These 11 Principles Allowed Bruce Lee To Achieve All His Life Goals By The Time Of His Death At 32


Bruce Lee was named one of TIME magazine’s most 100 most influential people of the 20th century, and he was also the very first person ever inducted into the martial arts hall of fame: “I, Bruce Lee, will be the first highest paid Oriental super star in the United States. In return I will give the most exciting performances and render the best of quality in the capacity of an actor. Starting 1970 I will achieve world fame and from then onward till the end of 1980 I will have in my possession $10,000,000. I will live the way I please and achieve inner harmony and happiness.”

Source: Actual letter Bruce wrote himself.

Tragically, Bruce Lee died four years after writing this letter. However, Lee is better remembered for being able to achieve virtually all his goals over the four year period. Lee is known as the father of mixed martial arts for revolutionizing the sport, and he also helped alter humankind’s view of the Chinese race. China had been thought of as the “sick man of Asia” before, so this achievement alone was extremely lofty. The Opium Wars also took their total an western viewpoints, but, again, Lee helped to overcome these untruths.

In order to gain a better understanding of Bruce Lee, it is necessary to read a letter he wrote when he was 21 years old:

Dear Pearl,

This letter is hard to understand. It contains my dreams and my ways of thinking, as a whole, you can call it my way of life. It will be rather confusing as it is difficult to write down exactly how I feel. Yet I want to write and let you know about it. I’ll do my best to write it clearly and I hope that you, too, will keep an open mind in this letter, and don’t arrive at any conclusions till you are finished.

There are two ways of making a good living, one is the result of hard working, and the other, the result of the imagination (requires work, too, of course). 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. In every industry, in every profession, ideas are what America is looking for. Ideas have made America what she is, and one good idea will make a man what he wants to be.

One part of my life is gung fu. This art influences me greatly in the formation of my character and ideas. I practice gung fu as a physical culture, a form of mental training, a method of self-defense, and a way of life. Gung fu is the best of all martial art; yet the Chinese derivatives of judo and karate, which are only basics of gung fu, are flourishing all over the US. This so happens because no one has heard of this supreme art; also there are no competent instructors…

I believe my long years of practice back up my title to become the first instructor of this movement. There are yet long years ahead of me to polish my techniques and character. My aim, therefore, is to establish a first Gung Fu Institute that will later spread out all over the US (I have set up a time limit of 10 to 15 years to complete the whole project). My reason in doing this is not the sole objective of making money. The motives are many and among them are: I like to let the world know about the greatness of this Chinese art; I enjoy teaching and helping people; I like to have a well-to-do home for my family; I like to originate something; and the last but yet one of the important is because gung fu is part of myself.

I know my idea is right, and therefore the results would be satisfactory. I don’t really worry about the reward, but to set in motion the machinery to achieve it. My contribution will be the measure of my reward and success.

Before he passed away, some asked the late Dr Charles P. Steimetz, the electrical genius, in his opinion “What branch of science would make the most progress in the next twenty-five years?” He paused and thought for several minutes then like a flash replied, “spiritual realization.” When a 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.

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 dominant force which I hold in my hand.

When you drop a pebble into a pool of water, the pebble starts a series of ripples that expand until they encompass the whole pool. This is exactly what will happen when I give my ideas a definite plan of action. 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 basement, but once my imagination has got up to a full head of steam, I can see painted on a canvas of my mind a picture of a fine, big five or six story Gung Fu Institute with branches all over the States. I am not easily discouraged, readily visualize myself as overcoming obstacles, winning out over setbacks, achieving “impossible” objectives.

Whether it is the God-head or not, I feel this great force, this unstopped power, this dynamic something within me. 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.

All in all, the goal of my planning and doing is to find the true meaning in life — peace of mind. I know that the sum of all the possessions I mentioned does not necessarily add up to peace of mind; however, it can be if I devote [my energy] to real accomplishment of self rather than neurotic combat. In order to achieve this peace of mind, the teaching of detachment of Taoism and Zen proved to be valuable….

Probably, people will say I’m too conscious of success. Well, I am not. You see, 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.

Pearl, success comes to those who become success-conscious. If you don’t aim at an object, how the heck on earth do you think you can get it?

Warm regards,

Remarkably, Lee lived in his basement as he wrote, but he was convinced that he was infinitely powerful nonetheless. In order to tap into your own “great creative and spiritual force within,” read the following principles below and incorporate as many as possible into your own life.

Lee’s 11 Principles.

#1: The stiffest tree is easily cracked, but the bamboo and the willow bend and survive.

Time and life itself changes everything, so being adaptable will enable you to avoid breaking under the weight of life’s daily stresses; it will allow you to evolve and thrive long term as well.

#2: Time is a gift that should never be wasted.

More specifically, life itself is a gift that should never be wasted. If you need to take some time to recharge or recuperate, there’s nothing wrong with that. But if not, do something meaningful and fulfilling!

#3: Know why you want to reach your goals.

Oftentimes, you’ll find that you don’t want to reach your goals that badly after all, and you’ll come up with ones that you do actually want to accomplish. Regardless, knowing why you want to do something enables you to work hard to achieve it.

#4: Follow your passions.

Lee didn’t do all that he did for “the sole objective of making money,” and you shouldn’t either. Do all that you do because it makes you happy and brings you peace.

#5: You always have the power to overcome.

Maybe not immediately, but if you devote your time and energy to solving problems or issues which are important to you, then you will arrive at a feasible solution eventually. Asking mentors and friends for advice or help is perfectly OK.

#6: Educate yourself.

At age 32, Lee’s library had well over 2,500 books in it: Think and Grow RichThe Power Of Positive Thinking, and As a Man ThinkethRead, learn, and teach the truth!

#7: Possess all-encompassing knowledge.

Lee developed his philosophies by studying boxing, fencing, and even dancing: “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”

#8: Be genuinely self-confident.

Lee possessed uncompromising self-confidence, and it enabled him to do whatever was necessary in order to reach his goals.

#9: Be a human of action.

Lee argues to, “Balance your thoughts with action. If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”

#10: No limits.

Lee said that, “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.”

#11: Immortality is possible.

If you live a life worth remembering, then you will be as immortal as any human being can be. Christopher Reeve once said, “What I do is based on powers we all have inside us; the ability to endure; the ability to love, to carry on, to make the best of what we have — and you don’t have to be a ‘Superman’ to do it.”

So dream wisely, plan wisely, be passionate—and just do it!






Better Humans



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