Inspired By Bruce Lee
Is there really a “secret” to living?
I think so.
Let’s look a little deeper into this quote today:
“Research your own experience. Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is essentially your own.” – Bruce Lee
The key to Bruce Lee’s way of life was constant and ruthless and relentless focus on researching and refining.
When Bruce broke away from traditional martial arts, he wanted to know what really worked in combat and how to train his body for actual conflict.
He viewed the process of fighting holistically. He focused on fitness and nutrition and he researched his own body by experimenting with cardio, weight lifting, food and supplements.
He researched countless fighting techniques such as boxing and fencing, branching out from his traditional wing chun training.
Bruce’s secret was to only incorporate what was useful to him. And he left the rest behind.
I think this quote is the recipe for to help you find your path in this world.
The first step is, “Research your own experience.”
Be the discoverer, be the researcher, understand what’s going on with you from a neutral place. Without judgement.
Notice what you normally gravitate towards and notice what you enjoy. What are the tasks you already do in life today?
Consider everything. What you want to eat? What you like at work? How you enjoy spending your leisure time and your relationships? Who do you get excited about connecting with? What do you create? What do you contribute? What lights you up? What do you get excited about?
IMPORTANT STEP: Take notes and capture your thoughts in your success journal.
The second step is: “Absorb what is useful.”
After researching and noticing, what you like, and what works best for you… pull out the things that resonate with you and KEEP THEM!
These are the things that you keep and take with you. These are the things that bring usefulness in your life, bring you joy and will help you attract more of the same.
“Absorb” what is useful to you personally and professionally.
Forget about what society or those around you “do,” or think is “right.”
Your notes should capture moments that spark your interest and grab your attention. THIS IS ABOUT WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.
Capturing these moments and thoughts and feelings, will give you clues as to what should be guiding you to your path in life.
The third step is “Reject what is useless.”
Ooooo… This is often the most difficult step. What are you going to get rid of? And look at that word… REJECT! What are you going to REJECT as useless?
In this step, you need to identify the things that are holding you back. At first glance, this doesn’t seem that difficult. But, look deeper. Some of the things that SERVED YOU IN THE PAST (your beliefs and behaviors) are not serving you any more.
Most people find it hard to really to really be HONEST about this one. That’s why, when you’re doing self-research, it’s important to pick out what is useful to your journey and leave behind what doesn’t work.
Honor what you do or have done, and what it’s given you, and taken you. And… give thanks to your brilliance for listening and following the path that has gotten you to here.
And… when you consider the “advice” from others, for your to “set” and “get” big goals, or you explore what the experts “say” you should be doing…
You do not have to take in ALL their advice. Pick what resonates with you and discard the rest.
If you don’t reject the useless in your life, you end up carrying excess “baggage” around with you that blocks your ability to do what is useful and interesting in your life.
Not letting go of this “crap” is like trying to climb up a mountain, with 15 huge bricks dragging on the ground behind you.
The final step is “Add what is essentially your own.”
This is all you baby. Your unique awesomeness.
Now you might be thinking… “What is essentially my own” mean?
Well, that’s a good question and it’s different for everyone. This is unique to YOU .
Listen & Feel. “Listen” to your inner voice. “Feel” what is right for you, with your heart, not your head. What speaks to you?
Trust yourself, and have the confidence to believe in yourself. What inspires you, moves you, motivates you personally?
Become the divining rod for your own experience. Pay attention to what ignites the spark within you.
This whole process is about radical trust in oneself.
If you are tuning into this podcast, it’s likely because you want “more.” You want to be more. Have more. And, contribute more.
You know there’s another level for you PERSONALLY and PROFESSIONALLY.
You’re probably looking for the path that calls to you so you can find your “secret to success.”
Maybe… for you, this quote, and researching your own experience is the secret.
Bruce Lee was able to simplify this into these four steps:
STEP ONE – Research your own experience.
STEP TWO – Absorb what is useful.
STEP THREE – Reject what is useless.
STEP FOUR – Add what is essentially your own.
It’s not complicated. (But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.)
The hardest part in this process might be adding what is essentially your own.
Let’s face it. Most of us go through life “pleasing” others and doing what we think we are “supposed” to do.
Applying Bruce’s philosophy can give you the confidence to pursue our own destiny, driven by your own spirit and authentic self.
Think of it like this:
In other words, TELL THE TRUTH. At least, and especially to, yourself.
Don’t overthink it. Just be naked and authentic. Again, especially to, yourself.
TAKE A STAND.
Don’t settle or compromise. Stand for what you want and what you believe in.
Discover and understand yourself. The light and the dark within you. Come to understand and LOVE the harmony between the two.
Don’t judge yourself.
There is no condemnation in understanding.
A perceiving mind is, “living, moving, and full of energy.”
As you go through the process and see what sparks you.
Good and bad.
Don’t judge. Just notice it. Explore it. Allow it.
Denying or judging something will not make it go away.
If you refuse to examine what TURNS YOU ON, and what HOLD YOU BACK, you will never be able to move beyond it.
ONE LAST STEP
The last step of all of these is ACTION.
It’s not enough to just sit back and “think” about something. You have to do the work.
You have to participate in your rescue. You were not put on this earth to be “saved” by anybody. You are all you’ve got. It’s YOU looking back at you in the mirror.
You. You. You.
ONE MORE THOUGHT:
Often times, people think that to “Add something that is essentially your own,” means you have to invent something new that doesn’t already exist.
The truth is that everything is built upon something else.
Bruce Lee cultivated this philosophy by reading other philosophers and examining the parts that spoke to him and his experience.
He was actively engaged in working through his ideas and experimenting on himself. He used himself as the compass to determine what was “essentially his own.” Become your own compass.
Who is your mentor? Your other teachers? Philosophers? Authors? Who do you really connect with?
Make a list of those people.
What in that list of people draws you to them? What is it?
Remove your judgment. Don’t censor yourself. Take note of any thought or feeling that catches your interest throughout your day and write it down .
At the end of a few days, or a week, look at your notes. Notice what speaks to you.
And if you’d like to share, please chat-me-up on social media, and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOME OF MY FAVORITE BRUCE LEE QUOTES
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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. 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.
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.
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
Faith makes it possible to achieve that which man’s mind can conceive and believe.
Thoughts are things.
Make at least one definite move daily toward your goal.
The intangible represents the real power of the universe. It is the seed of the tangible.
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.
Life is wide, limitless. There is no border, no frontier.
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.
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.
Meaning is found in relationship.
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
Life itself is your teacher, and you are in a state of constant learning.
The primary reality is not what I think, but that I live, for those also live who do not think.
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.
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.
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.
Concentration is the ROOT of all the higher abilities in man.
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.
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.
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.
What you HABITUALLY THINK largely determines what you will ultimately 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.
The change is from inner to outer. — We start by dissolving our attitude not by altering outer conditions.
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.
Cease negative mental chattering. — If you think a thing is impossible, you’ll make it impossible. Pessimism blunts the tools you need to succeed.
A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.
Don’t fear failure. — Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.