remember, Life is a journey, not a destination. – Bruce Lee

The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering. – Bruce Lee

The meaning of life is that it is to be lived, and it is not to be traded and conceptualized and squeezed into a pattern of systems. – Bruce Lee

The three most difficult things in life are: 1. To keep a secret. 2. To forget an injury. 3. To make good use of leisure. – Bruce Lee

On Love and Relationship

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. – Bruce Lee

Absence in love is like water upon fire; a little quickens, but much extinguishes it. – Bruce Lee

I believe a couple should develop a kind of friendship. Linda and I have this kind of friendship. We understand each other, like a pair of good friends. – Bruce Lee

I did love like a madman, but have enough sense to not love as a fool. – Bruce Lee

I think when a couple marry, they either go into heaven or live in hell. – Bruce Lee

I’m not one of those who believe in love at first sight, but I believe in taking a second look. – Bruce Lee

If one loves, one need not have an ideology of love. – Bruce Lee

If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of. – Bruce Lee

Love is a egotism of two. – Bruce Lee

Love is never lost. If not reciprocated it will flow back and soften and purify the heart. – Bruce Lee

Love, and you shall be loved – all love is mathematically just, as much as the two sides of an algebraic equation. – Bruce Lee

Many young couples live a very exciting life when they are in love. So, when they marry, and their lives are reduced to calmness and dullness, they will feel impatient and will drink the bitter cup of sad marriage. – Bruce Lee

Marriage is a friendship, a partnership based solidly upon ordinary, everyday occurrences. – Bruce Lee

Marriage is caring for children, watching over them in sickness, training them in the way they must go, sharing worry about them and pride in them. – Bruce Lee

My wife and I aren’t one and one. We are two halves that make a whole. You have to apply yourself to be a family – two halves fitted together are more efficient than either half would ever be alone! – Bruce Lee

Real living is living for others. – Bruce Lee

Relationship is the mirror in which you discover yourself – to be is to be related. – Bruce Lee

There is no love without friendship. Passion alone does not form relationships of value. – Bruce Lee

Without respect, love cannot go long. – Bruce Lee

Young love is a flame: very pretty, often very hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. The love of the older and disciplined heart is as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable. – Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee Quotes

On Mistakes and Failures

Aim at perfection in everything, though in most things it is unattainable; however, they who aim at it, and persevere, will come much nearer to it than those whose laziness and despondency make them give it up as unattainable. – Bruce Lee

Are you doing to make your obstacles stepping stones to your dreams, or stumbling blocks because unknowingly you let negativeness, worries, fear, etc., take you over? – Bruce Lee

Don’t be forecasting evil unless it is what you can guard against. Anxiety is good for nothing if we can’t turn it into a defense. – Bruce Lee

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

Failure is what your mind acknowledges. – Bruce Lee

If you think a thing is impossible, you’ll make it impossible. Pessimism blunts the tools you need to succeed. – Bruce Lee

Joy and suffering are the fruit of right and wrong thinking. Suffering, especially, is mostly self-manufactured; we are never so happy or so unhappy as we suppose. – Bruce Lee

Low aim, not failure, is the crime. – Bruce Lee

Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them. – Bruce Lee

Most people can talk without listening. Very few can listen without talking. It is very rare that people can talk and listen. – Bruce Lee

No accidents are so unlucky but that the wise may draw some advantage from them; nor are there any so lucky but that the foolish may turn them to their own prejudice. – Bruce Lee

Remember my friend to enjoy your planning as well as your accomplishment, for life is too short for negative energy. – Bruce Lee

Sincere and serious learners are difficult to come by. Many of them are five minute enthusiasts, some of them come in with ill intentions, but unfortunately, most of them are second-hand artists; basically conformers. – Bruce Lee

The Dominicans have the simplicity of a real human being; there is not so hypocrisy like in the big cities. – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

The important thing is that I am personally satisfied with my work. If it is a piece of junk, I will only regret it. – Bruce Lee

Then protection of his status appears to be his most important need, and this creates anxiety. – Bruce Lee

There is fear and insecurity in pride, for when one aims at being highly esteemed, and having achieved such status, he is automatically involved in the fear of losing one’s status. – Bruce Lee

To realize that it’s just an inconvenience, that it is not a catastrophe, but just an unpleasantness, is part of coming into your own, part of waking up. – Bruce Lee

What I detest most are dishonest people who talk more than they are capable of doing. – Bruce Lee

When a man seeks your advice he generally wants your praise. – Bruce Lee

On Positive Thinking and Confidence

Action is a highroad to self-confidence and esteem. Where it is open, all energies flow toward it. It comes readily to most people, and its rewards are tangible. – Bruce Lee

Are you going to let the obstacles in your life be stumbling blocks or stepping stones? Choose the positive. You are the master of your attitude. – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

Do not allow negative thoughts to enter your mind for they are the weeds that strange confidence. – Bruce Lee

Each man must seek out realization himself. No master can give it to him. – Bruce Lee

Head toward self-expression and self-actualization and not just a means of mediocre functioning or repetitious drilling on a chosen pattern. – Bruce Lee

I will never prostitute myself in any way that I do what I don’t believe in. – Bruce Lee

If you think a thing is impossible, you’ll make it impossible. – Bruce Lee

In order to realize our true self we must be willing to live without being dependent upon the opinion of others. When we are completely self-sufficient we can have no fear of not being esteemed by others. – Bruce Lee

Independent inquiry is needed in your search for truth, not dependence on anyone else’s view or a mere book. – Bruce Lee

My only sure reward is “in” my actions and not “from” them. The quality of my reward is in the depth of my response, the centralness of the part of me I act from. – Bruce Lee

Negativeness very often unknowingly creeps up upon us. It helps occasionally to stop all thoughts (the chattering of worries, anticipations, and so forth, in your head) and then once more refreshingly march bravely on. – Bruce Lee

Not the biggest or the most successful, but the best quality – with that achieved, comes everything else. – Bruce Lee

Oftentimes business people see not a human being but a product, a commodity. However, you, as a human being, have the right to be the best goddamn product that ever walked and work so hard that the business people have to listen to you. – Bruce Lee

One should do nothing that is not natural or spontaneous; the important thing is not to strain in any way. – Bruce Lee

People have to grow by skillful frustrations, otherwise they have no incentive to develop their own means and ways of coping with the world. – Bruce Lee

Realizing that my emotions are both positive and negative, I will form daily habits which will encourage the development of the positive emotions and aid me in converting the negative emotions into some form of useful action. – Bruce Lee

Since life is an ever-evolving process, one should flow in this process and discover how to actualize and expand oneself. – Bruce Lee

So it is true that the more we values things, the less we value our self. The more we depend upon others for esteem, the less we are self-sufficient. – Bruce Lee

Stand at the neutral point between negative and positive, no longer directing one’s mind to anything. – Bruce Lee

Success means doing something sincerely and whole-heartedly. – Bruce Lee

The important thing for you is to be alert, to question, to find out, so that your own initiative may be awakened. – Bruce Lee

The main thing is not to expend one’s powers prematurely in an attempt to obtain by force something for which the time is not yet ripe. – Bruce Lee

This world is very practical. You do more work, you get rewarded more; you do less work, you lose your rewards. – Bruce Lee

Those who distrust the life-giving force within them, or who have none, are driven to compensate through such substitutes as money. – Bruce Lee

To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities. – Bruce Lee

Wait in the calm strength of patience – he that is strong should guard it with tenderness. – Bruce Lee

We realize that manipulation and control are not the ultimate joy of life – to become real, to learn to take a stand, to develop one’s center, to the support of our total personality, a release to spontaneity – yes, yes, yes! – Bruce Lee

We should devote ourselves to being self-sufficient and must not depend upon the external rating by others for our happiness. – Bruce Lee

When a man has confidence in himself, when all he wants in the world is to live out his destiny in freedom and purity, he comes to regard all those vastly overestimated and far too costly possessions as mere accessories, pleasant perhaps to have and make use of, but never essential. – Bruce Lee

When you are in the now, you can’t be anxious, because the excitement flows immediately into ongoing spontaneous activity. – Bruce Lee

You have that personal obligation to yourself to make yourself the best product possible according to your own terms. – Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee quotes

Personal Growth and Learning

A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough. – Bruce Lee

A self-willed man has no other aim than his own growth.

