This episode we sit down with another Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge Winner, Mahmoud Hamed! He shares with us his experience with the challenge and how approaching life from a place of love has deepened his daily interactions.
Mahmoud first discovered the podcast out of a desire to learn more about Bruce Lee and reengage with the interest he had in Bruce Lee when he was growing up. Mahmoud knew of Bruce Lee the martial artist and actor, and over the years he acquired that interest in Bruce again, but wanted to know “What more can I learn about Bruce Lee, what more did he have to tell us?” After doing a quick search Mahmoud was excited to find the podcast and excited to see that Bruce’s legacy was being upheld and showcased in a meaningful way. When the Podcast Challenge was announced, Mahmoud was impressed with the format, the affirmations, and the introspection the challenge promoted.
When he started the challenge, Mahmoud was in a place of questioning things, thinking on how he could improve, and wanting to explore new ideas. He was starting on a journey to explore and improve his self, and considered the challenge a good tool to try out. Mahmoud felt that his life was becoming routine, and that he had lost sight of living each day fully and with meaning.
Bruce Lee talked about these plateaus we face in life, when we reach a routine and don’t seem to be progressing at all. In these plateaus we have to shake up our routine to move forward. Mahmoud wanted to shake things up in his life to get past his plateau.
Mahmoud’s five affirmations:
Mahmoud found that all five of his affirmations worked really well together, but his wellbeing affirmation resonated with him the most.
Mahmoud’s Wellbeing Affirmation: Complete wellbeing in mind, body and soul makes one whole. These faculties must be well-nourished for one to feel well and good. While I may encounter obstacles that result in the contrary, I shall remain cognizant of this truth and make it the default pattern of my way of life.
Mahmoud felt that the podcast challenge went really well for him. He wanted to come away from the challenge with a better since of wellbeing with his whole self: mind, body, and soul. His objective was to instill wellbeing in his whole day instead of scheduling it, so that wellbeing was a natural flow throughout his everyday life.
The fact that Bruce Lee took time to write out his affirmations and read them every day, impressed upon Mahmoud that the practice of affirmations is important. With his own affirmations, Mahmoud took inspiration from Bruce, but had to dig deep, and access aspects of his life, history, and future that he didn’t normally spend much time thinking about. Mahmoud shares, “A lot of times we have these assumptions of what we want and where we want to go, what we want to achieve, but then we wonder if there’s anything beyond that, if there’s anything more to it, if there’s more substance behind it.” Having to write out the affirmations really put Mahmoud on the spot, instead of only having vague notions he wanted something specific, achievable, and direct.
Mahmoud’s Love Affirmation: Love is the loftiest of all emotions. It is also the most mysterious, as it is most elusive to define yet most apparent when experienced. Love is capable of innumerable manifestations that are inclusive of all existence. I shall therefore attempt to afford others the love they deserve, and love for them that which I love for myself.
For Mahmoud, this affirmation was about wanting to love everyone as a human being even though their actions might vary and they might do very unloving things. This goes for everyone from family and friends, to coworkers and strangers. He found that love is a great catalyst for breaking down barriers and for social connection. During the Podcast Challenge, Mahmoud found that his relationships took on a higher meaning and felt more genuine.
Even with his coworkers, Mahmoud noticed a change in their interactions when he approached from a place of love. Since they spend so much time working together, Mahmoud wanted to make that connection more meaningful. He noticed in the niceties of “How are you?” “I’m doing fine,” that sincerely wanting to know how the other person was doing, with no ulterior motive, created a more genuine interaction. He found that these seemingly small interactions, often overlooked in our daily lives, when approached from a place of love could be truly impactful engagements.
For the second part of the challenge Mahmoud said, “I would feel better in my body if…I move more and eat more mindfully.”
Mahmoud wanted to become more mindful of how often he moved his body and remember to move it more often. Even just being aware of the position of his body, and how it feels, taking time to stretch and change his posture. He found that over the two weeks, just taking the time to stretch, move his limbs, and when sitting to have good posture, Mahmoud started to feel better in his body.
The third part of the challenge is the Harmony challenge of “Letting others be.” Mahmoud found this part to be particularly challenging. Letting others be turned out to be not as easy as he thought it would be and it took him some time to get a hold of it and hold himself accountable. Mahmoud found that he often makes snap judgments about people, like most of us do, before they even do anything.
