Bruce Lee Quote


Hi, George Swift here from Bigger Brighter Bolder. Today I want to share one of my favourite quotes that comes from one of my absolute heroes - Bruce Lee.

Bruce Lee, not only famous for boxing, martial arts and making some incredible films back in the day, but also actually had great insight and great philosophies. And if you listen to his wisdom, there's a lot to take from that. Even from today.

One of my favourite quotes of all time comes from him, which is, “Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, and add what is uniquely your own.”

What did he mean by that? Well, he invented Jeet Kune Do, a form of martial art. Jeet Kune Do is a martial art style. And that was the philosophy behind his martial art style. The philosophy was, borrow from other martial arts, the best of other martial arts, discard what isn't useful, bring forward the stuff that's most useful, and then uniquely bring whatever you can bring to make the whole thing better.

So rather than reinventing the wheel from the ground up, what you do is take the best of what's out there. However, very few people, very few things, have the best of everything. So you take the knife, if you like, and hack off all the bits that are useful, then keep those for yourself and bring something unique of your own to the table.

This is something that I've done always to my content, to my learning and stuff like that. In fact, I went the opposite way when I was first starting out in this game, probably about 12, 13 years ago. I was so keen to not be derivative of other people's thought, but I deliberately didn't read personal development books. I'd been involved in personal development for many years before that and in various different guises. But I stopped reading. I stopped listening to other people, stopped doing other people's programmes because I wanted to get my head clear about what my take was.

What was my truth? What was my philosophy? What did I want to bring to the world? Stuff like that. It was a good thing to do, I'll be honest with you, however there was a detrimental side to this, which was actually making life really hard for myself in many ways.

I actually coach a lot of people to do this, by the way, rather than just listening to a book and then saying, what does this mean to me? And then going off there and repeating somebody else's words, albeit maybe changing the accent slightly. Actually, it's really good to really get to grips with who you are, what your thoughts are, what's your philosophy, what do you bring to the table?

However, to totally disregard what else is out there is making life really hard for yourself. And also, actually, even if you come up with the most incredible stuff of your own, the chances are that there's some stuff in there that maybe isn't as good as other people have done in the past. And therefore it makes sense to amalgamate this into your own style, your own business, your own products, your own philosophies.

So for me, what's really important about this is to understand, actually, when you go out to a seminar, you read a book or you listen to a guru, or anything like that, it's understanding that they don't have the monopoly on all wisdom. And therefore what you're looking for is, what are the key aspects of this that are really relevant to me and what I'm doing?

It's not saying that the other stuff isn't good. It's just saying, it's not relevant to me and what I'm doing and where I'm going, so I want to pull out the few salient parts that I can really implement. And I'll do that from multiple different sources. But I want to look at this, and saying, I'm not just going to do what these other people have told me to do, or just do what other people have done in the past. What I'm now looking to do is say, right, what can I bring that is unique to me, to my business, that really is mine? My philosophy, my tactics, my uniqueness.

In other words, you don't want to have to keep rewriting the rule books. You don't have to go back to the beginning.

There's a lot of hard work that’s been done for you. However, when you rely too heavily on one person or one source to give you everything that you need, you do miss out on an opportunity.

But you don't want to get lazy and not bring yourself to the table. Equally, you don't want to put yourself down by thinking that you've got nothing to contribute.

I love this philosophy. I think it's brilliant. It's not just around martial arts. I think it's absolutely a life philosophy - absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own. It certainly worked for Bruce Lee. It worked for his martial arts style. I've applied it to my own content. I’ve applied it to my own thinking. It worked for me. And I promise you that it will work for you as well.


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