Bruce Lee Quotes

Who the Hell is Bruce Lee?

The master of martial arts, Bruce Lee was born in Hong Kong as Lee Jun-fan. Apart from kicking ass in movies like Fist of Fury and Enter the Dragon, Lee was a very wise guy, I mean check out his quotes.

He was the father of actor Brandon Lee, who was accidentally killed on the set of The Crow.

Born November 27, 1940
Died July 20, 1973

Books by Bruce Lee


Best 119 Quotes by Bruce Lee

“'What is' is more important than ‘what should be’. Too many people are looking at ‘what is’ from a position of thinking ‘what should be’.”

Bruce Lee

“A fight is not won by one punch or kick. Either learn to endure or hire a bodyguard.”

Bruce Lee

“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”

Bruce Lee

“A good teacher protects his pupils from his own influence.”

Bruce Lee

“A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough.”

Bruce Lee

“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.”

Bruce Lee

“Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own.”

Bruce Lee

“After all, all knowledge simply means self-knowledge.”

Bruce Lee

“All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability. The truth is outside of all fixed patterns.”

Bruce Lee

“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”

Bruce Lee

“Art calls for complete mastery of techniques, developed by reflection within the soul.”

Bruce Lee

“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.”

Bruce Lee

“As you think, so shall you become.”

Bruce Lee

“Balance your thoughts with action.”

Bruce Lee

“Be happy, but never satisfied.”

Bruce Lee

“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way round or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.”

Bruce Lee

“Be self aware, rather than a repetitious robot.”

Bruce Lee

“Because one does not want to be disturbed, to be made uncertain, he establishes a pattern of conduct, of thought, a pattern of relationship to man etc. Then he becomes a slave to the pattern and takes the pattern to be the real thing.”

Bruce Lee

“Boards don’t hit back.”

Bruce Lee

“But neither can you condemn nor justify and yet be extraordinarily alive as you walk on. You can never invite the wind but you must leave the window open.”

Bruce Lee

“Cease negative mental chattering. If you think a thing is impossible, you’ll make it impossible. Pessimism blunts the tools you need to succeed.”

Bruce Lee

“Choose the positive. You have choice, you are master of your attitude, choose the positive, the constructive. Optimism is a faith that leads to success.”

Bruce Lee

“Defeat is not defeat unless accepted as a reality in your own mind.”

Bruce Lee

“Do not allow negative thoughts to enter your mind for they are the weeds that strangle confidence.”

Bruce Lee

“Do not be tense, just be ready, not thinking but not dreaming, not being set but being flexible. It is being “wholly” and quietly alive, aware and alert, ready for whatever may come.”

Bruce Lee

“Do not correct a fool or he will hate you. Correct a wise man, and he will appreciate you.”

Bruce Lee

“Do not deny the classical approach, simply as a reaction, or you will have created another pattern and trapped yourself there.”

Bruce Lee

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

Bruce Lee

“Don’t fear failure. Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.”

Bruce Lee

“Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water.”

Bruce Lee

“Empty your cup so that it may be filled; become devoid to gain totality.”

Bruce Lee

“Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. Now, you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. Put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or creep or drip or crash. Be water, my friend.”

Bruce Lee

“Endurance is lost rapidly if one ceases to work at its maximum.”

Bruce Lee

“Everything you do, if not in a relaxed state will be done at a lesser level than you are proficient. Thus the tensed expert marksman will aim at a level less than his/her student.”

Bruce Lee

“Fear comes from uncertainty; we can eliminate the fear within us when we know ourselves better.”

Bruce Lee

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

Bruce Lee

“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!”

Bruce Lee

“I always believe that the easy way is the right way.”

Bruce Lee

“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.”

Bruce Lee

“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.”

Bruce Lee

“I am not teaching you anything. I just help you to explore yourself.”

Bruce Lee

“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.”

Bruce Lee

“I wish neither to possess nor to be possessed. I no longer covet ‘paradise’. More important, I no longer fear ‘hell’. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, but I did not observe it, until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, consuming myself.”

Bruce Lee

“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”

Bruce Lee

“If I tell you I’m good, you would probably think I’m boasting. If I tell you I’m no good, you know I’m lying.”

Bruce Lee

“If there is a God, he is within. You don’t ask God to give you things, you depend on God for your inner theme.”

Bruce Lee

“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. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.”

Bruce Lee

“If you don’t want to slip up tomorrow, speak the truth today.”

Bruce Lee

“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”

Bruce Lee

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”

Bruce Lee

“If you want to learn to swim, jump into the water. On dry land no frame of mind is ever going to help you.”

Bruce Lee

“In order to taste my cup of water you must first empty your cup.”

Bruce Lee

“In the middle of chaos lies opportunity.”

Bruce Lee

“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.”

Bruce Lee

“It's like a finger pointing away to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.”

Bruce Lee

“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”

Bruce Lee

“It’s not what you give, it’s the way you give it.”

Bruce Lee

“Know the difference between a catastrophe and an inconvenience. To realize that it’s just an inconvenience, that it is not a catastrophe, but just an unpleasantness, is part of coming into your own, part of waking up.”

Bruce Lee

“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”

Bruce Lee

“Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.”

Bruce Lee

“Learning is never cumulative, it is a movement of knowing which has no beginning and no end.”

Bruce Lee

“Life is better lived than conceptualized. This writing can be less demanding should I allow myself to indulge in the usual manipulating game of role creation. Fortunately for me, my self-knowledge has transcended that and I’ve come to understand that life is best to be lived — not to be conceptualized. If you have to think, you still do not understand.”

