Quote Dump from Striking Thoughts: Bruce Lee’s Wisdom for Daily Living

Recently, I took a different turn with the things I read. Not one that is story driven, but rather one in the philosophical sense. I love reading much more than I had when I was in middle school, high school, and college. It’s probably because I now have the freedom to choose what I want to read and know that I’ll enjoy what I’m reading.

This time, however, I needed a little twist. A philosophical book based from one of movie’s great action stars, Bruce Lee. Behind the movies, he had an answer for almost everything about life. The book I read, “Striking Thoughts: Bruce Lee’s Wisdom for Daily Living” outlines his mantra for many different topics such as, friendship, love, marriage, knowledge, power, wealth, and many other things.

Was it as engaging as something that is story driven? No, but it forces you to pay attention to the words that are written. I guess in a way I took the turn because I’m continuing to find additional inspiration. Not to be inspired by the words written, but rather to take what is written and interpret it on my way and how it would apply to the things I do.

So, what I leave below is a list of wisdom that I thought had most value to me. Hopefully they’ll stick.

To live is to create. — To live is to express, and to express you have to create. Creation is never merely repetition. To live is to express oneself freely in creation.

Enjoy yourself. — Remember my friend to enjoy your planning as well as your accomplishment, for life is too short for negative energy.

“Sum, ergo cogito.” — The truth is “Sum, ergo cogito;”“I am, therefore I think,” although not everything that is thinks. Is not conscious thinking above all consciousness of being? Is pure thought possible, without consciousness of self, without personality? Can there exist pure knowledge without feeling, without that species of materiality which feeling lends to it? Do we not perhaps feel thought, and do we not feel ourselves in the act of knowing and willing?

Time spent vs. time wasted. — To spend time is to pass it in a specified manner. To waste time is to expend it thoughtlessly or carelessly. We all have time to either spend or waste, and it is our decision what to do with it. But once passed, it is gone forever.

Talking and listening. — Most people can talk without listening. Very few can listen without talking. It is very rare that people can talk and listen.

An intelligent mind is constantly learning. — An intelligent mind is one which is constantly learning, never concluding — styles and patterns have come to conclusion, therefore they [have] ceased to be intelligent.

Balance your thoughts with action. — If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.

Lose the attitude. — Do not have an attitude, open yourself and focus yourself and express yourself. Reject external form that fails to express internal reality.

On humbleness. — To be humble to superiors is duty; to equals is courtesy; to inferiors is nobleness; and to all, safety!

Becoming transparent. — Lack of self-awareness renders us transparent . A soul that knows itself is opaque.

Happiness requires action. — Everybody is capable of obtaining happiness, but the matter of going on, or taking action to obtain it, is in question.

True friends are rare. — True friends are like diamonds, precious and rare. False friends are like autumn leaves, found everywhere.

Let friendships develop on their own. — Let friendship creep gently to a height; if it rushes to it, it may soon run itself out of breath.

Love and respect. — Without respect, love cannot go long.

Kindness and remembrance. — A person cannot forget someone who is good to them.

To flow like water. — The method for health promotion is based on water, as flowing water never grows stale. The idea is not to overdevelop or to overexert, but to normalize the function of the body.

On the therapeutic benefits of jogging. — Jogging is not only a form of exercise to me, it is also a form of relaxation. It is my own hour every morning when I can be alone with my thoughts.

You are judged by your acts. — If you make an ass out of yourself, there’ll always be someone ready to ride you. Showing off is the fool’s idea of glory.

The nature of education. — Education consists in cultivation of intelligence (not cunning, passing exams, etc.).

The aim of education. — Education: to discover but not merely to imitate. Learning techniques without inward experiencing can only lead to superficiality.

Give recognition where due. — Give recognition where it is due. Complements definitely stimulate more effort and desire to improve. Be generous with honest praising.

The forms of stupidity. — Stupidity assumes two forms, it speaks or is silent. Mute stupidity is bearable.

The value of frustration. — Without frustration you will not discover that you might be able to do something on your own. We grow through conflict.

The importance of reading. — Reading, specialized reading, is the mental food.

Something for something. — There is only something for something, never something for nothing.

It’s not the job, but how you do it. — It’s not what you give, it’s the way you give it.

Defeat is temporary. — To me, defeat in anything is merely temporary, and its punishment is but an urge for me to greater effort to achieve my goal. Defeat simply tells me that something is wrong in my doing; it is a path leading to success and truth.

Goals give life substance. — To strive actively to achieve some goal gives your life meaning and substance.

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

Don’t fear failure. — Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.

Strive to be better. — One must always strive to be better. The sky’s the limit.

Public esteem vs. self-esteem. — Esteem by others or self-esteem, which is better? To value things or to value yourself, which is better? To have more or to have less, which is worse? The more you have, the more you have to lose. The more you value things, the less you value yourself. The more you depend upon others for esteem, the less you are self-sufficient.