Bruce Lee’s take on How to Live a Fulfilling and Successful Life

Published by Hemati on

Bruce Lee was much more than a martial arts expert and movie star. He was also a Zen philosopher, and some consider him one of the most influential people of the 20th century.

Recently, one of his “pocketbooks” was discovered, which has given us a chance to delve more deeply into the mind of Bruce Lee.

He used this notepad to jot down important ideas about how to live life, along with how he was constructing his mind to live a life of success and prosperity.

Here it is in his own handwriting, with the transcription below.


Recognizing that the power of will is the supreme court over all other departments of my mind, I will exercise it daily, when I need the urge to action for any purpose; and I will form HABIT designed to bring the power of my will into action at least once daily.


Realizing that my emotions are both POSITIVE and negative I will form daily HABITS which will encourage the development of the POSITIVE EMOTIONS, and aid me in converting the negative emotions into some form of useful action.


Recognizing that both my positive & negative emotions may be dangerous if they are not controlled and guided to desirable ends, I will submit all my desires, aims and purposes to my faculties of reason, and I will be guided by it in giving expression to these.


Recognizing the need for sound PLANS and IDEAS for the attainment of my desires, I will develop my imagination by calling upon it daily for help in the formation of my plans.


Recognizing the value of an alert memory, I will encourage mine to become alert by taking care to impress it clearly with all thoughts I wish to recall, and by associating those thoughts with related subjects which I may call to mind frequently.


Recognizing the influence of my subconscious mind over my power of will, I shall take care to submit to it a clear and definite picture of my CLEAR PURPOSE in life and all minor purposes leading to my major purpose, and I shall keep this picture CONSTANTLY BEFORE my subconscious mind by REPEATING IT DAILY.


Recognizing that my emotions often err in their over-enthusiasm, and my faculty of reason often is without the warmth of feeling that is necessary to enable me to combine justice with mercy in my judgments, I will encourage my conscience to guide me as to what is right & what is wrong, but I will never set aside the verdicts it renders, no matter what may be the cost of carrying them out.

He also wrote down his method for utilizing the above principles:

I know that I have the ability to ACHIEVE the object of my DEFINITE PURPOSE in life; therefore I DEMAND of myself persistent, continuous action toward its attainment, and I here and now promise to render such action.

I realize the DOMINATING THOUGHTS of my mind will eventually reproduce themselves in outward, physical action, and gradually transform themselves into physical reality; therefore I will CONCENTRATE my thoughts for 30 min. daily upon the task of thinking of the person I intend to become, thereby creating in my mind a clear MENTAL PICTURE.

I know through the principle of autosuggestion, any desire that I PERSISTENTLY hold will eventually seek expression through some practical means of attaining the object back of it; therefore, I will devote 10 min. 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.

We also have his 10 principles to live life by, put together by Bruce Lee:

1. You will never get any more out of life than you expect

2. Keep your mind on the things you want and off those you don’t

3. Things live by moving and gain strength as they go

4. Be a calm beholder of what is happening around you

5. There is a difference a) the world b) our reaction to it

6. Be aware of our conditioning! Drop and dissolve inner blockage

7. Inner to outer ~~~ we start by dissolving our attitude not by altering outer condition

8. See that there is no one to fight, only an illusion to see through

9. No one can hurt you unless you allow him to

10. Inwardly, psychologically, be a nobody

Originally published on The Power of Ideas
Categories: Lifestyle

1 Comment

Robin Stemberg · April 16, 2017 at 8:34 pm

Wow…that was amazing! That sounded like something written today, not 50 years ago. What great, basic principals by which to live!

I read a book about Bruce Lee years ago (having always been fascinated by his life and tragic early demise) but it didn’t contain any of his writings; I had no idea he was such a philosopher!

Thanks so much for posting, Eric.

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