First became a fan of his movies by his physical brilliance, outspoken personality and took the world by storm becoming a cult hero for many. Here’s a tribute to this incredible human being who’s inspired me, not only in martial arts but to appreciate my body and soul, and bring out the best in myself to make a difference.
Eight Lessons I’ve learnt:
1) “Circumstances; Hell, I make circumstances!”
Rather than being hampered by adversity, Bruce would always look for solutions to break through any barrier and become a stepping-stone. He was once bed bound for six months due to a horrific back injury but he created an opportunity for himself to spend that time wisely, by compiling his thoughts and training methodologies into volumes of writing material. Every single one of us will have problems to overcome. By being aware of the situation and knowing how we could turn it around would be a greater learning curve than only complaining over a problem.
2) “Talking and listening”
It is very rare that people listen properly since most prefer to do the talking. Especially this day and age where we are surrounded with an abundance of social media technology, have a think about it the next time you’ve had a conversation with someone.
Were you really listening? Did you provide solutions without being asked? Having a connection is far more valuable between the two than having one who’s only looking to share their opinion and egotism. Learn to shut off external distractions to show respect and be present.
3) “Empty Tea Cup”
A Zen story he would always share to his students and encourage them to “empty their cup”. By not accepting just one direction of any martial art or philosophy, the cup will not be full and over spill. His pupils were always asked to question his teaching and not to just accept.
Be open minded, and appreciate the variety of experiences you can gather. Don’t throw away opportunities and only stick to your beliefs. If for any instance, you disagree with certain views, have a constructive conversation and share each other’s opinion. This leads nicely onto….
4) “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless and what is specifically your own”
Majority of information is recycled. It’s not necessarily what you end up knowing but who you become. It’s not unusual at the beginning to overwhelm yourself with information, however, down the line you will understand how to learn more effectively by only focusing on what will move you forward.
5) “Learning is never cumulative…”
Rather it is a movement of knowing which has no beginning or end. Learning is important but be aware of not becoming its slave. A discovery journey rather than a collection of information, and uncover our own ability to breed that onto our potential and help grow our purpose and lives.
6) “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”
Theory will always triumph when offering an opinion but when it comes down to application; it’s a complete different scenario and one that bridges the gap between success and stagnation. Learn, take action, experiment, and prepare to make mistakes. Many people can’t face the thought of failure; only a few understand its part of the process to getting your life in shape.
7) “Love, peace and brotherhood”
A model of discipline, strength and wisdom is known to countless of people all around the world. His beliefs geared towards a vision of a world of progress and spoke deeply in the removal of artificial barriers such as nationalities, ethnicity and class structure; to live together peacefully as independent equals. Respect others like how you like to be respected, and ignore people who will not accept your appreciation. We cannot judge individuals just by their behavior alone, so avoid any unnecessary confrontation and let them be.
8) “Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”
– – You do not allow yourself to be totally yourself
– – Society does not allow you to be totally yourself
It’s far easier to say ‘just be yourself’ than actually doing it. Most of us are brought up following a system to play by the rules; hide our own uniqueness and only the selected few who have managed to succeed get rewarded. Asking people whom are close to you, spending time alone identifying your strengths and weaknesses, and even reminiscing on what you enjoyed doing are great ways to start before thinking about how to be (more) you.