A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer. – Bruce Lee

Absorb what is useful, Discard what is not, Add what is uniquely your own. – Bruce Lee

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

An intelligent mind is one which is constantly learning, never concluding – styles and patterns have come to conclusion, therefore they have ceased to be intelligent. – Bruce Lee

As you think, so shall you become. – Bruce Lee

Be a calm beholder of what is happening around you. – Bruce Lee

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

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

Even today, I dare not say that I have reached a state of achievement. I’m still learning, for learning is boundless. – Bruce Lee

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

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

Growth is the constant discovery and understanding in one’s process of living. – Bruce Lee

I am improving and making new discoveries every day. If you don’t you are already crystallized and that’s it. – Bruce Lee

I am learning to understand rather than immediately judge or to be judged. 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. Fortunately for me, my self-knowled – Bruce Lee

I am learning to understand rather than immediately judge or to be judged. – Bruce Lee

I am learning to understand rather than immediately judge or to be judged. 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. Fortunately for me, my self-knowledge has transcended that and I have come to understand that life is best to be lived and not to be conceptualized. 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. I treasure the memory of the past misfortunes. It has added more to my bank of fortitude. – Bruce Lee

I am not teaching you anything. I just help you to explore yourself. – Bruce Lee

I dare not say that I have reached any state of achievement. I’m still learning, for learning is boundless. – Bruce Lee

I don’t drink nor smoke and those events are many times senseless. – Bruce Lee

I really dig exercise. When I’m jogging early in the morning, boy! It’s sure refreshing. – Bruce Lee

I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education. – Bruce Lee

I’m not a smoker because I don’t think putting smoke into your body is quite the thing to do. As for alcohol, I think it tastes awful. Don’t know why anyone should want to drink the stuff. – Bruce Lee

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

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

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

In order to taste my cup of water you must first empty your cup. – Bruce Lee

Jogging is not only a form of exercise to me, it is also a form of relaxation. It is my own hour every morning when I can be alone with my thoughts. – Bruce Lee

Knowing is not enough, you must apply; willing is not enough, you must do. – Bruce Lee

Knowledge will give you power, but character respect. – Bruce Lee

Learn it all, then forget it all. – Bruce Lee

Learn the principle, abide by the principle, and dissolve the principle. In short, enter a mold without being caged in it. Obey the principle without being bound by it. Learn, master, and achieve. – Bruce Lee

Learn the principles, abide by the principles, and then dissolve the principles. – Bruce Lee

Learning is a constant process of discovery – a process without end. – Bruce Lee

Man is constantly growing, and when he is bound by a set pattern of ideas, or “way” of doing things, that’s when he stops growing. – Bruce Lee

Only eat what your body requires, and don’t become carried away with foods that don’t benefit you. – Bruce Lee

People try to hold onto the sameness. This holding onto prevents growth. – Bruce Lee

Showing off is the fool’s idea of glory. – Bruce Lee

The enemy of development is this pain phobia – the unwillingness to do a tiny bit of suffering. – Bruce Lee

The fact is that we live only on such a small percentage of our potential: you do not allow yourself to be totally yourself, society does not allow you to be totally yourself. – Bruce Lee

The function and duty of a human being, a “quality” human being, that is, is the sincere and honest development of potential and self-actualization. – Bruce Lee

The growth aim is to lose more and more your “mind” and come more to your sense. To be more and more in touch with yourself and the world, instead of only in touch with the fantasies, prejudices, etc. – Bruce Lee

The height of cultivation runs to simplicity. Halfway cultivation runs to ornamentation. – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

The knowledge and skills you have achieved are meant to be forgotten so you can float comfortably in emptiness, without obstruction. – Bruce Lee

The poorer we are inwardly, the more we try to enrich ourselves outwardly. – Bruce Lee

The spirit of the individual is determined by his dominating thought habits. – Bruce Lee

There is no such word as “maturity”. Rather: maturing. Because when there is a maturity, there is a conclusion and a cessation. That’s “the end”. That’s when the coffin is closed. – Bruce Lee

This achieving the center, being grounded in one’s self, is about the highest state a human being can achieve. – Bruce Lee

Water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. – Bruce Lee

What is defeat? Nothing but education; nothing but the first step to something better. – Bruce Lee

What you habitually think largely determines what you will ultimately become. – Bruce Lee

While we are still alive, we have to discover ourselves, understand ourselves, and express ourselves. – Bruce Lee

Without frustration you will not discover that you might be able to do something on your own. We grow through conflict. – Bruce Lee

Your mind is the result of a thousand yesterdays – Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee quotes

On Power, Speed, and Flexibility

A powerful athlete is not a strong athlete, but one who can exert his strength quickly. Since power equals force times speed, if the athlete learns to make faster movements he increases his power, even though the contractile pulling strength of his muscles remains unchanged. Thus, a smaller man who can swing faster may hit as hard or as far as the heavier man who swings slowly. – Bruce Lee

Be pliable. When a man is living, he is soft and pliable; when he is dead, he becomes rigid. Pliability is life; rigidity is death, whether one speak’s of man’s body, his mind, or his spirit. – Bruce Lee

Do not be tense, just be ready, not thinking but not dreaming, not being set but being flexible. It is being wholly- Bruce Lee and quietly alive, aware and alert, ready for whatever may come. – Bruce Lee

Endurance is lost rapidly if one ceases to work at its maximum. – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. – Bruce Lee

Let things be what they are, move like water, rest like a mirror, respond like an echo, pass quickly like the nonexistent, and be quiet as purity. – Bruce Lee

Moving, be like water. Still, be like a mirror. Respond like an echo. – Bruce Lee

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

One should be in harmony with, not in opposition to, the strength and force of the opposition. This means that one should do nothing that is not natural or spontaneous; the important thing is not to strain in any way. – Bruce Lee

Open yourself and flow, my friend. Flow in the total openness of the living moment. – Bruce Lee

Please observe the adaptability of water. If you squeeze it fast, the water will flow out quickly. If you squeeze it slowly, it will come out slowly. – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be. – Bruce Lee

The method for health promotion is based on water, as flowing water never grows stale. The idea is not to overdevelop or to overexert, but to normalize the function of the body. – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

Whatever your problems happen to be in the future, remember well that they cannot remain stationary but must move together with your living spirit. Otherwise, you will drift into artificiality or attempt to solidify the ever-flowing. To avoid that, you must change and be flexible. Remember, the usefulness of a cup is in its emptiness. – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

