Bruce Lee – Express Yourself

In this interview, Bruce Lee speaks about his disinterest in being idolized as a star and how martial arts has taught him about finding the right balance in life.


The word superstar really turns me off and I’ll tell you why, because the word star, man, is an illusion. It’s something what the public calls you. As an actor, as a martial artist, as a human being, all these I have learned from martial arts. Human is the natural instinct here is control. You are to combine the two in harmony. If you have one to the extreme, you will be very unscientific. If you have another to the extreme, you become all of a sudden, a mechanical man, no longer a human being.

So it is a successful combination of both. I said “empty your mind.”Be formless, shapeless, like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. Ultimately, martial art means honestly expressing yourself. Now it is very difficult to do.

It is easy for me to put on a show and be cocky and be flooded with a cocky feeling and then feel pretty cool and all that. Oh I can make all kinds of phony things, blinded by it. Or I can show you some really fancy movement. But to express oneself honestly, not lying to myself, and to express myself honestly, now that, my friend, is very hard to do. Here I am, as a human being. How can I express myself?