Success & Prosperity Blog

Lessons from Bruce Lee

By Randy Gage in Critical Thinking, Success, Prosperity.

Be like water.

That was the advice movie star, philosopher, and martial artist Bruce Lee received from his Sifu, Yip Man.  (If you don’t know that story, you can read it here.)  Lee took that advice to heart and accomplished many great things.  But he also caused consternation and confusion, and some of the challenges he faced along the way – are some of the same ones you will confront.

Yes Lee was a world-class athlete and an extraordinary physical specimen.  But the things that made him famous – his physique, skill, and martial arts prowess were results of many other qualities he had developed in his ongoing journey to become a more enlightened human being.  And you can develop those qualities yourself, without being a movie star or famous.  (Unless you want to be.)

Lee possessed formidable determination.  Legendary self-discipline.  Exemplary empathy for others.  But arguably the most noteworthy element about Lee was his supreme self-confidence.  He wasn’t bashful about his gifts.   He embraced them with wry humor, showmanship and self-assurance.  Lee was Ali and Prince before there were Ali and Prince.

Yet it wasn’t all about him…

Lee was open to new ideas, celebrated people different than him, and explored concepts like a scientist.  He possessed a strong character that valued loyalty, dignity and respect for others.

And like Ali or Prince – or you and I – he was a complex individual, who made mistakes, hurt others, and did things he later regretted.  He also was misunderstood, judged harshly and subjected to criticism.

But he never let anyone else’s limiting beliefs become his…

Like all high-level achievers, his yang could sometimes bleed into yin.  Because even your most positive attributes can be overdone.  Or misconstrued and judged unfairly.

Some will perceive your confidence as arrogance.  Others will see your determination as self-absorption.  There are people who will characterize your success as ostentatious.

And some of that may be true.  It’s all part of the process of burning away that which doesn’t serve you, and evolving into who you are meant to become.  As you progress along the course we call Humanity 101.

That’s all you can do.  Take the course and learn the lessons along the way.  And that is enough.  You, working on you and your craft, just as Bruce did.  Without concern for those who don’t have your highest good in mind.  Many will be projecting their own insecurities, negative mind viruses, and petty jealousies upon you.

If you’re lucky and you cultivate it, you’ll have one or two people you can trust enough to go to for advice and value their feedback.  You’ll know who they are and you’ll accept their feedback with the ultimate discernment.

But you don’t work on you for them, you work on you for you.   The way you make the world a better place is to make yourself a better person.

So be like water.  Be like Bruce.  Work on you.  Work on your craft.

Be confident.  Be assured.  Be bold enough to step into your greatness.

And don’t let anyone else’s limiting beliefs become yours…


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17 thoughts on “Lessons from Bruce Lee

  1. Luis Gomez Mendez says:

    en español 🙁

  2. LindaCovello says:

    This is such a thoughtful and well-rounded post, hitting on so many of the nerves that get singed every day in a noisy and distracting world. And, as ever, so perfect because it is what I needed to hear today. I had a fight with my boyfriend last night because of his negative point of view which he was projecting with full force; I had to keep reminding myself that the words coming out of his mouth are his own mind viruses and negative beliefs. We patched it up pretty quick, but I know that I must remain vigilant where he is concerned because his mind set can be very narrow and circumscribed. He is a good person at his core, and this is why I love him, but oh boy can it be hard to be around his vibes at times. And not just his but many people indulge in this mind set. My mom was involved in a bad car accident last night (she’s okay; gratitude!) and this morning when I was on the phone with her I had to watch my responses to her negative words about the guy who hit her. In the past I too would have jumped on the name-calling band wagon, but through working on myself I have come to see how our words create our reality. I no longer tell other people to watch their words, I just mind my own; that was another powerful lesson! BTW, “Yip Man” and the sequel are two of my all time favorite films. He is such an awesome role model. Thank you, again, Randy, for being such a wonderful Jedi Master! Happy Weekend.

  3. TheFitRebel says:

    This is exactly what I needed to read today Randy, I’ve been writing my first self-published book for many years, always going back and making edits and doing one more draft because I was always nervous about hitting that final button. Today I finally did it and it was very hard, but this post helped assure me it was the right thing to do. Thank you very much!

  4. It was so very helpful to read this Randy, thankyou for writing and sharing this post. I’ve had major breakthrough, then challenged by my next layer of limiting beliefs. Then more breakthrough, then more encounters with “limiting beliefs”..  staying optimistic has been an adventure..
    am exercising my curiosity muscle recently.. it’s so fun..

    am mezmerized by Lee’s ping-pong playing #demonstration with “num-chucks”. Bruce Lee was in a class of one; the class of phenominal. He was the only member.

    Much gratitude Brother.

  5. LindaCovello I totally agree Linda, regarding “minding your own words”..  it’s a discipline that I’ve demanded of myself too.

    I’ve also taught myself to think prosperously and generously about others, no matter their “projections”, assumptions and presumptions..
    I do my utmost to keep my energy clean as well 

    Good for you!

  6. LindaCovello says:

    PeterGHorrill LindaCovello Hi Peter, thank you so much for the feedback! Yes…I grew up in two crazy  households as my mother’s second husband was an uber negative 24/7 alcoholic so life was constant unpredictability. This is where I absorbed most of my negative talk as my mom and her husband were always bashing others and gossiping behind the backs of friends and family members. Needless to say I grew up thinking this was normal. So NOT. On my dad’s side it was always negative predictions for the future and back stabbing of other people. I have been de-programming myself for a very long time. It truly does require epic self-discipline to refrain from wallowing at that level. So, thank you for the shout out and the reminder to #keepyourenergyclean! Peace, Peter!