You can never step in the same river twice, my friend. Like flowing water, life is perpetual movement. There is nothing fixed. – Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee Quotes

On Knowledge and Wisdom

Knowing is not enough, You must apply – Bruce Lee

Knowledge , surely, is always of time , whereas knowing is not of time. Knowledge is from a source, from accumulation, from conclusion, while knowing is a movement. – Bruce Lee

Knowledge earns you power, character earns you respect. – Bruce Lee

Knowledge is of the past; learning is in the present, a constant movement, in relationship with the outward things, without the past. – Bruce Lee

Knowledge will give you power, but character respect. – Bruce Lee

A child must be taught early that money is only a means, a type of usefulness, an implement. Like all instruments, it has certain purposes, but it will not do everything. One must learn how to use it, what it will do, but above all what it will not do. – Bruce Lee

A good teacher protects his pupils from his own influence. It is easy to teach one to be skillful, but it is difficult to teach him his own attitude. Each moment during teaching requires a full alert and sensitive mind that is constantly adjusting and constantly changing. – Bruce Lee

A teacher is never a giver of truth; he is a guide, a pointer to the truth that each student must find for himself. – Bruce Lee

A teacher, a good teacher that is, functions as a pointer to truth, but not a giver of truth. He employs a minimum of form to lead his student to the formless. Furthermore, he points out the importance of being able to enter a mold without being imprisoned by it, or to follow the principles without being bound by them. – Bruce Lee

Above all, a teacher does not depend on a method and drill systematic routines; instead, he studies each individual student and awakens him to explore himself, both internally and externally, and ultimately integrate himself with his being. – Bruce Lee

After all, all knowledge simply means self-knowledge. – Bruce Lee

All types of knowledge, ultimately mean self knowledge. – Bruce Lee

Bear in mind that I seek neither your approval nor to influence you. So do not make up your mind as to “this is this” or “that is that”. I will be more than satisfied if you begin to learn to investigate everything yourself from now on. – Bruce Lee

But then, how important is school? I barely made passing grades while attending the University of Washington. – Bruce Lee

Education consists in cultivation of intelligence (not cunning, passing exams, etc.). – Bruce Lee

Education: to discover but not merely to imitate. – Bruce Lee

Fear comes from uncertainty; we can eliminate the fear within us when we know ourselves better. As the great Sun Tzu said: When you know yourself and your opponent, you will win every time. When you know yourself but not your opponent, you will win one and lose one. However, when you do not know yourself or your opponent, you will be imperiled every time. – Bruce Lee

Fluidity is the way to an empty mind. You must free your ambitious mind and learn the art of dying. – Bruce Lee

Give recognition where it is due. Complements definitely stimulate more effort and desire to improve. Be generous with honest praising. – Bruce Lee

I am constantly discovering, expanding, finding the cause of my ignorance, in martial art and especially in life. In short, to be real… – Bruce Lee

I believe in teaching just a few, as it requires constant alert observations on each individual in order to establish a true, direct relationship. – Bruce Lee

I never believe in large organizations, with their domestic and foreign branches, affiliations, etc. – Bruce Lee

Learning is important but do not become its slave. Above all, do not harbor anything external and superfluous, the mind is the primary. – Bruce Lee

Learning is never cumulative, it is a movement of knowing which has no beginning and no end. – Bruce Lee

Learning techniques without inward experiencing can only lead to superficiality. – Bruce Lee

Like everyone else, you want to learn the way to win. But never to accept the way to lose. To accept defeat – to learn to die – is be liberated from it. – Bruce Lee

Look for ways to raise the pupil’s mind above duality, to the absolute awareness which transcends it. – Bruce Lee

Real knowledge breeds “body feel” and personal expression; surface knowledge breeds mechanical conditioning and imposing limitation and squelches creativity. – Bruce Lee

Relationship is understanding. It is a process of self-revelation. Relationship is the mirror in which you discover yourself — to be is to be related. – Bruce Lee

Self-education makes great men. – Bruce Lee

Self-knowledge involves relationship. To know oneself is to study one self 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. – Bruce Lee

Such teaching, which is really no teaching, requires a sensitive mind with great flexibility and is difficult to come by nowadays. – Bruce Lee

The biggest adversary in our life is ourselves. We are what we are, in a sense, because of the dominating thoughts we allow to gather in our head. All concepts of self-improvement, all actions and paths we take, relate solely to our abstract image of ourselves. Life is limited only by how we really see ourselves and feel about our being. A great deal of pure self-knowledge and inner understanding allows us to lay an all-important foundation for the structure of our life from which we can perceive and take the right avenues. – Bruce Lee

The knowledge and skill you have achieved are after all meant to be “forgotten” so you can float in emptiness without obstruction and comfortably. – Bruce Lee

To become different from what we are, we must have some awareness of what we are. – Bruce Lee

To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person. – Bruce Lee

To reach the masses, some sort of a system is required; as a result, the members are conditioned according to that system. – Bruce Lee

To understand, surely, there must be a state of choiceless awareness in which there is no sense of comparison or condemnation, no waiting for further development on the thing we are talking about in order to agree or disagree – don’t start from a conclusion above all. – Bruce Lee

Understanding comes about through feeling, from moment to moment in the mirror of relationship. – Bruce Lee

What is the point of education if you in yourself are not intelligent? If you are not creative? – Bruce Lee

What we are after is the root and not the branches. The root is real knowledge; the branches are surface knowledge. – Bruce Lee

When we hold to the core, the opposite sides are the same if they are seen from the center of the moving circle. I do not experience; I am experience. I am not the subject of experience; I am that experience. I am awareness. Nothing else can be I or can exist. – Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee quotes5

Bruce Lee quotes

On Simplicity

Simplicity is the key to brilliance. – Bruce Lee

Simplicity is the last step of art and the beginning of nature. – Bruce Lee

Simplicity is the shortest distance between two points. – Bruce Lee

Simplicity of expression rather than complexity of form. – Bruce Lee

It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential. – Bruce Lee

One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity. – Bruce Lee

Out of chaos, find simplicity, From discord, find harmony. – Bruce Lee

The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity … the ability to express the utmost with the minimum. It is the halfway cultivation that leads to ornamentation. – Bruce Lee

To many, the word “success” seems to be a paradise, but now that I’m in the midst of it, it is nothing but circumstances that seem to complicate my innate feeling toward simplicity and privacy. – Bruce Lee

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 spend or waste, and it is our decision what to do with it. But once passed, it is gone forever. – Bruce Lee

True refinement seeks simplicity. – Bruce Lee

When there is freedom from mechanical conditioning, there is simplicity. – Bruce Lee

When there is freedom from mechanical conditioning, there is simplicity. The classical man is just a bundle of routine, ideas and tradition. If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow – you are not understanding yourself. – Bruce Lee

On Time

Time means a lot to me because you see I am also a learner and am often lost in the joy of forever developing. – Bruce Lee

Time means a lot to me because, you see, I, too, am also a learner and am often lost in the joy of forever developing and simplifying. If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of. – Bruce Lee

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

Stop wasting time in playing a role or a concept. Instead, learn to ACTUALIZE YOURSELF, your potential. – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

The timeless moment. — The ‘moment’- Bruce Lee has no yesterday or tomorrow. It is not the result of thought and therefore has no time. – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

On Truth

Truth cannot be structured or confined. – Bruce Lee

Truth cannot be structured or confined. When there is no center and no circumference, then there is truth. – Bruce Lee

