We had a chance to talk with another Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge winner, Bryce Y., who came all the way from Montana to record with us. Bryce shared with us his experience doing the challenge, how he found the podcast during a difficult time, and how participating in the podcast challenge changed his life.
Bryce first found the Bruce Lee Podcast during a very tough time in his life. At the time, Bryce was living with his parents in Texas because his dad was dying and Bryce moved there to help with hospital visits and supporting his parents. The applied philosophies from the podcast really helped Bryce through this trying time in his life.
From Bryce’s podcast challenge entry he shares:
“My cousin gave me the advice that I should only do so as long as I can still be my glowing positive self, because if I couldn’t take care of that, I wouldn’t be able to take care of my parents very well. And that’s when I found the Bruce Lee podcast, and each episode echoed this philosophy. From home care, to hospitals, to the decision to stop treatments, to hospice, and my dad's eventual death on March 9th, it was a labor of love. I listened to every episode of the podcast as spiritual inspiration throughout that time and now, almost four months after my father’s death, I still listen every Thursday when the new episode comes out on iTunes.”
Fast forward to the announcement of the Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge, Bryce was excited to participate, but then he got terribly sick with an ecoli infection and nearly died. Bryce found that it turned out to be a great time for him to incorporate these philosophies to his life because it’s during those dark, challenging moments where you need them the most.
“All knowledge is self-knowledge.” – Bruce Lee
This quote really resonates with Bryce who considers finding your center to be an important part of life. If you don’t know what is there inside you, you cannot give of yourself to others. You can’t give what you don’t have. Knowing yourself helps you feel grounded and anchored, and then no matter what happens you can always get to your center.
It’s very impressive that Bryce decided to participate in the challenge as he was so sick with ecoli. He wrote: “Though my body was not doing so hot, the self was doing just fine.” While he was sick, Bryce felt that he actually had a lot of blessings in his life through his friends. They would come over with fans, change his sheets, made him food, and would keep him company.
For the physical part of the challenge Bryce wrote: “I would feel better in my body if I didn’t have ecoli.” He got the medicine he needed and rested up to get better. Since recovery was the main part of his physical challenge, Bryce created a friendship challenge. He wanted to use the podcast challenge to create a positive impact on his life and felt that friendships were where he had a hole in his life. Bryce moved a lot growing up and never developed deep friendships. He decided that he would feel better in his relationships if he had a really close friend group. Bryce journaled about it everyday and worked on making progress on his friendships, and it was about two days in when he realized that the friend group was already there. It was this realization that allowed Bryce to bring that friendship more into his life. He realized that he had a hard time receiving that positivity and friendship that he was good at giving, so since then he has been working on being more open to receiving what others were giving.
Being sick actually helped Bryce be able to accept help from his friends and helped him realize that his good friendships were already there for him to accept. Bryce likens it to the quote by Bruce Lee: “The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning but I did not take it.”
Bryce had six affirmations during the challenge and now had three new ones. The one affirmation that carried through was his “Common Thread” affirmation.
The Common Thread Affirmation The way one conducts oneself in one aspect of life will transfer to all others. I will therefore infuse the following in all that I do: look for reasons to laugh, reach out to others, move with purpose, do the little things well, do one thing at a time, do first things first, accept help, be ready for change, be charitable and grateful.
These are all things that Bryce is working towards, and while it’s a lot, he knows that it is something to aim at. He hopes that by reading this affirmation everyday it will become ingrained in his psyche, and eventually these things will become automatic.
The third action item in the challenge, letting go or “Letting others be,” was a big action item for Bryce. He is still working on this action and thinks that it will be an action item he will remind himself to do for the rest of his life. Bryce found that for him, it was more about letting go of the illusion of control. You can’t control what other people do or say but you can control how you react to them.
Bruce was young when he was writing all his philosophy and he was in constant process. No one is perfect, not even Bruce Lee. Life is a never-ending process, and we can choose to engage in it as much as we want or not. In Bryce’s submission to the Challenge, he talks so much about how being proactive in his own life, shifting his perspective, and trying these action items, opened him up to so much positivity, joy, love and connection.