Bruce Lee

“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.”

Bruce Lee

“Life is wide, limitless. There is no border, no frontier.”

Bruce Lee

“Life itself is your teacher, and you are in a state of constant learning.”

Bruce Lee

“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.”

Bruce Lee

“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 becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.”

Bruce Lee

“Make at least one definite move daily toward your goal.”

Bruce Lee

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

Bruce Lee

“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.”

Bruce Lee

“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.”

Bruce Lee

“Never waste energy on worries or negative thoughts, all problems are brought into existence – drop them.”

Bruce Lee

“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”

Bruce Lee

“Obey the principles without being bound by them.”

Bruce Lee

“One should be in harmony with, not in opposition to, the strength and force of the opposition. This means that one should do nothing that is not natural or spontaneous; the important thing is not to strain in any way.”

Bruce Lee

“Only the self-sufficient stand alone – most people follow the crowd and imitate.”

Bruce Lee

“Preparation for tomorrow is hard work today.”

Bruce Lee

“Real living is living for others.”

Bruce Lee

“Reality is apparent when one ceases to compare. There is “what is” only when there is no comparison at all, and to live with what is, is to be peaceful.”

Bruce Lee

“Remember no man is really defeated unless he is discouraged.”

Bruce Lee

“Running water never grows stale. So you just have to “keep on flowing.”

Bruce Lee

“Self-knowledge involves relationship. To know oneself is to study one self in action with another person. Relationship is a process of self evaluation and self revelation. Relationship is the mirror in which you discover yourself – to be is to be related.”

Bruce Lee

“Showing off is the fool’s idea of glory.”

Bruce Lee

“Simplicity is the key to brilliance.”

Bruce Lee

“Take no thought of who is right or wrong, or who is better than. Be not for or against.”

Bruce Lee

“Take things as they are. Punch when you have to punch. Kick when you have to kick.”

Bruce Lee

“The athlete who is building muscles though weight training should be very sure to work adequately on speed and flexibility at the same time. In combat, without the prior attributes, a strong man will be like the bull with its colossal strength futilely pursuing the matador or like a low-geared truck chasing a rabbit.”

Bruce Lee

“The change is from inner to outer. We start by dissolving our attitude not by altering outer conditions.”

Bruce Lee

“The consciousness of self is the greatest hindrance to the proper execution of all physical action.”

Bruce Lee

“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.”

Bruce Lee

“The great mistake is to anticipate the outcome of the engagement; you ought not to be thinking of whether it ends in victory or defeat. Let nature take its course, and your tools will strike at the right moment.”

Bruce Lee

“The intangible represents the real power of the universe. It is the seed of the tangible.”

Bruce Lee

“The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.”

Bruce Lee

“The knowledge and skills you have achieved are meant to be forgotten so you can float comfortably in emptiness, without obstruction.”

Bruce Lee

“The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”

Bruce Lee

“The meaning of life is that it is to be lived, and it is not to be traded and conceptualized and squeezed into a pattern of systems.”

Bruce Lee

“The moment is freedom. I couldn’t live by a rigid schedule. I try to live freely from moment to moment, letting things happen and adjusting to them.”

Bruce Lee

“The more we value things, the less we value ourselves.”

Bruce Lee

“The possession of anything begins in the mind.”

Bruce Lee

“The second-hand artist blindly following his sensei or sifu accepts his pattern. As a result, his action is and, more importantly, his thinking become mechanical. His responses become automatic, according to set patterns, making him narrow and limited.”

Bruce Lee

“The spirit of the individual is determined by his dominating thought habits.”

Bruce Lee

“The stillness in stillness is not the real stillness; only when there is stillness in movement does the universal rhythm manifest.”

Bruce Lee

“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.”

Bruce Lee

“The word ‘superstar’ is an illusion.”

Bruce Lee

“The world is full of people who are determined to be somebody or to give trouble. They want to get ahead, to stand out. Such ambition has no use for a gung fu man, who rejects all forms of self-assertiveness and competition.”

Bruce Lee
Chinese Gung Fu

“Those who are unaware they are walking in darkness will never seek the light.”

Bruce Lee

“Time means a lot to me because you see I am also a learner and am often lost in the joy of forever developing.”

Bruce Lee

“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”

Bruce Lee

“To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person.”

Bruce Lee

“To me, the extraordinary aspect of martial arts lies in its simplicity. The easy way is also the right way, and martial arts is nothing at all special; the closer to the true way of martial arts, the less wastage of expression there is.”

Bruce Lee

“To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one’s potential.”

Bruce Lee

“To spend time is to pass it in a specified 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.”

Bruce Lee

“Truth exists outside all molds.”

Bruce Lee

“Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.”

Bruce Lee

“Using no way as a way, having no limitation as limitation.”

Bruce Lee

“What you habitually think largely determines what you will ultimately become.”

Bruce Lee

“When one has reached maturity in the art, one will have a formless form. It is like ice dissolving in water. When one has no form, one can be all forms; when one has no style, he can fit in with any style.”

Bruce Lee

“You just wait. I’m going to be the biggest Chinese Star in the world.”

Bruce Lee

“You must have complete determination. The worst opponent you can come across is one whose aim has become an obsession. For instance, if a man has decided that he is going to bite off your nose no matter what happens to him in the process, the chances are he will succeed in doing it. He may be severely beaten up, too, but that will not stop him from carrying out his objective. That is the real fighter.”

Bruce Lee