Truth comes when your mind and heart are purged of all sense of striving and you are no longer trying to become somebody; it is there when the mind is very quiet, listening timelessly to everything. – Bruce Lee

Truth has no path. Truth is living and, therefore, changing. – Bruce Lee

Truth has no path. Truth is living and, therefore, changing. Awareness is without choice, without demand, without anxiety; in that state of mind, there is perception. To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person. Awareness has no frontier; it is giving of your whole being, without exclusion. – Bruce Lee

’What is’ is more important than ‘what should be.’ Too many people are looking at ‘what is’ from a position of thinking ‘what should be’. – Bruce Lee

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

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. – Bruce Lee

How can there be methods and systems to arrive at something that is living? To that which is static, fixed, dead, there can be a way, a definite path, but not to that which is living. Do not reduce reality to a static thing and then invent methods to reach it. …Truth has no path. Truth is living and, therefore, changing. It has no resting place, no form, no organized institution, no philosophy. When you see that, you will understand that this living thing is also what you are. You cannot express and be alive through static, put-together form, through stylized movement. – Bruce Lee

If you don’t want to slip up tomorrow, speak the truth today. – Bruce Lee

It’s not what you give, it’s the way you give it. – Bruce Lee

Know the difference between a catastrophe and an inconvenience. — To realize that it’s just an inconvenience, that it is not a catastrophe, but just an unpleasantness, is part of coming into your own, part of waking up. – Bruce Lee

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. – Bruce Lee

Obey the principles without being bound by them. – Bruce Lee

One must be truthful and honest in his approach; a constant independent inquiry and not blindly following a certain blue print laid down by others – Bruce Lee

Showing off is the fool’s idea of glory. – Bruce Lee

Take no thought of who is right or wrong or who is better than. Be not for or against. – Bruce Lee

The truth is outside of all fixed patterns. – Bruce Lee

To me defeat in anything is merely temporary. Defeat simply tells me that something is wrong in my doing; it is a path leading to success and truth. – Bruce Lee

To tell the truth, I could beat anybody in the world. – Bruce Lee

What is real is seeing the truth instantaneously, because truth has no future. – Bruce Lee

On Awareness and Self-reflection

“A man is literally what he thinks”. This might be a shocking statement, but everything is a state of mind. – Bruce Lee

A concentrated mind is not an attentive mind, but a mind that is in a state of awareness can concentrate. Awareness is never exclusive, it includes everything. – Bruce Lee

All thought is partial, is can never be total. Thought is the response of memory, and memory is always partial, because memory is the result of experience; so thought is the reaction of a mind which is conditioned by experience. – Bruce Lee

Anxiety is the gap between the “now” and the “then”. SO if you are in the “now”, you can’t be anxious, because your excitement flows immediately into ongoing spontaneous activity. – Bruce Lee

As for the future, that is a time and a place where every worthy ambition you posses is within your grasp. – Bruce Lee

Awareness has no frontier; it is giving of your whole being, without exclusion. – Bruce Lee

Awareness is without choice, without demand, without anxiety; in that state of mind, there is perception. – Bruce Lee

Be “self-aware” rather than a repetitious robot. – Bruce Lee

Choiceless awareness – do not condemn, do not justify. Awareness works only if it’s allowed free play without interference. – Bruce Lee

Concentration is a narrowing down of the mind – but we are concerned with the total process of living, and to concentrate exclusively on any particular aspect of life, belittles life. – Bruce Lee

Concentration is the root of all the higher abilities in man. – Bruce Lee

Do think of the past in terms of those memories of events and accomplishments which were pleasant, rewarding, and satisfying. – Bruce Lee

Don’t think – feel. Feeling exists here and now when not interrupted and dissected by ideas or concepts. – Bruce Lee

Drop and dissolve inner blockage. A conditioned mind is never a free mind. Wipe away and dissolve all its experience and be “born afresh”. – Bruce Lee

Emotions – the most important motors of our behavior. – Bruce Lee

Every man is what he is because of the dominating thoughts which he permits to occupy his mind. – Bruce Lee

Here is natural instinct, and there is control. You are to combine the two in harmony. If you have one to the extreme you will be very unscientific; if you have another to the extreme, you become a mechanical man, no longer human being. – Bruce Lee

In a time when everything goes well, my mind is pampered with enjoyment, possessiveness, etc. Only in times of adversity, privation, or mishap, does my mind function and think properly of my state. This close examination of self strengthens my mind and leads me to understand and be understood. – Bruce Lee

It is the ego that stands rigidly against things coming from the outside, and it is this “ego rigidity” that makes it impossible for us to accept everything that confronts us. – Bruce Lee

It’s not what you give, it’s the way you give it. – Bruce Lee

Just as the maintaining of good health may require the taking of unpleasant medicine, so the condition of being able to do the things we enjoy often requires the performance of a few we don’t. – Bruce Lee

Just watch choicelessly and in the watching lies the wonder. It is not an ideal, an end to be desired. The watching is a state of “being” already, not a state of “becoming”. – Bruce Lee

Let the spirit out – Discard all thoughts of reward, all hopes of praise and fears of blame, all awareness of one’s bodily self. And, finally closing the avenues of sense perception, let the spirit out, as it will. – Bruce Lee

Logic’s central problem is the distinction between correct and incorrect argument. – Bruce Lee

Mans’s mind and his behavior are one, his inner thought and outer expression cannot contradict each other. Therefore a man should set up his right principle, and this right mind (principle) will influence his action. – Bruce Lee

Not conviction, not method, but perception is the way of truth. It is a state of effortless awareness, pliable awareness, choiceless awareness. – Bruce Lee

Observe what is with undivided awareness. – Bruce Lee

One great cause of failure is lack on concentration. – Bruce Lee

One should get rid of this obtruding self – or ego-consciousness – and apply himself to the work to be done as if nothing particular were taking place at the moment. – Bruce Lee

Philosophy is itself the disease for which it pretends to be the cure: the wise man does not pursue wisdom but lives his life, and therein precisely does his wisdom lie. – Bruce Lee

Self-Conquest is the greatest of victories. Mighty is he who conquers himself. – Bruce Lee

Self-knowledge is the basis of jeet kune do because it is effective not only for the individual’s martial art but also for his life as a human being. – Bruce Lee

Self-will seems to be the only virtue that takes no account of man-made laws. – Bruce Lee

Sharpen the psychic power of seeing in order to act immediately in accordance with what it sees. – Bruce Lee

Shut down all forms of distraction. Eliminate all opportunities for rivalry. – Bruce Lee

Sincere thought means thought of concentration (quiet awareness). The thought of a distracted mind cannot be sincere. – Bruce Lee

So it is a successful combination of both. It is not pure naturalness, or pure unnaturalness. The ideal is unnatural naturalness or natural unnaturalness. – Bruce Lee

Suffering itself does less afflict the senses than the anticipation of suffering. – Bruce Lee

The mind must be wide open in order to function freely in thought. For a limited mind cannot think freely. – Bruce Lee

The moment we stop analyzing and let go, we can start really seeing, feeling – as one whole. – Bruce Lee

The more and more you are aware, the more and more you shed from day to day what you have learned so that your mind is always fresh, uncontaminated by previous conditioning. – Bruce Lee

The past is no more, the future is not yet. “Now” includes the balance of being here, experiencing, involvement, phenomenon, awareness. – Bruce Lee

