Need help getting through the final month of winter? Toughen up by reflecting on the wisdom of Bruce Lee, a self-made action star who commanded Hollywood to come to him.
1. "Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it."
At a time when Hollywood didn't look to Asian men to play leading roles, struggling actor Bruce Lee did not force himself to fit into their stereotypes. Instead, he made himself a star and revolutionized a film genre.
2. "To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities."
Working with producer Raymond Chow in China, Lee produced and starred in two action films with budgets of less than $15,000. They became box office hits in Asia. That's of course when Hollywood took notice and produced Enter the Dragon--Lee's first worldwide box office success and an instant classic.
3. "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."
Growing up, Lee always dreamed of marrying, settling down with a family, and running his own martial arts school. But his dream did not stay modest for long. Once he got bit by the acting bug playing Kato the crime-fighting chauffeur on The Green Hornet, Lee set a goal for himself that he wrote down on paper: worldwide fame and earning $10,000,000. With hard work and determination, he was able to scratch both goals off his list.
4. "As you think, so shall you become."
Lee took daily inspiration very seriously. He programmed his mind every day by reading motivational books about Eastern and Western philosophies. Some of his favorite thinkers included Laozi, Alan Watts, and Jiddu Krishnamurti. He reflected on his evolving goals and ideas by writing daily in his diary. For Lee, deep contemplation came before action.
5. "If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done."
Deep contemplation has its limits, and it goes without saying that Lee was a man of action. He trained tirelessly every day and passed on his knowledge and techniques in martial art schools. The master even developed his own martial art--jeet kune do--a modern, simple style marked by extreme speed.
To read more of Lee's philosophies and way of life, read his treatise Tao of Jeet Kune Do--an international bestseller that goes beyond teaching his martial art. Like Lee's beloved motivational books, it's one worthy of daily reflection.
Image credit: Squeezyboy/Flickr