I have always been attracted to people, whether they be philosophers, artists, politicians, scientists, movie stars, political activists, singers, actors, extraordinary people I meet in everyday life, etc, who exemplify in one way or another a power of example of overcoming the accepted status quo, who dare to be what they are, not what they should or are expected to be and who overcome the seemingly impossible despite having the world against it. These people, wherever I find them, inspire me and teach me. I don’t put them on pedestals, I instead seek to learn their philosophies which are behind their success. I watched this documentary tonight on YouTube and as a result, I’ve added Bruce Lee to my long list of such people. The documentary is I am Bruce Lee this link will take you to YouTube.
These are quotes from Bruce Lee:
- “If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”
- “A wise man can learn from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.”
- “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”
- “To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”
- “As you think, so shall you become.”
- “Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one’s potential.”
- “You just wait. I’m going to be the biggest Chinese Star in the world.”
- “Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system.”
- “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
- “A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”
- “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough: we must do.”
- “Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.”
- “Defeat is a state of mind; No one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.”
- “The doubters said, “Man can not fly,” The doers said, “Maybe, but we’ll try,” and finally soared in the morning glow while non-believers watched from below.”
- “Don’t fear failure. – Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.”
- “Do not allow negative thoughts to enter your mind for they are the weeds that strangle confidence.”
I’ll give you two examples of Bruce Lee’s determination to overcome obstacles, there are many more:
- A Chinese man in a racist industry. The program Kung Fu starring David Carradine was created by Bruce Lee and was for Bruce Lee to star in. When he was not cast in his own creation because of his race, he left Hollywood and made several movies in China. He returned a star. One of his methods for success was writing nightly in a journal. He wrote statements like, “You just wait. I’m going to be the biggest Chinese Star in the world.”, and he wrote out blue prints and timelines, believed them, then did them. Important note, he followed his individual truth, not anyone else’s.
- He hurt his back so badly, doctors told him he would never walk right and he could no longer do Kung Fu. He put a message up on his mirror that simply said, “Walk on.” And he rehabilitated himself. This one really resonated with me, fore isn’t that what we are all doing here, rehabilitating ourselves by Dr. Wahls example. I am putting, “Walk on.” on my mirror tonight.
Examples of others who have inspired me along the way throughout my life:
- Tina Turner – for her courage leaving an abusive situation with nothing but her name and remaking herself
- Gandhi – for standing up to oppression without violence
- Jimi Hendrix – for creating a musical niche for himself where none existed
- Yes and Rush – for sticking to their guns and writing the music their genius dictated, not what mainstream society demanded and were successes despite the opposition, both 50 and 40 year careers, respectively.
- Jesus Christ – Jesus was a radical and a free thinker, he taught us to find the Kingdom of God within us and opposed organized religion. Note: If that upsets you, sorry, my opinion.
- John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy – Courageous, idealistic, and dedicated.
- Mother Theresa – She was inspired to teach the poor and the church said, “No.” She defied them and did what she knew was her calling. She started by teaching a handful of children with chalk on a sidewalk. Also her undaunted faith that what is needed will be given, from somewhere it will come.
- Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob – For being the catalysts that created the 12 Steps and for their willingness to go to any lengths to carry a message of hope to the next sufferer.
- Nina Hagen – For being the mother of punk. She is underrated, but still performing. She is a trained classical opera singer who had a different, rebellious path to take. She was the first to wear the pointed bra with the high pony tail, not Madonna.
- LeRoy White – A musician who overcame a heroin addiction by making a pact with God that he would use his talent to spread a message of healing and hope. He gave up a career with notables such as Ike and Tina Turner, James Cotton, etc, and did just that, successfully.
- Marten Luther King – for the courage to speak the truth even under threat of violence and incarceration and he died for it.
- Dr. Terry Wahls – for seeking another way, despite the probable criticism from her colleagues and a society that didn’t agree. She proved them wrong.
- Sidney Poitier – for his grace and dignity, he didn’t see himself as less than, raised unaffected in a place that had no racism till he came to the US, then always conducted himself as an equally important man. First black man to win an Oscar and the second black person, Hattie McDaniel won for best supporting actress in 1939.
- Mandela – for finding peace within himself and forgiving even after 27 years of unjust imprisonment and most of all for The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) (which) was a court-like restorative justice body assembled in South Africa after the abolition of apartheid in 1994. Witnesses who were identified as victims of gross human rights violations were invited to give statements about their experiences, and some were selected for public hearings. Perpetrators of violence could also give testimony and request amnesty from both civil and criminal prosecution. – Wikipedia
- And many in my personal life – this is not the whole list, but you get the idea.
None of these people are without faults, they were all human. It is their belief in self, courage, perseverance, and dedication to follow through………no matter what.