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How Bruce Lee's Most Famous Sayings Can Reshape Your Life - Literally
Bruce Lee in rainbow color motion
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How Bruce Lee's Most Famous Sayings Can Reshape Your Life - Literally

Bruce Lee is one of the most famous action movie stars of all time. However, as most of his fans know, his wit and wisdom were just as fast as his hands and feet... maybe even more so.

Famed martial artist and actor Bruce Lee is a cultural icon who transcended his sport to become the first Asian-American to headline a Hollywood film. He was known as much for his charm, humor, grace and wisdom as for his prowess as a fighter.

In addition to his work as an entertainer, he also devoted himself to making martial arts training more inclusive, accessible and efficient. 


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Lee matched his powerful kicks and punches with an impressive intellect and powerful words of wisdom that still live on, long after his untimely death in 1973. Read on to discover some of the martial arts icon’s most inspiring quotes and take in the magic of Lee’s powerful words.

His inspiring views on life, success, and happiness can help you transform yours.

"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks..."

Full Quote: "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times."

Lee was a man who devoted his life to training. Perseverance, commitment, tenacity, and repetition were keys to his success. While he had some fancy tricks up his sleeves, what he relied on most were his finely tuned basic moves that he’d practiced day in and day out.

Dedication to whatever craft you choose to pursue means putting in the hours, sweat, and hard work necessary to become the best.

"The more we value things, the less we value ourselves."

Bruce Lee doing peace signs in tan 70s suit

This quote reminds us to focus on people (and our personal lives) rather than on possessions and material aims.

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Yes, having nice things can be enjoyable, but a person’s integrity, beliefs, actions, relationships, and spirit are what matter most. Our relationships with others and how we care for ourselves are the keys to happiness.

"Absorb what is useful. Discard what is not. Add what is uniquely your own.”

Bruce Lee and young daughter

Lee advocated for lifelong learning and training, as well as listening to your gut. Each of us gets to curate our own life and choose what is in it — and what is not.

Utilizing our own judgment and creativity, we have the freedom to discern what is helpful to us and then let go of the rest. We each get to build the life that suits us. Then, we can add in our own unique personal  touches to make our life our own.

"A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.”

Bruce Lee in a ridiculous 70s coat

Full Quote: "A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.”

Listen with an open mind and heart. Question the world, the rules and whatever seems... off. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or ask for help.

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Recognize the talent and wisdom in others and don’t discount other people before you give them a chance to show their worth. Know that you can learn in any situation, if you are brave enough (and humble enough) to listen and try.

"You have a choice, you are master of your attitude..."

Bruce Lee smiling in 70s clothes sitting in beach chair

Full Quote: "You have a choice, you are master of your attitude, choose the positive, the constructive. Optimism is a faith that leads to success.”

Positivity is the key to happiness and success. But it's a choice; one you need to continually make for yourself. And this decision to lean into optimism can have profound effects.

Yes, life circumstances can throw good or bad and everything in between your way, but it is your reaction and attitude that determines your perspective and future path. Those who choose the positive will find much more of it along the way.

"Mistakes are always forgivable if one has the courage to admit them.”

Bruce Lee black and white pic of training

This sentiment circles back to Lee’s focus on personal integrity, courage, hard work and being a good, honest person. Own your choices, failures, and mistakes. This does not make you weak. Instead, it shows great strength and bravery — and taking responsibility is key to moving on and personal growth.

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In the same vein, Lee also said, “I am learning to understand rather than immediately judge.” Take this message to heart. Listen to others and yourself and offer the same compassion to them as you would hope to receive for yourself.

"I am happy because I am growing daily..."

Bruce Lee wearing classic yellow jumpsuit and holding nunchucks

Full Quote: "I am happy because I am growing daily and I am honestly not knowing where the limit lies."

This quote tells us that no matter where you are in your life, you can evolve, change, and reach new heights. Continue challenging yourself.

Do not be content to live below your potential. Everyone can do great things — and you’ll never know what you’re capable of if you don’t try. So, take on new challenges, try new things, conquer fears, go after your goals, and try to live your life to the fullest.

"A goal is not always meant to be reached..."

Untitled design 1 1024x576

Full Quote: "A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at."

Lee was a person who was always striving to improve himself. This is an admirable quality, and his tenacity and work ethic are big parts of why he became such a huge success.

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However, he reminds us that it is the act of having goals and working towards them that matters, not whether or not you reach that exact finish line.

So, keep at it, and don’t get discouraged if all your goals don’t always seem within reach. The journey itself can be a success in and of itself.

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