- Be YOUR best. It’s not about following in someone else’s footsteps or trying to be somebody you’re not. It’s about unleashing your best version of yourself. According to Bruce, “Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”
- Absorb what is useful. It’s not about blindly adopting patterns and practices. It’s about taking the best of the best and tailoring it. It’s also about throwing away what doesn’t work. Bruce borrowed concepts and techniques from everybody and every art in a relentless pursuit of the best of the best. According to Bruce, “Absorb what is useful, Discard what is not, Add what is uniquely your own.”
- Keep an open mind. You have to be willing to throw out what you already know and have a curiosity to explore new paths. If you’re cup is already full, you can’t learn new things. According to Bruce, “First empty your cup.”
- Aim past your target. Aim past your target, so when you fall short, you still land in the ballpark of success. Bruce Lee was famous for his one-inch punch, but in reality he was aiming past the one-inch. According to Bruce, “Don’t fear failure. Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.”
- Stay flexible. Be flexible in your approach. Learn from everybody and everything and don’t get locked into a particular style. According to Bruce, “Expose yourself to various conditions and learn.”
- Focus on growth. Push past your limits. According to Bruce, “There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”
- Know yourself. Your blind spots and ignorance can be your biggest weakness. According to Bruce, “After all, all knowledge simply means self-knowledge.”
- Master your mind and body. It’s not enough just to be smart. It’s not enough just to master your body. Your body and mind support each other. Your body helps turn what you think or dream up into results. According to Bruce, “As you think, so shall you become.”
- Apply what you know. Life is not about watching from the sidelines. Use what you know and put knowledge into practice. Test yourself. According to Bruce, “Knowing is not enough, we must do. Willing is not enough, we must apply.”
- Make things happen. When there is no wave, make one. According to Bruce, “To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”
Bruce Lee’s Physical Feats
While we don’t know whether the following stretch the truth, we do know you don’t look the way Bruce did by default. It was by design and he pushed his physical limits.
These are some of the physical feats attributed to Bruce based on various demonstrations, his friends and associates, and interviews:
- Bruce performed one-hand push-ups using only the thumb and index finger.
- Bruce performed 50 reps of one-arm chin-ups.
- Bruce performed a sidekick while training with James Coburn and broke a 150 lb (68 kg) punching bag.
- Bruce could cause a 200-lb bag to fly towards and thump the ceiling with a sidekick.
- Bruce could snatch a dime off a person’s open palm before they could close it, and leave a penny behind.
- Bruce’s striking speed from three feet with his hands down by his side reached five hundredths of a second.