Bruce Lee Week #7: On reaching goals

I consider this one to be mainly a fitness/sports motivation, but you can apply it to many other things also:

Long term consistency beats short term intensity.

Bruce Lee

This is a simple, yet important concept. Doing 10 minutes of pushups or situps every day for 30 days is much better than doing half an hour every sunday for a month. Especially when it comes to training, wether muscle or brain training, it is about consitency and repition.

Progress takes time and the longer you train something, the more profound your knowledge will be in that field. This is why you can learn a language in a year but you won’t be able to master it in that time for example. And this is why discipline is so very important.

We are all used to little boosts of motivation every now and then. Suddenly you want to get fit, you get up early, hit the gym, eath healthy, you change your whole routine. This won’t last long, I can promise it. Instead, make small changes and focus on consistency. Start small, but don’t slack off. You will improve greatly, just be patient!

/phil

Bruce Lee Week #3: About Limits

Okay, today I will cover the topic of limits. Enjoy this little story of Bruce and his close friend John Little (Taken from the great book From The Art Of Expressing The Human Body):

Bruce had me up to three miles a day, really at a good pace. We’d run the three miles in twenty-one or twenty-two minutes. Just under eight minutes a mile

[Note: when running on his own in 1968, Lee would get his time down to six-and-a half minutes per mile].

So this morning he said to me “We’re going to go five.”

I said, “Bruce, I can’t go five. I’m a helluva lot older than you are, and I can’t do five.”

He said, “When we get to three, we’ll shift gears and it’s only two more and you’ll do it.”

I said “Okay, hell, I’ll go for it.”

So we get to three, we go into the fourth mile and I’m okay for three or four minutes, and then I really begin to give out. I’m tired, my heart’s pounding, I can’t go any more and so I say to him, “Bruce if I run any more,” –and we’re still running-”if I run any more I’m liable to have a heart attack and die.”

He said, “Then die.” It made me so mad that I went the full five miles. Afterward I went to the shower and then I wanted to talk to him about it.

I said, you know, “Why did you say that?”

He said, “Because you might as well be dead. Seriously, if you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.

Yes, this is extreme. And yes, this is only one little example of his views on limits and personal growth.

But it is such a strong motion. Bruce Lee did not accept failure or limits. He did not accept the fact that somebody put a limit on something. He knew that limits are a mental concept and relative. And he knew from experience that he and every other person was quite able to outperform expectations.

Bruce realised that often the reason for our failures is that we just give up. We put a mental limit on our potential and just let it go. We may search for excuses, which is very easy, and just defend why we can’t do something instead of just doing it.

Well, I can only say: Don’t let the people who say it can’t be done interrupt the ones that are doing it.

I challenge you to hunt for your own little excuses! Next time you put a limit on yourself, think twice if it really is a limit or if it is just an excuse! Find those excuses and kill them! In most cases, they will resist at the beginning, but you will beat them eventually, at the latest when you’ve accomplished something which they excused you from.

Happy hunting,

/phil

Bruce Lee Week #1: Get your thoughts straight!

All right, this week will feature Bruce Lee quotes only and focus on some of his views on life. Why? Because he is awesome and one of my greatest inspirations. 

Hopefully you will find him as inspirational as I do, enjoy.

As you think, so shall you become.

Bruce Lee

As I wrote some time ago in the article You decide who you are, your mind is extremely powerful. It can build you up and it can break you down. In any case: Your mind leads you.

What you think of yourself and of your life determines the direction in which you are headed. Wether you think of yourself as a person with low worth and no impulse to improvement or wether you think of yourself as a rising star amongst all humans, as a motivated and high-spirited person, it will eventually become true.

The fact about self-fulfilling prophecies is that you don’t want to believe in them when it comes to negative prophecies. But it works in both ways. As long as you tell yourself that you are a weak person, you will never grow strong.

Bruce Lee is a perfect person to make this quote, although it would fit many more, of course. He had the strong belief that he was able to break records, that he was able to do better than anyone ever had done before. It was like hard-wired in his mind that he was able to reach unbelievable heights and that his potential was insane. In all his texts, speeches and even in his movies it becomes obvious:

Lee was a person that did not doubt himself in an universal way. Why he may have doubted certain ways of training or diets, he never questioned his potential and his destiny to become the greatest man in his particular branch. He knew that people could do so much more to improve themselves than they normaly did, and that was probably one of the reasons that gave him the strength not to copy that mistake.

This is especially interesting as Bruce Lee did not limit himself to movies and acting. He was a very philosophical person and his way to approach physical training was way more than just a sports thing. For Lee, training was his life. He spent countless of hours of his short life to find out the best ways of training, the best ways of fighting, the best possible ways of living in a healthy body. 

All of his work would have been impossible if it were not for his urgent desire to suceed and to achieve his great goals. He may not have reached all of them, but he sure succeeded in being an incredible person in many ways.

You have to believe in yourself and you have to know what you want out of yourself. Do not think too low of yourself. After all, if you don’t respect yourself, how do you expect others to do so?

Stay positive,

/phil

Failure builds character

Achievements make proud, failure makes strong.

This is very important. While being successful is nice, it can also create the illusion of being unbeatable.

That’s why it is important to get a good beating once in a while. Not only does it form character, it is also a very potent teacher. Make good use of your failures and learn to worship them for their qualities.

Sometimes their is no obvious lesson in failure, but at least it will train your endurance. Being able to endure pain is a great quality, there is basically no failure that you can not make any use of!

/phil