Bryce found that opening up to his friends and having more compassion and connection in his friendships allowed him to have more compassion and connection with everyone. He found that letting go of control helps other people be more themselves and more authentic around you.
Bryce wrote a poem about letting go:
Love is a rosebush, I hang onto it tight, But it pierces my hand, and it doesn't grow right. Like this, it will die, but if I can let go, It will free both my hands to help the bush grow.
This year has brought a lot of big life changes for Bryce, from his father passing earlier this year, to trying to buy a house, and to starting his own distillery. He’s excited to open his business in January.
Bryce started with six affirmations and now only has three. Other than his “common thread” affirmation he has two more:
Use your toolkit. The world is dynamic and unpredictable; I will not attempt to control the people or the world around me. I will instead seek to master the skills necessary to handle any situation that presents itself. I will seek to master the use of my tools before seeking new tools.
Add a beat. I will practice self-expression in each situation that presents itself to turn it into something I can groove to. This will enable greater freedom in others to express and utilize their true selves and potentials and will challenge me to listen to my internal music.
Thank you Bryce for sharing your story with us, sharing your personal stories on this podcast helps others connect with themselves and the philosophies. Everyone is in their own process, and sharing all of that helps us know that others are also in process.
For those of you inspired by Bryce’s experience with the Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge, you can do it too! Just go to brucelee.com/podcastchallenge to find out more.
(Awesome Asians and Hapas)
Yoko Ono is a Japanese multimedia artist, singer, songwriter, peace activist, and feminist also known for her work in performance art and filmmaking. She performs in English and Japanese. Yoko Ono has had a long career as an artist. She is also known for being the second wife and widow of John Lennon. Yoko is awarded for her contemporary artwork and music around the world and in 1989 the Whitney Museum held a retrospective of her work, titled “Yoko Ono: Objects, Films.” She is also noted for her philanthropic contributions to world peace and disaster relief. Yoko and John Lennon held a “Bed-In for Peace” where in their pajamas, they invited in the press to talk about and promote world peace. Later they released their first single, “Give Peace a Chance,” which was a top-20 hit. Yoko has brought feminism to the forefront of much of her art. In 1964, she did the performance art piece “Cut Piece” where she kneeled on a stage dressed in her best suit with a pair of scissors in front of her and invited the audience to cut pieces of her clothing off. Since then Yoko has continued to pursue performance art and music, as well as being a committed activist for peace and human rights. Thank you Yoko Ono for being awesome!
A #BruceLeeMoment from listener Jensen:
"Hi Shannon and Sharon,
I am a big fan of the podcast as I always look forward every week for new episodes. Bruce Lee was my on my childhood heroes growing up and still continues on today. My introduction to him was a little late as I didn't start watching his movies until I was a freshman in high school. I remember I saw him first in Enter the Dragon where I was captivated by his intensity and passion during his performance. I was also in awe at his martial arts skills and physical prowess in the movie. I watched all of his movies after and became a lifelong fan.
My #BruceLeeMoment is something I practice everyday from one of his most famous quotes which is "Be water, my friend." Currently I am a full time student in a university that is an hour away from home while working part time in an office which eats up my hours in the week. Sometimes I struggle with this crazy schedule and it saddens me because I don't get to spend as much time with friends or family due to being constantly tired. After listening to the "Be water, my friend" episode of the podcast, I started to analyze and looked into the quote more.
I didn't realize back then that this quote is more powerful than it looks and it shows how much Bruce Lee had a great philosophical mind ahead of his time. This taught me the importance of perseverance and how we must adapt to all challenges that is presented to us by making the best out of the situations we are in no matter how good or bad it is.
Even though I struggle with my schedule, I try to make the best out if it whether its as simple as putting some time aside to do activities with friends and family. Also I try to look at the bright side in school as I have a very tough major that can be sometimes demoralizing to a lot of students including me at one point. Whenever I just want to give up, I think back to what he said, "Be water, my friend." Bruce Lee gave me the strength to walk on and continue through tough times and I thank you guys for the podcast and sharing your insight from his teachings which inspires many.
Thank you again, Jensen”
The Bruce Lee Podcast is now on Nerdist.com.