9 Life Lessons You Can Learn from Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee statue

Photo Credit: Johnson Lau (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hong_kong_bruce_lee_statue.jpg)

As longer term readers will know I am a big Bruce Lee fan.  Today’s post is a dip into the mind of Bruce and what lessons we may be able to learn ourselves from some of his quotes.


1)      Simplify Everything

“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”

This quote is one of my favourite quotes by anyone.  It really distils simplicity in two succinct sentences.  Simple is often best when it comes to most things in life.  Simple doesn’t always mean easy though.


2)      Make Your Own 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 really was the ultimate self-starter.  The amount he achieved in a relatively short life is testament to his work ethic and focus.  Nothing was handed to him and yet he achieved much.


3)      Self-Knowledge

“All types of knowledge ultimately mean self-knowledge”

Bruce was a voracious reader by all accounts and had an extensive library full of wide ranging books on areas of interest to him (martial arts and combative arts, philosophy, strength and conditioning etc.).  He made acquiring knowledge a lifetime goal and took it seriously.

4)      Be Yourself

“When I look around, I always learn something and that is 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.  Start from the very root of your being, which is “how can I be me?”

Bruce believed trying to be someone else would never work.  Learn from others, be inspired by others but be yourself.

5)      Learning & Self Discovery

“Learning is definitely not mere imitation, nor is it the ability to accumulate and regurgitate fixed knowledge.  Learning is a constant process of discovery – a process without end”.

Bruce realised the importance of learning and self-discovery by constantly pushing his own boundaries.  However, he was not one for just mindlessly repeating what he read and absorbed.  He took what he needed and what made sense to him and made it his own.  He created his own, unique philosophies and thoughts from his knowledge and experiences.

6)      Embrace Change

“To change with change is the changeless state”.

It should be obvious to anyone that knows even a little about Bruce’s career and life that this was a man undaunted by change.  He sought to be the best version of himself he could be and so was able to consistently push through any initial comfort zones.

7)      Goals

“A goal is not always meant to be reached.  It often serves simply as something to aim at.”

This is an interesting quote regarding goal setting.  Bruce knew some goals would never be met but realised they still served an important purpose as a motivator to improve and get better.

8)      Fear

“To understand your fear is really the beginning of seeing”

Too many of us try burying our fears. That may seem to work initially but in the long term it can bite back.  Admitting and then understanding our fears can lead us to a place where we are able to better control them.

9)      Think Big

“What you habitually think largely determines what you will ultimately become”.

Bruce achieved amazing success and highs in several areas of his life.  He did this by setting his aim high and then by working as hard as he could to achieve his dreams and meet his goals.  He was no doubt often told “you can’t” but he went ahead and did it anyway.  His mind and resolve was strong.


There you go, 9 Bruce Lee quotes we can all take away and learn from.

For those that are only aware of Bruce Lee the martial artist and actor I cannot recommend the following resources enough.  He was an amazing and underrated thinker and philosopher and his work continues to inspire new armies and generations of fans all over the world for good reason.


Recommended Reading:

Wisdom for the Way

Striking Thoughts – Bruce Lee’s Wisdom for Daily Living