Quotes from Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee: cultural icon, influential martial artist, and actor. Bruce Lee showed us that strength isn’t determined by the size of the man; strength is determined by a man’s determination, dedication, motivation, and fearlessness. A perfectionist, his precision, work ethic, and discipline captivated millions.

His lightning speed and strength amazed us and made him the most popular martial artist of all time. Bruce Lee’s words of wisdom made him larger than life. His philosophy on life, love, and personal growth has motivated countless people across the world.

I’d like to share 50 of my favorite Bruce Lee quotes with you.

  1. “Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.”
  2. “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”
  3. “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done. Make at least one definite move daily towards your goal.”
  4. “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.”
  5. “A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.”
  6. “Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”
  7. “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”
  8. “To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”
  9. “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”
  10. “If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”
  11. “A goal is not always meant to be reached; it often serves simply as something to aim at.”
  12. “Defeat is a state of mind; No one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.”
  13. “If you always put limits 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.”
  14. “Those who are unaware they are walking in darkness will never seek the light.”
  15. “Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own.”
  16. “Learning is never cumulative; it is a movement of knowing which has no beginning and no end.”
  17. “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”
  18. “The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.”
  19. “The doubters said, ‘Man cannot fly,’ The doers said, ‘Maybe, but we’ll try,’ And finally soared in the morning glow, While non-believers watched from below.”
  20. “It is not a shame to be knocked down by other people. The important thing is to ask when you’re being knocked down, ‘Why am I being knocked down?’ If a person can reflect in this way, then there is hope for this person.”
  21. “Only the self-sufficient stand alone – most people follow the crowd and imitate.”
  22. “To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person.”
  23. “Showing off is the fool’s idea of glory.”
  24. “The more we value things, the less we value ourselves.”
  25. “In the middle of chaos lies opportunity.”
  26. “Be happy, never satisfied.”
  27. “For it is easy to criticize and break down the spirit of others, but to know yourself takes a lifetime.”
  28. “To spend time is to pass it in a specific manner. To waste time is to expend it thoughtlessly or carelessly. We all have time to either spend or waste, and it is our decision what to do with it. But once passed, it is gone forever.”
  29. “Never take your eyes off your opponent… even when you’re bowing!”
  30. “A good fight should be like a small play, but played seriously. A good martial artist does not become tense, but ready. Not thinking, yet not dreaming. Ready for whatever may come. When the opponent expands, I contract. When he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity, I do not hit. It hits all by itself.”
  31. “Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss all of the heavenly glory!”
  32. “In order to taste my cup of water you must first empty your cup.”
  33. “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.”
  34. “A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough.”
  35. “Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending in the wind.”
  36. “It’s not the daily increase but the daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”
  37. “The consciousness of self is the greatest hindrance to the proper execution of all physical action.”
  38. “Be self-aware, rather than a repetitious robot.”
  39. “Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love become as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.”
  40. “The spirit of the individual is determined by his dominating thought habits.”
  41. “I am learning to understand rather than immediately judge or to be judged. I cannot blindly follow the crowd and accept their approach. I will not allow myself to indulge in the usual manipulating game of role creation. Fortunately for me, my self-knowledge has transcended that and I have come to understand that life is best to be lived and not to be conceptualized. I am happy because I am growing daily and I am honestly not knowing where the limit lies. To be certain, every day there can be a revelation or a new discovery. I treasure the memory of the past misfortunes. It has added more to my bank of fortitude.”
  42. “What you habitually think largely determines what you will ultimately become.”
  43. “Don’t fear failure. — Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.”
  44. “Art is the way to the absolute and to the essence of human life. The aim of art is not the one-sided promotion of spirit, soul and senses, but the opening of all human capacities – thought, feeling, will – to the life rhythm of the world of nature. So will the voiceless voice be heard and the self be brought into harmony with it.”
  45. “Art calls for complete mastery of techniques, developed by reflection within the soul.”
  46. “The second-hand artist blindly following his sensei or sifu accepts his pattern. As a result, his action is and more importantly, his thinking becomes mechanical. His responses become automatic, according to set patterns, making him narrow and limited.”
  47. “Life is never stagnation. It is constant movement, un-rhythmic movement, as we as constant change. Things live by moving and gain strength as they go.”
  48. “Many people dedicate their lives to actualizing a concept of what they should be like, rather than actualizing themselves. This difference between self-actualization and self-image actualization is very important. Most people live only for their image.”
  49. “Fear comes from uncertainty; we can eliminate the fear within us when we know ourselves better. As the great Sun Tzu said, ‘When you know yourself and your opponent, you will win every time. When you know yourself but not your opponent, you will win one and lose one. However, when you do not know yourself or your opponent, you will be imperiled every time.’”
  50. “Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”