What is the meaning of life?
Bruce Lee said: “The meaning of life is that is to be lived.”
What he means by this is that life is meant to be engaged with, present in, taking action toward; it is not to be conceptualized or only thought about.
Water was Bruce’s metaphor for life, always moving, always changing, always flowing, and you want to be right in the flow of it.
“You can never step in the same water twice, my friend. Like flowing water, life is perpetual movement. There is nothing fixed.”
To be fully alive you must live from moment to moment, be engaged and present so that you can respond in the moment as a whole human being.
“Realize the fact that you simply live and not live for.”
When you’re living for something else, you’re putting your life outside of yourself. When you simply live from within yourself you are engaging from moment to moment with what’s happening.
If you’re only thinking about life, instead of engaging in the moment, you’re missing out on the adventure of life. You’re engaged with your mind, not with what’s going on around you.
“To live is a constant process of relating, so come on out of that shell of isolation and conclusion and relate directly to what is being said. Bear in mind I seek neither your approval nor to influence you. So do not make up your mind as to “this is this” or “this is that.” I will be more satisfied if you begin to learn to investigate everything yourself yourself from now on.”
When you’re in your head contemplating, you are not relating to the real world. This can start an internal loop within your mind, and your energy gets caught up in that loop.
“Living exists when life through us- unhampered in its flow, for he who is living is not conscious of living, and in this is the life he lives.”
It’s important to fully feel the bad or difficult experiences so that you can let it flow through you and you can let go of the negative energy. If you don’t let it flow through you then you end up holding on to and internalizing that pain.
“Be pliable, when a man is living he is soft and pliable, when he is dead he becomes rigid. Pliability is life, rigidity is death, whether one is speaking of one’s body, mind, or spirit.”
The one constant in life is change, so if you’re having a down time or struggling, know that it’s not going to last forever.
“Life is an every flowing process. And somewhere on the path some unpleasant things will pop up, and they might leave a scar. But then life is still flowing, and like running water, when it stops it grows stale. So go bravely on, my friend, because each experience teaches us a lesson. Keep lasting because life is such that sometimes it is nice and sometimes it is not.”
Becoming flexible and pliable physically and mentally requires daily practice.
“Since life is an ever flowing process one should flow in this process and discover how to actualize and expand oneself.”
There is freedom when it is ok to take risks, when it’s ok to fail, when it’s ok to have unlimited joy. Have the attitude “Well, let’s see what happens,” because when you’re pliable whatever happens you can bend and recover.
It’s great to plan your life and plan your adventure: “Remember, my friend, to enjoy your planning as well as your accomplishment. For life is too short for negative energy.”
Success is not a destination; it’s in the journey. You can have your plan and your goals, but you must engage in the process and be open to change. Don’t engage in negative energy or feelings because they can trap you along the way to your goal.
“We realize that manipulation and control are not the ultimate joy of life – to become real, to learn to take a stand, to develop one’s center, to the support of our total personality, a release to spontaneity – yes, yes, yes!”
The feeling of openness versus the feeling of constriction is a good indication if you’re really living your life.
“The oneness of all life is a truth that can be fully realized only when false notions of a separate self whose destiny is considered a part from the whole are forever annihilated.”
Living life is not putting yourself in isolation.
“So to realize freedom, the mind has to learn to look at life, which is vast movement without the bondage of time. For freedom lies beyond the field of consciousness, don’t stop and interpret, ‘I’m free!’ because then you’re living in the memory of something that is gone.”
Time can move very quickly or very slowly, being tied to a clock can constrict your flow. Your future potential is available to you right now.
“To spend time is to pass it in a specified manner. To waste time is to expend it thoughtlessly or carelessly. We all have time that we can either spend or waste, and it is our decision what to do with it, but once it has passed it is gone.”
How can you let go of negativity? How can you be more present? Try not to trap life in a box, but live it moment to moment. How can you flow? How can you get out of your head and into your body to relate to your environment? Let go of the isolation.
“The primary reality is not what I think, but that I live.”
If you’d like to share how you’re doing with this action item you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We stopped accepting entries Friday evening, June 30th, 2017. A winner will be chosen by Shannon and Sharon and announced on the July 20th episode of the Bruce Lee Podcast.
Interested in what we did for the #BruceLeePodcastChallenge?
(Awesome Asians and Hapas)
Victor Diaz Zapanta
This week our #AAHA is Californian Filipino Victor Diaz Zapanta. Victor has worked in tech, politics, and political activism. He’s an advocate for Asians getting represented properly in media. Victor has used his skills as a digital producer, researcher, news media, and user experience designer, for a number of government organizations such as the Center for American Progress, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Data.gov. He organized Google Hangouts in Asian languages, it was the first hangout aimed at educating Korean Americans how to purchase insurance through the Affordable Care Act, and other topics aimed at Asians making sure they have proper access to different government programs. According to our listener nomination, Victor has great style and is skilled at writing haikus. Victor, we think that you’re awesome!
This week our #BruceLeeMoment comes from listener Travis:
I first want to say that Bruce Lee has had a small impact on my life as I have grown up. As a child I knew him as the "baddest" man on the planet. Bad as in, don't fight him, that's playing with your life.
In college I discovered Ip Man through the Donnie Yen film of the same name, it rekindled my interest in Bruce and his origins. I never knew much about Bruce and his philosophy until I started listening to the podcast, I feel almost like a bandwagon fan here... oh what shame!
Despite this, I've taken the "Be water, my friend" quote and tried to see how it fits my own life. I've discovered that it is an amazing tool, but I've also reworked it a bit for my current situation.
The adaptation itself has a bit of a negative connotation, but before I share it I want to mention that I am fresh out of college and I have a wonderful family and fiancé, I have fulfillment in my life, but I still feel stuck in certain facets of life. So, I want to share with you how I've become ice.
"I was water. I flowed in the stream of life, carving my own path. Sometimes I crashed, but I continued to flow. As I became older, I began to make choices that froze me. I became a piece of ice, drifting in the stream. Gone are my choices and freedom. Now I am frozen with debt and restriction, only flowing where the stream takes me. Paths I wish to take pass by as I am no longer able to flow where I wish. When I pay debts I melt, ever so slightly. I feel the pain of freedom as I am just the tiniest bit closer to become water again. Yet, my stream will eventually run dry. Can I make it back to water or will I be locked in ice forever? Until my stream runs dry I will push to melt and make my own path again."
I want to say thank you for the podcast, it has been a treat to listen to and I hope you continue to create it for the philosophy of Bruce and the diverse ways in which it can be used help me personally flow and aid in my journey to become water again.