Nov 29, 2017
“To hell with circumstances, I create opportunities.”
Patience was something that Bruce Lee tried to cultivate. His wife Linda said that he would get very frustrated by other people not being able to match his timeline or if they would say they would do something and then not do it. Bruce was in dynamic motion all of the time. He had follow through so when others did not he would get frustrated.
This quote starts with a frustrated, fed up tone, but ends with a proactive, positive tone. It is about not being a victim of circumstances and creating your own solution.
Bruce offered a unique talent to Hollywood, he was a superb martial artist, actor, and writer, but he was dealing with a racist 1960s Hollywood. He was not getting the opportunities his talent deserved because of the color of his skin. Bruce could have kept slowly chipping away at the establishment to get to where he wanted to be, but instead he decided to figure out how to fast track his way to the lead roles he wanted. This led Bruce to move to Hong Kong where he could be a leading role. He became a huge movie star in Hong Kong, breaking every box office, and this finally got the attention of Hollywood.
Bruce Lee’s philosophy is truly action oriented. It comes back to the idea that these things are meant to be lived, not just thought about, not just intellectualized and pondered, but really applied. Since Bruce was a martial artist, it makes sense that he would want to pursue his ideas through movement and action.
Bruce lived fully in the world as a martial artist, father, husband, actor, teacher, artist, writer, and philosopher. He never limited himself to pursuing just one thing at a time. Sometimes we think that we cannot have a relationship since we are focusing on our career or that we cannot be a parent and pursue a career. Go for the whole life experience.
“A man can achieve great things if he can conquer himself.”
When you reach a plateau, the only way to go beyond that is to put in the effort and conquer whatever is keeping you on that ledge.
“In this world there are a lot of people who talk intellectually about how they would do this or that. They talk about it but nothing is ever actualized or accomplished.”
Talking about an idea or a project can simulate the feeling that you’re taking action towards your goal, but in reality if you only talk and never take action then you won’t move forward.
“The result of man is action and not thought.”
Creating opportunities is a creative act, and by using your imagination it can be limitless. If you can conceive it then there is a pathway toward it.
“The spiritual power of man’s will remove all obstacles.”
You have to have confidence in yourself, and cannot listen to those who have power over you telling you that you cannot do something.
“I’ve always been buffeted by circumstances because I thought of myself as a human being affected by outside conditioning. Now I realize that I am the power that commands the feeling of my mind and from which circumstances grow.”
Bruce talked a lot about being a self-willed man and that is how he viewed himself.
“A self-willed man obeys a different law – the one law I too hold sacred – the human law in himself, his own individual will.”
Asking someone what they want often causes them to stall without a response.
“Know what you want, don’t worry about the reward but set the motion the machinery to achieve it. My contribution will be the measure of my reward and success.”
Sometimes we confuse ourselves and think that what we want is the reward. Know what you want in the big picture and that there are many pathways to get there. How you get there is the fun of it and when we encounter obstacles we have to be willing to adjust our path to continue forward.
“It is not your task solely to lead, for this might make you lose The Way, but to let yourself be led. If you know how to meet you fate with attitude of acceptance, you are sure to find the right guidance. The superior man lets himself be guided; he does not go ahead blindly, but learns form the situation what is demanded of him and then follows that.”
It is a give and take of “What do I need to learn?” and then stepping up to action.
You do have to be a warrior in the pursuit of your purpose because there will be times where you struggle or meet with resistance and you have to figure out how to get beyond that.
“The enemy of development is pain phobia. The unwillingness to suffer interrupts your continuum of awareness and stagnates your action.”
“When you drop a pebble to a pool of water, the pebble starts a series of ripples that expand until they compass the whole pool. This is exactly what will happen when I give my ideas a definite plan of action.”
“Anytime you use the words NOW and HOW and have awareness about this, you grow – it is the path to reintegration, taking back what is rightfully yours.”
What do you want or need right now? And how can you get? Within that be creative, be honest with yourself, and act. Be brave and create that opportunity.
This week our #AAHA is Mindy Kaling as nominated by our listener Grace who said that she “gave me hope and people to look up to, since they closely resembled what I look like and the culture I come from.”
Vera Mindy Chokalingam (born June 24, 1979), known professionally as Mindy Kaling, is an American actress, comedian and writer. Kaling’s parents are from India.
She is the creator and star of the television sitcom The Mindy Project, which premiered on Fox and later moved to Hulu; Kaling also serves as a writer and executive producer on the series. Kaling is also known for her work on the popular NBC sitcom The Office, where she portrayed the character Kelly Kapoor. In addition to acting on the show, she was a writer, executive producer, and occasional director for the show throughout most of its run. For her work on The Office, Kaling received various accolades, including a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series, in 2010. In 2012, Kaling was included in the Time 100 list of influential people. In 2014, she was named one of Glamour magazine's Women of the Year.
In addition to her work on film and television, Kaling has written two New York Times best-selling memoirs, titled Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) and Why Not Me?, respectively.
Mindy thank you for sharing your talents and we think you’re awesome!
This week our #BruceLeeMoment comes from listener Aaron:
“My middle name is Bruce. I'm told I was given it because it's a strong name. My dad told me about your dad and introduced me to his films. I think your fathers films do a great job of teaching and conveying the importance of inner strength. Even though your father died before I was born I wonder what he would be doing if he was still around. Even just Game of Death getting completed would have been pretty epic if you ask me.
I guess I don't know how to pinpoint the exact "Bruce Lee Moment" I've had. There's been lots of them. They just happen. Maybe it's this moment right now. I just know I'm grateful. Thank you forever.”
Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.