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Inspirational Bruce Lee Quotes

Bruce Lee Statue Monument in Hong Kong

Born into an acting family, Bruce Lee appeared in his first film before he could crawl. His family moved between the American West Coast and their home in Hong Kong during the chaos of World War II, and Lee's youth revolved around dance, martial arts, and street gangs. When he returned to the U.S. as an adult, he found love and an opportunity to utilize his unique skill-set. His handful of iconic roles, including Kato in The Green Hornet, became pop culture legend, but Hollywood wasn't willing to offer Lee what he needed to grow as a performer, so he followed his family's example and moved back to Hong Kong. There, he opened his own production company and created the four martial arts films he is best known for: Fists of Fury, The Chinese Connection, Way of the Dragon, and Enter the Dragon. Bruce Lee died on July 20, 1973, just weeks before his final film premiered in America. His sudden death has spurred rumors for decades. Officially, he died from complications after taking aspirin for a back injury, but many theorize he could have been killed for his old gang connections, by rival production companies, or because of a curse. His mysterious death is not the greatest part of his legacy, and Bruce Lee's films and inspirational quotes continue to drive fans to achieve their dreams.

Inspirational Bruce Lee Quotes

  • "Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them."

  • "You will never get any more out of this life than you expect."

  • "Showing off is the fool's idea of glory."

  • "The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering."

  • "When I look around I always learn something, and that is to be yourself always, express yourself, and have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate him. Now that seems to be the prevalent thing happening in Hong Kong, like they always copy mannerisms, but they never start from the root of his being, and that is, how can I be me?"

  • "Be happy, but never satisfied."

  • "In order to control myself I must first accept myself by going with and not against my nature."

  • "If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done."

  • "Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless, and add what is specifically your own."

  • "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."

  • "You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water, my friend."

  • "Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one."

  • "Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system."

  • "I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you're not in this world to live up to mine."

  • "Life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster man. But sooner or later the man who wins, is the man who thinks he can."

  • "If one loves, one need not have an ideology of love."

  • "To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities."

  • "A good teacher protects his pupils from his own influence."

  • "I have come to discover through earnest personal experience and dedicated learning that ultimately the greatest help is self-help; that there is no other help but self-help - doing one's best, dedicating one's self wholeheartedly to a given task, which happens to have no end, but is an ongoing process. I have done a lot during these years of my process. A swell in my process, I have changed from self-image actualization to self-actualization, from blindly following propaganda, organized truths, etc., to searching internally for the cause of my ignorance."

  • "For it is easy to criticize and break down the spirit of others, but to know yourself takes a lifetime."

  • "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."

  • "Forget about winning and losing; forget about pride and pain. Let your opponent graze your skin and you smash into his flesh; let him smash into your flesh and you fracture his bones; let him fracture your bones and you take his life. Do not be concerned with escaping safely - lay your life before him."

  • "The more we value things, the less we value ourselves."

  • "If you love life, don't waste time, for time is what life is made up of."

  • "Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do."

  • "In the middle of chaos lies opportunity."