The present? Well, think of it in terms of challenges and opportunities, and the rewards available for the application of your talents and energies. – Bruce Lee

The subconscious mind favors thoughts inspired by emotional feelings. It also gives preference to dominating thoughts. – Bruce Lee

There is no need to exert oneself in special cultivation outside the daily round of living. – Bruce Lee

There is nothing that will enable you to pursue your course in greater peace than the patient bearing of insult. Patience is not passive, on the contrary it is concentrated strength. – Bruce Lee

Thoughts are things, in the sense that thought can be translated into its physical equivalent. – Bruce Lee

To be on the alert means to be deadly serious; to be deadly serious means to be sincere to oneself, and it is sincerity that finally leads to the Way. – Bruce Lee

To bring the mind into sharp focus and to make it alert so that it can immediately intuit truth, which is everywhere, the mind must be emancipated from old habits, prejudices, restrictive thought process, and even ordinary thought itself. – Bruce Lee

To understand and live now, there must be dying to everything of yesterday. Die continually to every gained experience – be in a state of choiceless awareness of what is. – Bruce Lee

To understand your fear is the beginning of really seeing. – Bruce Lee

When my tutor assisted me in choosing my courses, he advised me to take up philosophy because of my inquisitiveness. He said, “philosophy will tell you what man lives for”. – Bruce Lee

When you are awake, you must be fully awake and conscious about everything. This is a wonderful exercise. – Bruce Lee

Zen is not “attained” by mirror-wiping mediation, but by “self-forgetfulness in the existential ‘present’ of life here and now.” We do not “come”, we “are.” Don’t strive to become, but be. – Bruce Lee

On Spirituality, Faith, and Religion

All in all, the goal of my planning and doing is to find the true meaning of life – peace of mind. In order to achieve this peace of mind, the teaching of detachment of Taoism and Zen proved to be valuable. – Bruce Lee

Are they not trouble enough in themselves without adding the aggravation of worry to them? – Bruce Lee

Awakening, self-realization, and seeing into one’s own being – these are synonymous. – Bruce Lee

Completeness, the now, is an absence of the conscious mind to strive to divide that which is indivisible. – Bruce Lee

Discard all thoughts of reward, all hopes of praise and fears of blame, all awareness of one’s bodily. And, finally closing the avenues of sense perception, let the spirit out, as it will. – Bruce Lee

Do not have an attitude, open yourself and focus yourself and express yourself. Reject external form that fails to express internal reality. – Bruce Lee

Do not pray for an easy life. Pray for a difficult on with the strength to endure it. – Bruce Lee

Do not seek “it”, for it will come when least expected. Let go. Don’t seek or run away. – Bruce Lee

Faith backed by action is applied faith. – Bruce Lee

Faith can be induced or created by affirmation or repeated instructions to the subconscious mind through the principle of autosuggestion. This is the only known method of voluntary development of the emotion of faith. – Bruce Lee

Faith is a state of mind that can be conditioned through self-discipline. Faith will accomplish. – Bruce Lee

Faith makes it possible to achieve that which man’s mind can conceive and believe. – Bruce Lee

Faith without work is death. – Bruce Lee

I cannot and will not “scoff” at faith when reason seems to be such a barren thing. – Bruce Lee

I don’t like to wear stuffy clothes and be at places where everyone is trying to impress each other. – Bruce Lee

I feel I have 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. – Bruce Lee

I have no religion whatsoever. I believe that life is a process and that man is a self-made product. The spirit of the individual is determined by his dominating thought habits. – Bruce Lee

If all the religions were one, the world would be united in brotherhood. – Bruce Lee

If he knows how to meet fate with an attitude of acceptance, he is sure to find the right guidance. – Bruce Lee

In Buddhism there is no place for using effort. Just be ordinary and nothing special. Eat your food, move your bowels, pass water, and when you’re tired go and lie down. The ignorant will laugh at me, but the wise will understand. – Bruce Lee

In ordinary life wu-wei is expressed in “producing and rearing things without taking possession of them” and “doing work but not taking pride in it” – thus the natural “way” stands in complement to all artificial ways such as regulation, ceremonies, etc. This is the reason why the Taoists don’t like formalities and artificialities. – Bruce Lee

It is a well-known fact that one comes, finally, to believe whatever one repeats to one’s self, whether the statement be true or false. If a man repeats a lie over and over, he will eventually accept the lie as truth. – Bruce Lee

It is not his task to try to lead – that would only make him lose the Way – but to let himself be led. – Bruce Lee

Live content with small means; seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion. Be worthy, not respectable, wealthy, not rich; study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never. In a word, let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. – Bruce Lee

Matter and energy, Yang and Yin, heaven and earth, are conceived of as essentially one or as two coexistent poles of one indivisible whole. – Bruce Lee

One who is possessed by worry not only lacks the poise to solve his own problems, but by his nervousness and irritability creates additional problems for those around him. – Bruce Lee

Only actions give to life its strength, as only moderation gives it its charm. – Bruce Lee

Only sober moderation lasts, and that persists through all time. Only the midpart of anything is preserved because the pendulum of life must have balance, and the midpart is the balance. – Bruce Lee

Preserve yourself by following the natural bends of things and don’t interfere. – Bruce Lee

Religions divide people, just as styles [in martial arts] divide people. – Bruce Lee

Remember never to assert your self against nature; never be in frontal opposition to any problems, but to control it by swinging with it. – Bruce Lee

Serene, detached from all results, ready to fight or run, to win or lose, and always ready to laugh at all things, take whatever comes. – Bruce Lee

Some people fight with others because they believe in different religions. If, however, they only gave the matter a bit of thought, they would never fight for such a foolish cause. – Bruce Lee

The Chinese conceived the entire universe as activated by two principles, the Yang and the Yin, the positive and the negative, and they considered that nothing that exists, either animate or so-called inanimate, does so except by virtue of the ceaseless interplay of these two forces. – Bruce Lee

The law of non-interference with nature is a basic principle of Taoism [stating] that one should be in harmony with, not rebellion against, the fundamental laws of the universe. – Bruce Lee

The mark of genius is the capacity to see and to express what is simple, simply! The really great Zen artist states the utmost in the minimum of lines or effort. – Bruce Lee

The source of trouble in religion is to attribute to the cause with doctrines, rules, and prejudices. – Bruce Lee

The stillness in stillness is not the real stillness; only when there is stillness in movement does the universal rhythm manifest.

