Apply the Bruce Lee Philosophy of 7 Steps Towards Self-Improvement

Bruce Lee offers words of wisdom towards self-improvement

What can we learn from Bruce Lee’s philosophical wisdom of Martial Arts and life in general?

As I have already pointed out in my post ‘Code of Conduct to Living: 4 Rules You Must Follow To Achieve Personal Growth’ we can learn much from his philosophical style ‘Jeet Kune Do’ in regards personal growth, overcoming obstacles and adapting to life’s changes.

Now we come to the subject of self-improvement which was something that Lee voraciously pursued everyday of his short life.  Lee masochistically pushed his mind, body and spirit to their limits trying to achieve perfection itself.

The ambitious Lee took every opportunity daily to improve physically and mentally by participating in physical training, spiritual exercises, philosophical observation and reading every self-help book he could get his hands on.

Unfortunately, Bruce Lee died at the young age of 32, so we will never know if he would have realised all of his personal goals – but we still can.

In a fantastic post by a fellow blogger, Henrik Edberg lists down his own 7 favourite fundamentals from Bruce Lee’s wisdom that can help to inspire us towards improving important areas of ourselves.

Below is en excerpt from Henrik’s post on his blog ‘The Positivity Blog’,

“7. Be you.

“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”

Just being yourself is a hard thing to do. You may do it sometimes. And other times you may forget or fall back into old thought patterns. Or you may imitate someone else.

And that comes through too. And it may work.

But I believe that being the real you will work better. Because there the genuine you is shining through. Without incongruency, mixed messages or perhaps a sort of phoniness. It’s you to 100%. It’s you with not only your words but you with your voice tonality and body language – which some say is over 90% of communication – on the same wavelength as your words. It’s you coming through on all channels of communication.

So I’m not saying: “yeah man, you should just be yourself because it’s the right thing to do etc.” I’m saying that I think being your authentic self – the one where you do little dividing, the one that needs little validation from others, the one where your ego is not running the show and trying to get something from someone – will give you better results and more satisfaction in your day to day life because you are in alignment with yourself. And because people really like genuine and people really like authenticity.”

Please take the time to read the rest of Henrik’s excellent and useful post ‘Bruce Lee’s Top 7 Fundamentals for Getting Your Life in Shape’, as it offers some great advice for getting you started in improving yourselves in life.

However, I’m not saying that by applying Lee’s fundamentals that you will all of a sudden become a philosophical, martial arts superstar overnight…but don’t let that stop you.

18 Comments

  1. Hello Jason! This is an awesome post. I just love Bruce Lee. Hmm… that sounds gay. Well, I just like him in a “personal development” kind of way. I definitely agree with you regarding the “being you” aspect of self-growth. One thing you forgot to mention, however, is how. Hence, let me enumerate a few ways how one can accomplish this.

    - meditation
    - self hypnosis (like NLP)
    - introspection
    - observation
    - contemplation
    - concentration
    - sensory deprivation
    - reclusion
    - ask yourself “Who am I?” at least twice a day (after lunch; before bedtime) hehe
    - etc.

    Being yourself is finding your true “self.”

    Peace and respect,
    Ryhen

  2. Jason Cooper says:

    Hi Ryhen! Thanks for the input, but you should also read another post that I did related to Bruce: http://www.knowledgereform.com/2009/09/04/code-of-conduct-to-living-4-rules-you-must-follow-to-achieve-personal-growth/

    This contains suggestions on how to achieve continuous growth…I must try your advice on asking myself “Who am I?” – maybe if I ask myself 5 times a day I will get the answer “I am the Bruce Lee of the 21st century!”. I wish :)

    Take care, my friend.

  3. Jason-happy new year! Good to see you posting again. What I like so much about Eastern philosophy is the emphasis on body work. One studies oneself not through ideas or reading books, but by observing one’s responses to things. How one’s own behavior determines what one thinks and feels. If one can do this in a nonchalant way and not be self-conscious, one can save oneself a lot of grief.

  4. Jason Cooper says:

    Happy new year, NP! Nice to see you again, my friend and great to be back after a fantastic Xmas with the Family.