  7. Sean40 says:

    Bruce Lee’s book, The Art of Jeet Kun Do is amazing. Fleshes out the concepts Randy brings to light here, as well as his training/conditioning program and more.

  8. Stephen_Bray says:

    Just found a copy of ‘The Art of Jeet Kun Do’. Amazingly good 🙂

  9. Randy_Gage says:

    Sé como el agua.
    Ese fue el concejo que la estrella de cine,
    filosófo y practicante de las artes marciales, Bruce Lee, recibió de su
    Sifu, hombre Yip. Lee siguió los consejos de corazón y logró muchas
    cosas grandes. Pero también causó consternación y confusión, y algunos
    de los desafíos que enfrentó en el camino – son algunas de las mismas
    que tu vas a enfrentar.
    Sí, Lee era un atleta de clase mundial y
    un individuo físicamente extraordinario. Pero las cosas que lo hicieron
    famoso – su destreza, habilidad, su físico y las artes marciales eran el
    resultado de muchas otras cualidades que había desarrollado en su viaje
    en curso para convertirse en un ser humano más iluminado. Y se puede
    desarrollar esas cualidades a sí mismo, sin ser una estrella de cine o
    famosos. (A menos que Usted lo quiera ser).
    Lee poseía una
    determinación formidable. Una legendaria auto-disciplina. Empatía
    ejemplar con los demás. Pero sin duda el elemento más destacable de Lee
    fue su suprema confianza en sí mismo. Él no era tímido sobre sus dones.
    Él los abrazó con humor irónico, espectacularidad y seguridad en sí
    mismo. Lee fue Ali y Prince antes de que existieran Ali y Prince.
    Sin embargo, no fue todo sobre él …
    Lee estaba abierto a nuevas ideas, celebraba que existieran personas
    diferentes a él, y exploró conceptos como un científico. Poseía un
    carácter fuerte que valoró la lealtad, la dignidad y el respeto por los
    Y al igual que Ali o Prince – o Usted y Yo – fue un
    individuo complejo, que cometió errores, hirió a los demás, e hizo cosas
    que luego se arrepintió. También fue mal interpretado, juzgado
    duramente y se sometió a la crítica.
    Pero nunca permitió que las creencias limitantes de alguien se convirtieran en las suyas…
    Como todos los que alcanzan un alto nivel, su yang podría sangrar a
    veces en yin. Debido a que incluso sus atributos más positivos pueden
    ser exagerados. O mal interpretado y juzgado injustamente.

    Algunos percibirían su confianza como arrogancia. Otros veían su
    determinación como auto-absorción. Hay personas que van a caracterizar
    tu éxito como ostentoso.
    Y algo de eso puede ser cierto. Todo
    esto es parte del proceso que consiste en quemar lo que no te sirve, y
    evolucionar en quien se supone quieres llegar a ser. A medida que
    avances a lo largo del curso denominado, Humanidad 101.
    Eso es
    todo lo que puedes hacer. Tomar el curso y aprender las lecciones en el
    camino. Y eso es suficiente. Usted, que trabaja en usted y su
    embarcación, así como lo hizo Bruce. Sin preocupación por aquellos que
    no tienen su mayor bien en cuenta. Muchos estarán proyectando sus
    propias inseguridades, virus mentales negativos, y celos de ti.

    Si tienes suerte y cultivas eso, tendrás una o dos personas que pueden
    confiar en ti lo suficiente como para ir en busca de ellos por un
    consejo y valorar sus comentarios y retroalimentación. Usted sabrá
    quienes son y aceptará sus comentarios con el discernimiento final.
    Pero Usted no trabaja en Usted para ellos, trabaja en Usted para Usted.
    La forma en que el mundo sea un lugar mejor es hacerse una mejor
    Así que sea como el agua. Sea como Bruce. Trabaja en ti. Trabaja en tu oficio.
    Tenga confianza. Esté seguro. Sea lo suficientemente valiente para entrar en su grandeza.
    Y no deje que las creencias limitantes de alguien más se convierten en las suyas …

  10. LindaCovello Peace be with you Linda. You’re welcome friend.
     Happy to hear you’re on the path to Prosperity.
    Lets friend up on twitter & facebook if you like

    Facebook is pghorrill

  11. pandkenterprises says:

    Don’t let anyone else’s limiting beliefs become yours?  So are you trying to tell me not to become religious?

  12. Nancy Hall says:

    Thank you for the story and the reminder.  They are very timely and greatly appreciated.

  13. Sanzhar says:

    Dear Randy!
    Thank you for another great blog post! As it was and as it now, beginning from 2012 I guide myself with the principles you have stated in the “Why you are dumb, sick and broke. And how to become smart, healthy and rich”.
    So I say : Thanxx 😉 again Ran!! U0001f4aaU0001f4aaU0001f4aa

  14. Maya888 says:

    “The way you make the world a better place is to make yourself a better person.”  Love this!

  15. Khurshed says:

    Why would becoming religious mean having limiting beliefs?

  16. 2069354830 says:

    As the name suggests, The Daredevil is fearless, apparently to the point of absurdity. No claiming is too threatening, no accident too great. Hang gliding, surfing, off-roading, snowboarding – anticipate Tom Cruise bedrock aggressive at the aperture of Mission Impossible 2.

  17. Bernice says:

    But did he achieve eternity?


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