The superior man lets himself be guided; he does not go ahead blindly, but learns from the situation what is demanded of him and then follows. – Bruce Lee

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

There is “what is” only when there is no comparison at all, and to live with what is, is to be peaceful. – Bruce Lee

There will be calmness when one is free from external objects and is not perturbed. – Bruce Lee

To be perfectly frank, I really do not believe in God. If there is a God, he is within. – Bruce Lee

When one wishes to expand, one must first contract. When one wishes to be strong, one must first be weak. When one wishes to take, one must first give. Everything in this world has the alternative of existence and nonexistence (positive and negative). – Bruce Lee

Your child is ill you say, or you cannot pay the rent? Very well, accept these facts and face them. – Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee Quotes

From Wikiquote

  • Nowadays you don’t go around on the street kicking people, punching people — because if you do (makes gun shape with hand), well that’s it — I don’t care how good you are.
    • Bruce Lee interview on the Pierre Berton Show (1971)
  • When I look around I always learn something, and that is to be yourself always, express yourself, and have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate him. Now that seems to be the prevalent thing happening in Hong Kong, like they always copy mannerism, but they never start from the root of his being and that is, how can I be me?
    • Bruce Lee
  • You know what I want to think of myself? As a human being. Because, I mean I don’t want to be like “As Confucius say,” but under the sky, under the heavens there is but one family. It just so happens man that people are different.
    • Bruce Lee: The Lost Interview (1971)
  • When you’re talking about fighting, as it is, with no rules, well then, baby you’d better train every part of your body!
    • Bruce Lee: The Lost Interview (1971)
  • All types of knowledge, ultimately mean self knowledge.
    • Bruce Lee: The Lost Interview (1971)
  • Boards don’t hit back.
    • As “Mr. Lee” in Enter the Dragon (1973); Bruce Lee’s character said this to Robert Wall’s character “O’Hara”, after the latter had broken a board in the air with his fist in an act of attempted intimidation.
  • A good martial artist does not become tense, but ready. Not thinking, yet not dreaming. Ready for whatever may come. When the opponent expands, I contract; and when he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity, “I” do not hit, “it” hits all by itself.
    • Bruce Lee: Enter the Dragon (1973); In a conversation with an older member of the temple.
  • Don’t think, feel….it is like a finger pointing a way to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory!
    • Bruce Lee: Enter the Dragon (1973); In a training session with one of the temple students.
  • Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system.
    • As quoted in “From Wing Chun to Jeet Kune Do” by Jesse R. Glover in Black Belt Vol. 31, No. 9 (September 1993), p. 35
  • Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.
    • As quoted in Bruce Lee : Fighting Spirit (1994) by Bruce Thomas (1994), p. 44
  • Forget about winning and losing; forget about pride and pain. Let your opponent graze your skin and you smash into his flesh; let him smash into your flesh and you fracture his bones; let him fracture your bones and you take his life. Do not be concerned with escaping safely — lay your life before him.
    • As quoted in Bruce Lee : Artist of Life (1999) edited by John R. Little, p. 192
  • There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.
    • As quoted in The Art of Expressing the Human Body (1998) edited by John R. Little, p. 23
  • Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in 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: A Warrior’s Journey (2000); here, Lee was reciting lines he wrote for his short lived role on the TV series Longstreet.
  • For a moment
    The surrounding utters no sound.
    Time ceases.
    The Paradise of Dreams come true.

    • “For A Moment”, Bruce Lee’s hand-written poem, from Bruce Lee Papers — as quoted in Bruce Lee: Artist of Life (2001) edited by John Little, p. 100
  • When I look around, I always learn something: to be always yourself, and to express yourself, to have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.
    • Bruce Lee radio interview with Ted Thomas 

Tao of Jeet Kune Do (1975)

  • Jeet Kune Do favors formlessness so that it can assume all forms and since Jeet Kune Do has no style, it can fit in with all styles. As a result, Jeet Kune Do utilizes all ways and is bound by none and, likewise, uses any techniques which serve its end.
    • p. 12
  • When there is freedom from mechanical conditioning, there is simplicity. The classical man is just a bundle of routine, ideas and tradition. If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow — you are not understanding yourself.
  • Do not deny the classical approach, simply as a reaction, or you will have created another pattern and trapped yourself there.
    • p. 25
  • Truth has no path. Truth is living and, therefore, changing. Awareness is without choice, without demand, without anxiety; in that state of mind, there is perception. To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person. Awareness has no frontier; it is giving of your whole being, without exclusion.
    • This statement probably derives from a famous one of Jiddu Krishnamurti: “Truth is a pathless land.

The Warrior Within : The Philosophies of Bruce Lee (1996)

  • To contemplate a thing implies maintaining oneself OUTSIDE it, resolved to keep a distance between it and ourselves.
    • p. 30
  • Running water never grows stale. So you just have to ‘keep on flowing.’
    • p. 48
  • If one loves, one need not have an ideology of love.
    • p. 64
  • The happiness that is derived from excitement is like a brilliant fire — soon it will go out. Before we married, we never had the chance to go out to nightclubs. We only spent our nights watching TV and chatting. Many young couples live a very exciting life when they are in love. So, when they marry, and their lives are reduced to calmness and dullness, they will feel impatient and will drink the bitter cup of a sad marriage.
    • p. 66
  • Of course you’re there. Death is always there. So why was I afraid? Your leap is swift. Your claws are sharp and merciful. What can you take from me which is not already yours? . . . Everything I have done until now has been fruitless. It has led to nothing. There was no other path except that it led to nothing — and before me now there is only one real fact — Death. The truth I have been seeking — this truth is Death. Yet Death is also a seeker. Forever seeking me. So — we have met at last. And I am prepared. I am at peace. Because I will conquer death with death.
    • p. 77, spoken by Cord, the protagonist of the unproduced film The Silent Flute
  • Neither. I think of myself as a human being.
    • p. 87, when asked if he thought of himself as Chinese or American
  • The Three Stages of Cultivation — The first is the primitive stage. It is a stage of original ignorance in which a person knows nothing about the art of combat. In a fight, he simply blocks and strikes instinctively without a concern for what is right and wrong. Of course, he may not be so-called scientific, but, nevertheless, being himself, his attacks or defenses are fluid. The second stage — the stage of sophistication, or mechanical stage — begins when a person starts his training. He is taught the different ways of blocking, striking, kicking, standing, breathing, and thinking — unquestionably, he has gained the scientific knowledge of combat, but unfortunately his original self and sense of freedom are lost, and his action no longer flows by itself. His mind tends to freeze at different movements for calculations and analysis, and even worse, he might be called “intellectually bound” and maintain himself outside of the actual reality. The third stage — the stage of artlessness, or spontaneous stage — occurs when, after years of serious and hard practice, the student realizes that after all, gung fu is nothing special. And instead of trying to impose on his mind, he adjusts himself to his opponent like water pressing on an earthen wall. It flows through the slightest crack. There is nothing to try to do but try to be purposeless and formless, like water. All of his classical techniques and standard styles are minimized, if not wiped out, and nothingness prevails. He is no longer confined.
    • p. 108-109
  • Using no way as way; Having no limitation as limitation.
    • p. 112, “To further emphasize this principle [of transcending all styles and forms], Lee placed Chinese characters around the circumference of his jeet kune do emblem that read”
  • In Jeet Kune Do, it’s not how much you have learned, but how much you have absorbed from what you have learned. It is not how much fixed knowledge you can accumulate, but what you can apply livingly that counts. ‘Being’ is more valued than “doing”.
    • p. 117
  • You have to keep your reflexes so that when you want it — it’s there. When you want to move — you are moving. And when you move, you are determined to move! Not accepting even one inch less than 100 percent of your honest feelings. Not anything less than that. So that is the type of thing you have to train yourself into. To become one with your feelings so that, when you think — it is.
    • p. 126
  • In life, what more can you ask for than to be real? To fulfill one’s potential instead of wasting energy on [attempting to] actualize one’s dissipating image, which is not real and an expenditure of one’s vital energy. 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.
    • p. 126
  • None whatsoever.
    • When asked what major religion he was affiliated with in 1972 by journalist Alex Ben Block, p. 128
  • To be perfectly frank, I really do not.
    • When asked if he believed in God, p. 128
  • I believe in sleeping.
    • When asked by his brother Robert if he believed in God, p. 129
  • There is no such thing as maturity. There is instead an ever-evolving process of maturing. Because when there is a maturity, there is a conclusion and a cessation. That’s the end. That’s when the coffin is closed. You might be deteriorating physically in the long process of aging, but your personal process of daily discovery is ongoing. You continue to learn more and more about yourself every day.
    • p. 131
  • I have come to discover through earnest personal experience and dedicated learning that ultimately the greatest help is self-help; that there is no other help but self-help— doing one’s best, dedicating one’s self wholeheartedly to a given task, which happens to have no end but is an ongoing process. I have done a lot during these years of my process. A swell in my process, I have changed from self-image actualization to self-actualization, from blindly following propaganda, organized truths, etc. to searching internally for the cause of my ignorance.
    • p. 133
  • Whether or not we can get together, remember well that art “lives” where absolute freedom is. With all the training thrown to nowhere, with a mind (if there is such a verbal substance) perfectly unaware of its own working, with the “self” vanishing nowhere, the art of JKD attains its perfection.
    • p. 156
  • You must have complete determination. The worst opponent you can come across is one whose aim has become an obsession. For instance, if a man has decided that he is going to bite off your nose no matter what happens to him in the process, the chances are he will succeed in doing it. He may be severely beaten up, too, but that will not stop him from carrying out his objective. That is the real fighter.
    • p. 161
  • Walk on.
    • p. 174