Doing all of these exercises gave Mahmoud a heightened awareness overall. He found that in general he’s giving everything more attention, time, and more consideration, learning more about things. You cannot change other people, but you can change yourself and how you interact with others.
Mahmoud shared his learning from each of his affirmations:
“In terms of love, I noted how although I have family and friends that I love, I could be better at showing it. In terms of presence, I found that being present in even seemingly mundane routines can transform it into quite an enriching experience. In terms of knowledge, I learned that knowing oneself is of the highest forms of knowledge one can aspire to. In terms of purpose, I may not always have the right answer all the time, but having a higher objective in life serves in orienting and navigating my course of action. In terms of wellbeing, I found it best experienced as a lifestyle, as opposed to something to fit and squeeze into my schedule and that the secret is consistency.”
Thank you so much for participating in the Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge, Mahmoud! Keep up the good work!
For those of you inspired by Mahmoud’s experience with the Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge, you can do it too! Just go to Podcast Challenge to find out more.
(Awesome Asians and Hapas)
This week we have a listener nomination from Marlon who nominates his friend Westley Chow:
“I would like to nominate my friend and buddy Westley Chow. An awesome trainer in NYC, he motivates me to be not only a better trainer, but a more stronger and awesome version of myself. He is pound for pound the strongest person I know. Not only because he's a little power house, but because he sets goals and materializes them. He is truly the type of person that has ALWAYS been himself from the moment I met him. He was always wise enough to learn from others the good and bad, either from being a trainer or just in life and applied it to himself. So that's why I want to nominate my friend one of the most inspiring person I know for, AAHA.”
Officially from the Bruce Lee Podcast, you're awesome Westley!
Westley works for FIT Formula and you can view his profile at FitFormula NYC
This week our #BruceLeeMoment comes from listener William D.:
Hi Shannon and Sharon, I've been following your podcast ever since I heard of it from a Brainpickings newsletter.
I'd aways wanted to contribute financially and with my experience. The other day, I had a Bruce Lee moment so I made sure that when I recovered I would donate and write to you, so I did and here is my experience with the Bruce Lee moment.
I couldn't walk properly because of pain in my groin. I feared I had a hernia so I took myself to hospital after work. I rarely go to hospitals because luckily I've always been fit and healthy.
The doctors said I had an infected abscess and so they gave me a blood test and shot some anti-biotics into me. I was worried and didn't know what would happen next as I waited for their decision on how to proceed.
Eventually they told me I was to see a surgeon tomorrow. They walked me to a room at around midnight where there was an elderly man who was in a lot of pain and a middle-aged man who kept yelling for help even though he was seemingly asleep.
I was told to sleep until my operation tomorrow at 9am. I was frightened and scared. I was surrounded by suffering all evening and now I'm in a dull and depressing room. I googled what was to happen and it made me worry even more. I was to have a real operation with general anesthesia. All of the things I saw on TV that seemed so unreal and distant was to happen to me.
My thinking started to become clouded and I became frustrated. I thought to myself, this is unfair! I run 15km per week, I go to the gym regularly, I meditate, I do yoga, I eat healthily and I'm only 26 - this is not supposed to happen to me.
I became disappointed because I work very hard on my goals and I'm determined to achieve them, how much time out would I lose because of this operation? What is the point of achievement if I'm going to end up here again when I'm old like the man in the corner of the room? A very negative pattern of though began to loop in my mind.
It was at that time that I thought of Bruce Lee and how he had damaged his sacral nerve. I read many of his biographies and I remembered my reaction when I first learnt of this. I thought to myself he must have been really pissed off. But then he made the most of it. I was reminded of how he chose to react; how he made the most of his time injured by reading, striving to recover quickly with positive visualisations and doing what he could whilst being in a bad situation.
Thinking of his incident gave me hope and inspired me to think positively. His injury was much worst than mine but he got back up and achieved what he set out to do. I can do the same and I did.
I'm now recovering and continuing on my journey and I really want to thank him for the inspiration and to thank you for the podcast because maybe if I hadn't regularly listened to your podcast, I wouldn't have thought of Bruce Lee in that moment.
Yours sincerely William D.”