    You are quite right in your comment regarding Eastern Philosophy – Self- knowledge is the most important goal in regards daily living.

    I will leave you with a relevant quote from none other than the man himself,

    “I have not invented a “new style,” composite, modified or otherwise that is set within distinct form as apart from “this” method or “that” method. On the contrary, I hope to free my followers from clinging to styles, patterns, or molds. Remember that Jeet Kune Do is merely a name used, a mirror in which to see “ourselves”. . . Jeet Kune Do is not an organized institution that one can be a member of. Either you understand or you don’t, and that is that.”

    ~ Bruce Lee

  5. Fatima Da says:

    Love the concept of “Be you” it’s awesome…..if done with authenticity it bestows a wonderful and relaxed feeling ..What more can we ask for ?..

  6. Hulbert says:

    I like this concept of being yourself. It takes a high degree of courage in order to do so. Being authentic is helpful to building relationships and also improving one’s self on a daily basis. Thanks for sharing this article excerpt.

  7. Jason Cooper says:

    @Hulbert
    As Bruce said, it is very difficult in life to be yourself, as we are already divided psychologically by the time we reach adulthood. We also become actors in life to conform and fit into whatever social circle we find ourselves.

    Obviously, the best way forward in life is to be honest with ourselves and to others from the start. Self-knowledge is an important lesson that teaches us who we actually are and how we should live rightly no matter our surroundings and what other people think.

    Never let anyone else dictate on who you should be and how you should live your life – be true to yourself always.

    Thank you for your wise comment, Mr Lee.

  8. Jason Cooper says:

    @Fatima
    Happy new year, Fatima! Hope you had a great Xmas with the family. I totally agree with you that being yourself should empower you and makes you feel more relaxed. I think it makes your life more difficult when you have to maintain an act just to please people or for conformity – you also need to remember the lines you have rehearsed beforehand, otherwise your superficiality will shine through.

    Just let go and stop the acting – so much easier and better in the long run to be just yourself.

    Thank you, my friend.

  9. Cliff says:

    As a north american native identy is a really big part of begin yourself you are judged as begin wild and crazy so you try and live that but does not seem to work out because natives are taught at a young age to respect everything but labeled that we do not do anything with are land.We are saving it and having respect for it we are the care takers saving it for future generations.Being yourself is taking care off yourself and people around you and the land that is a part of you.I agree with Bruce totally don’t try and be like everyone else because we are each on this earth for different reasons take care of whats right don’t let greed blind you take care of earth and she will take care of you.Help someone if they can help them selves to make things better in there life and one day they will help you.Being yourself gives you identity no one can take that away be yourself original.

  10. Jason Cooper says:

    Hi Cliff,

    Thank you for your insightful comment on being yourself, especially in regards your north american roots.

    I’m sure Bruce would agree, that despite what labels we choose to give ourselves, as well as the external pressures to conform to these limiting ideals, we must find the courage to liberate ourselves from this prison of illusion.

    When one eventually liberate oneself, one can then go on to discover their true selves and purpose in life.

  11. i like bruce lee i will protect the family and friends to self defence

  12. Jason Cooper says:

    Hi John,

    Good to have another Bruce Lee fan here.

    So which martial arts style d you practice then?

    Thanks for your comment regarding keeping your friends and family safe with the use of the great art of kung-fu (only use for defence, mind).

  13. ibruce says:

    Dear John
    R u waking up in the middle of the night every single night to pray to Bruce and pay the spiritual respect to Him?
    I do ….
    Is Ur heart, beating faster, When talking about Bruce?

    Do you know Bruce or You know about Bruce?

    Thank You and all the best

  14. jose erasmo says:

    Eu gostaria de saber como encontrar o livro dos sete fundamentos de bruce Lee, obrigado……

  15. jose erasmo says:

    Bruce faz parte da minha infancia, onde eu brigava mas sempre me tornava um amigo. bruce é força……

  16. bruce li gabriel says:

    i like to learn more ..

  17. Philosophy of Bruce Lee will help for your self improvement.

  18. avishek sharma says:

    dont afraid fromtaking a right action …… just do it