Jeet Kune Do (1997)

  • Jeet Kune Do rejects all restrictions imposed by form and formality and emphasizes the clever use of the mind and body to defend and attack.
    • Part 2 “Jeet Kune Do — The Fundamentals”
  • An instructor should exemplify the things he seeks to teach. It will be of great advantage if you yourself can do all you ask of your students and more.
    • Part 5 “On training in Jeet Kune Do”
  • As an instructor, you must be able to distinguish between poor performance caused by lack of ability or aptitude on the part of the student and poor performance caused by lack of effort. You should treat the first with patience and the latter with firmness. You must never apply sarcasm and ridicule.
    • Part 5 “On training in Jeet Kune Do”
  • Even today, I dare not say that I have reached a state of achievement. I’m still learning, for learning is boundless.
    • Part 6 “Beyond System — The Ultimate Source of Jeet Kune Do”
  • The man who is really serious, with the urge to find out what truth is, has no style at all. He lives only in what is.
    • Part 6 “Beyond System — The Ultimate Source of Jeet Kune Do”
  • Take inventory of everyone with whom you have contact.
    • Part 6 “Beyond System — The Ultimate Source of Jeet Kune Do”
 
  • Faith is a state of mind that can be conditioned through self-discipline. Faith will accomplish.
    • Part 6 “Beyond System — The Ultimate Source of Jeet Kune Do”
  • Faith makes it possible to achieve that which man’s mind can conceive and believe.
    • Part 6 “Beyond System — The Ultimate Source of Jeet Kune Do”
  • Possession of anything begins in the mind.
    • Part 6 “Beyond System — The Ultimate Source of Jeet Kune Do”
  • Thoughts are things.
    • Part 6 “Beyond System — The Ultimate Source of Jeet Kune Do”
  • Make at least one definite move daily toward your goal.
    • Part 6 “Beyond System — The Ultimate Source of Jeet Kune Do”
  • The intangible represents the real power of the universe. It is the seed of the tangible.
    • Part 6 “Beyond System — The Ultimate Source of Jeet Kune Do”
  • The spirit of the individual is determined by his dominating thought habits.
    • Part 6 “Beyond System — The Ultimate Source of Jeet Kune Do”

Striking Thoughts (2000)

Part I : On First Principles

  • Emptiness the starting point. — In order to taste my cup of water you must first empty your cup. My friend, drop all your preconceived and fixed ideas and be neutral. Do you know why this cup is useful? Because it is empty.
    • p. 2
  • Life is wide, limitless. There is no border, no frontier.
    • p 2
  • Life lives; and in the living flow, no questions are raised. The reason is that life is a living now! So, in order to live life whole-heartedly, the answer is life simply is.
    • p. 3
  • The meaning of life is that it is to be lived, and it is not to be traded and conceptualized and squeezed into a pattern of systems.
    • p. 3
  • The aphorism “as a man thinketh in his heart so is he” contains the secret of life.
    • p. 4; Lee here quotes Proverbs 23:7 “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
  • Meaning is found in relationship. — Meaning is the relationship of the foreground figure to the background.
    • p. 4
  • Life is never stagnation. It is constant movement, unrhythmic movement, as we as constant change. Things live by moving and gain strength as they go.
    • p. 5
  • Life itself is your teacher, and you are in a state of constant learning.
    • p. 5
  • The primary reality is not what I think, but that I live, for those also live who do not think.
    • p. 7
  • The timeless moment. — The “moment” has no yesterday or tomorrow. It is not the result of thought and therefore has no time.
    • p. 9
  • Knowledge, surely, is always of time, whereas knowing is not of time. Knowledge is from a source, from accumulation, from conclusion, while knowing is a movement.
    • P. 9
  • To realize freedom the mind has to learn to look at life, which is a vast movement, without the bondage of time, for freedom lies beyond the field of consciousness — care for watching, but don’t stop and interpret “I am free,” then you’re living in a memory of something that has gone before.
    • p. 9
  • 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 spend or waste, and it is our decision what to do with it. But once passed, it is gone forever.
    • p. 10
  • Time means a lot to me because, you see, I, too, am also a learner and am often lost in the joy of forever developing and simplifying. If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.
    • p. 10; Here Lee paraphrases a much older English proverb: If you care for life, don’t waste your time; for time is what life is made of. (as quoted in Bordighera and the Western Riviera (1883) by Frederick Fitzroy Hamilton, p. 189).
  • Be aware of doing your best to understand the ROOT in life, and realize the DIRECT and the INDIRECT are in fact a complementary WHOLE. It is to see things as they are and not to become attached to anything — to be unconscious meant to be innocent of the working of a relative (empirical) mind — where there is no abiding of thought anywhere on anything — this is being unbound. This not abiding anywhere is the root of our life.
    • p. 11
  • Concentration is the ROOT of all the higher abilities in man.
    • p. 11
  • Seek to understand the root. — It is futile to argue as to which single leaf, which design of branch, or which attractive flower you like; when you understand the root, you understand all its blossoming.
    • p. 11
  • What we are after is the ROOT and not the branches. The root is the real knowledge; the branches are surface knowledge. Real knowledge breeds “body feel” and personal expression; surface knowledge breeds mechanical conditioning and imposing limitation and squelches creativity.
    • p. 11

