Bruce Lee embodied so much confidence both onscreen and off that you might have assumed that he was born that way. But in fact, self-confidence was a trait he practiced and cultivated with clear intention and a daily ritual.
“I know, through the principle of auto-suggestion that any desire I persistently hold in my mind will eventually seek expression through some practical means of attaining the object. Therefore, I will devote ten minutes daily to demanding of myself the development of self-confidence. I have clearly written down a description of my definite chief aim in life, and I will never stop trying until I shall have developed sufficient self-confidence for its attainment.”
You can have all the goals and plans you want, but you need confidence to accomplish your goals.
In these ten minutes, Bruce would reference his daily affirmations and visualize succeeding, and then he would take action. Another part of his confidence practice was not being dependent on the approval of others or letting their criticism hold him back. It’s not just about being confident, it’s about having faith in your abilities in the face of opposition.
“The spiritual power of man’s will removes all obstacles.”
“The more we value things, the less we value our self. The more we depend on others for esteem, the less self-sufficient we are, the less self-esteem we have.”
“Action is a high road to self-confidence and esteem. Where it is open all energies toward it and its rewards are tangible.”
Self-confidence fuels the action we need to take to learn, make mistakes and grow as a human being.
“It’s not a shame to be knocked down by other people, the important thing is to ask when being knocked down, why am I being knocked down? If a person can reflect in this way, then there is hope for this person.”
“Remember my friend, it’s not what happens that counts but how you react to it. Your mental attitude depends on whether you make it a stepping stone or a stumbling block.”
“Suffering itself does less to afflict the senses than the anticipation of suffering.”
When you’re knocked down it hurts, but what is worse than being knocked down is being in such fear of pain that you never do anything. Avoidance, fear, and resistance deplete self-confidence.
“Never waste energy on worries or negative thoughts all problems are brought into existence, drop them.”
If you have faith in yourself, then all of these worries and anxieties will dissipate.
“Persistence, persistence, persistence. Just don’t give up. The power can be created and maintained through daily practice, through continuous effort.”
“Because one’s self-consciousness is too conspicuously present over the entire range of ones attention, one should get rid of the intruding self and apply himself to the work to be done, as if nothing in particular were taking place at the moment.”
Bruce was generous with "honest praise" to others and himself. Sometimes we wait for others to give us praise and become negative if it doesn’t come. But if you give yourself that praise you don’t need it from anybody else.
“What does self-willed mean? Hell, isn’t it knowing that one is the captain of ones soul, the master of one’s life? Accept responsibility for yourself.”
“Success means, doing something sincerely and wholeheartedly."
Make a ten minute daily practice of putting your thoughts towards your goals, saying your affirmations aloud, honestly praising yourself, and willing yourself to take action. Turn this into a journal entry and pick one action item that will help you towards your goal.
“I begin to appreciate now the old saying: ‘He can because he thinks he can.’ I believe that anybody can think himself into his goal, if he mixes thought with definiteness of purpose, persistence, and a burning desire to its translation into reality.”
If you’d like to share how you’re doing with this action item you can email us at email@example.com.
(Awesome Asians and Hapas)
Photo by: Williamyan
This week’s #AAHA comes from an email recommendation from listener Jeronimo:
My name is Jeronimo De Leon and I love what you are doing. I've only read Bruce Lee teachings from all the places he gets quoted but have now started following the podcast.
I'd like to nominate Mark Bustos for #AAHA, I don't him personally but have followed what he is doing for the past couple of years.
Thank you Jeronimo for telling us about Mark!
Mark Bustos is a Fillipino American who is a hairstylist for an elite salon in NYC with a celebrity client list and provides free haircuts to the homeless. His idea is simply to give back. Mark says, “Whether I’m giving one at work or on the street, I think we can all relate to the haircut and how it makes us feel. We all know what it feels like to get a good haircut.” We want to say thank you for gifting your talents, you’re awesome Mark!
This week’s #BruceLeeMoment comes from Thomas W. in Berkeley, CA:
“Hello Shannon Lee, I am humbled by this opportunity to tell you about your father's influence on my life (short version).
When I was a young teenager and like many other teen boys looking for role models I found Bruce Lee a strong influence. I wanted to have his cool gaze, quick witty smile, and badass nunchaku skills. Not to mention his sense of style.
And all this deepened and changed when I discovered his book the Tao of Jeet Kune Do. This opened a door to Eastern thought and Spirituality. And added depth to my understanding of Bruce, and to my own possibilities.
Fast forward many years and miles, which brings me to the Bay Area studying Buddhism and Aikido, training the mind body and spirit. This is where my Bruce Lee infused life coalesces into my Bruce Lee Moment.
It is a fall afternoon, my girlfriend and her father leave the house for a short walk leaving me alone with our cat Minerva. I go into the kitchen and get some ice cream. After a couple bites in front of the freezer the cat comes into the kitchen and makes a weird meow. "What's wrong, Mini?" I asked.
I walk a few step to see where she is looking and see the problem.
the big, intimidating problem, high on speed and blocking the door, walking toward me demanding money, also indicating he has a gun.
As terrified as I am I realize that this is what I have been training for all my life. a moment of crisis; a possible injury or death. I remember my lessons which I take as don't define this moment, be free of my ideas of this being bad or good, of facing death or the threat of dying with dignity. Be a lesson in how you care for this moment. Because he is too high, he is in danger of harming all of us, me, my girlfriend and her father who may return any moment, and himself. His actions show me he is not able to take care of us, so it is my responsibility to care for us all.
When he tells me to get on the floor. I arouse all the dignity and compassion for him I can. And I imagine a circle of compassion around us, as our destinies are now shared. And I bow to him giving him my neck. Not in fear, but in respect. As I would to my grandmother. And I calmly sit in my meditation posture on the floor. Ready for life or death.
There we share a few moments where I tell him he can have whatever he likes from the table behind him, but there is no money in a moment the futility of his efforts catch him and he goes.
Or maybe he found in my dignity in distress the gold he was looking for.
When I go into the living room to lock the door behind him I find my ice cream cup on the floor. Which I return to eating, savoring the taste as never before.
Thank you again you have brought Bruce back to life for me with your work. I look forward to learning more about the man we never got to see.
Yours truly, Thomas W. Berkeley California”