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.