Part II : On Being Human

  • 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. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Moving, be like water. Still, be like a mirror. Respond like an echo.
    • p. 13; Unsourced variant: Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way round or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.
  • 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.
    • p. 13
  • 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.
    • p. 13
  • The Now is indivisible. — Completeness, the now, is an absence of the conscious mind to strive to divide that which is indivisible. For once the completeness of things is taken apart it is no longer complete.
    • p. 15
  • The Western approach to reality is mostly through theory, and theory begins by denying reality — to talk about reality, to go around reality, to catch anything that attracts our sense-intellect and abstract it away from reality itself. Thus philosophy begins by saying that the outside world is not a basic fact, that its existence can be doubted and that every proposition in which the reality of the outside world is affirmed is not an evident proposition but one that needs to be divided, dissected and analyzed. It is to stand consciously aside and try to square a circle.
    • p. 15 – 16
  • In Science we have finally come back to the pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus, who said everything is flow, flux, process. There are no “things.” NOTHINGNESS in Eastern language is “no-thingness”. We in the West think of nothingness as a void, an emptiness, an nonexistence. In Eastern philosophy and modern physical science, nothingness — no-thingness — is a form of process, ever moving.
    • p. 16
  • What IS is more important than WHAT SHOULD BE. To many people are looking at “what is” from a position of thinking “what should be.”
    • p. 16
  • Conditioning obstructs our view of reality. — We do not see IT in its suchness because of our indoctrination, crooked and twisted.
    • p. 19
  • True thusness is without defiling thought; it cannot be known through conception and thought.
  • Reality is apparent when one ceases to compare. — There is “what is” only when there is no comparison at all, and to live with what is, is to be peaceful.
    • p. 19
  • Reality is being itself. — It is being itself, in becoming itself. Reality in its isness, the “isness” of a thing. Thus isness is the meaning — having freedom in its primary sense — not limited by attachments, confinements, partialization, complexities.
    • p. 19
  • A self-willed man obeys a different law, the one law I, too, hold absolutely sacred — the human law in himself, his own individual will.
    • p. 19
  • One should be in harmony with, not in opposition to, the strength and force of the opposition. This means that one should do nothing that is not natural or spontaneous; the important thing is not to strain in any way.
    • p. 20
  • The dualistic philosophy reigned supreme in Europe, dominating the development of Western science. But with the advent of atomic physics, findings based on demonstrable experiment were seen to negate the dualistic theory, and the trend of thought since then has been back to the monistic conception of the ancient Taoists.
    • p.. 21
  • If thought exists, I who think and the world about which I think also exist; the one exists but for the other, having no possible separation between them. Therefore, the world and I are both in active correlation; I am that which sees the world, and the world is that which is seen by me. I exist for the world and the world exists for me. … One sure and primary and fundamental fact is the joint existence of a subject and of its world. The one does not exist without the other. I acquire no understanding of myself except as I take account of objects, of the surroundings. I do not think unless I think of things — and there I find myself.
    • p. 21
  • When we hold to the core, the opposite sides are the same if they are seen from the center of the moving circle. I do not experience; I am experience. I am not the subject of experience; I am that experience. I am awareness. Nothing else can be I or can exist.
    • p. 22
  • Taoist philosophy … is essentially monistic. … Matter and energy, Yang and Yin, heaven and earth, are conceived of as essentially one or as two coexistent poles of one indivisible whole.
    • p. 23
  • 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. The all illuminating light shines and is beyond the movement of the opposites.
    • p. 23
  • Like everyone else you want to learn the way to win. But never to accept the way to lose. To accept defeat — to learn to die — is to be liberated from it. Once you accept, you are free to flow and to harmonize. Fluidity is the way to an empty mind. You must free your ambitious mind and learn the art of dying.
    • p. 25; Variant: Like everyone else you want to learn the way to win, but never to accept the way to lose — to accept defeat. To learn to die is to be liberated from it. So when tomorrow comes you must free your ambitious mind and learn the art of dying!
      • As quoted in Bruce Lee: A Warrior’s Journey (2000)

Part III : On Matters of Existence

  • True thusness is the substance of thought, and thought is the function of true thusness. There is no thought except that of true thusness. Thusness does not move, but its motion and function are inexhaustible.
    • p. 42
  • Liberate yourself from concepts and see the truth with your own eyes. — It exists HERE and NOW; it requires only one thing to see it: openness, freedom — the freedom to be open and not tethered by any ideas, concepts, etc. … When our mind is tranquil, there will be an occasional pause to its feverish activities, there will be a let-go, and it is only then in the interval between two thoughts that a flash of UNDERANDING — understanding, which is not thought — can take place.
    • p. 43
  • Balance your thoughts with action. — If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.
    • p. 43

Part IV : On Achievement

  • Concepts vs. self-actualization. — Instead of dedicating your life to actualize a concept of what you should be like, ACTUALIZE YOURSELF. The process of maturing does not mean to become a captive of conceptualization. It is to come to the realization of what lies in our innermost selves.
    • p. 44
  • Life is better lived than conceptualized. — This writing can be less demanding should I allow myself to indulge in the usual manipulating game of role creation. Fortunately for me, my self-knowledge has transcended that and I’ve come to understand that life is best to be lived — not to be conceptualized. If you have to think, you still do not understand.
    • p. 45
  • Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.
    • p. 46

Part VIII : On Ultimate (Final) Principles

  • What you HABITUALLY THINK largely determines what you will ultimately become.
    • p. 120; This probably derives from a Rosicrucian proverb, “As you think, so shall you become“, which is itself probably derived from Proverbs 23:7 “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.
    • Possibly, but more likely derived from the Buddha: “All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.
  • Know the difference between a catastrophe and an inconvenience. — To realize that it’s just an inconvenience, that it is not a catastrophe, but just an unpleasantness, is part of coming into your own, part of waking up.
    • p. 120
  • The change is from inner to outer. — We start by dissolving our attitude not by altering outer conditions.
    • p. 120
  • Choose the positive. — You have choice — you are master of your attitude — choose the POSITIVE, the CONRUCTIVE. Optimism is a faith that leads to success.
    • p. 120
  • Cease negative mental chattering. — If you think a thing is impossible, you’ll make it impossible. Pessimism blunts the tools you need to succeed.
    • p. 121
  • A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.
    • p. 121; this likely derives from the observation of Joseph Joubert: The goal is not always meant to be reached, but to serve as a mark for our aim.
  • Don’t fear failure. — Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.
    • p. 121
  • “Bruce had me up to three miles a day, really at a good pace. We’d run the three miles in twenty-one or twenty-two minutes. Just under eight minutes a mile [Note: when running on his own in 1968, Lee would get his time down to six-and-a-half minutes per mile]. So this morning he said to me “We’re going to go five.” I said, “Bruce, I can’t go five. I’m a helluva lot older than you are, and I can’t do five.” He said, “When we get to three, we’ll shift gears and it’s only two more and you’ll do it. ” I said “Okay, hell, I’ll go for it.” So we get to three, we go into the fourth mile and I’m okay for three or four minutes, and then I really begin to give out. I’m tired, my heart’s pounding, I can’t go any more and so I say to him, “Bruce if I run any more,”—and we’re still running—“if I run any more I’m liable to have a heart attack and die.” He said, “Then die.” It made me so mad that I went the full five miles. Afterward I went to the shower and then I wanted to talk to him about it. I said, you know, ‘“Why did you say that?” He said, “Because you might as well be dead. Seriously, if you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.” – John Little, The Art of Expressing the Human Body

Attributed

  • When asked what the difference between a karate punch and a kung-fu punch was during his first U.S. screen test in 1965, Bruce Lee replied, “Well, a karate punch is like being hit by an iron bar—whack! A kung-fu punch is like being hit by an iron ball swung on an iron chain with an iron ball attached to the end—it goes WHANG!—and it hurts inside.” Then he stood up and showed exactly what that might look like in a flurry of hands and feet moving so fast they blurred.
  • Attributed in “The Kato Show: Bruce Lee as The Green Hornet’s Sidekick” by NEWSWEEK SPECIAL EDITION, (11/20/15)

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