Shannon Lee, Nerdist Industries

Bruce Lee Podcast

Join Bruce Lee's daughter Shannon Lee and cultural anthropologist Sharon Ann Lee for a conversation about the life and philosophy of Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee was a famous martial artist, movie star and cultural icon--but his philosophy has caught fire around
Bruce Lee Podcast


Join Bruce Lee's daughter Shannon Lee and cultural anthropologist Sharon Ann Lee for a conversation about the life and philosophy of Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee was a famous martial artist, movie star and cultural icon--but his philosophy has caught fire around the world inspiring millions searching for meaning and consciousness. Each episode will dig deep into Bruce’s philosophy to provide guidance and action on cultivating your truest self. “Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, 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.”



Society & Culture


#115 AloudLA: Bruce Lee and the Afro-Asian Culture Connection

Sep 12, 2018 01:24:39


In a special gathering to commemorate the 45th anniversary of Bruce Lee’s passing, Emmy Award-winning comedian and author W. Kamau Bell, Bruce Lee biographer and cultural critic Jeff Chang, Bruce Lee’s daughter Shannon Lee, along with moderator and cultural anthropologist Sharon Ann Lee held a discussion on Bruce Lee’s long-lasting legacy and how he became an unexpected icon for Afro-Asian unity. This special event was hosted by AloudLA in July 2018.

AloudLA is a series of dynamic conversations, readings, and performances that take place at the historic Central Library in DTLA. AloudLA is presented by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles which supports the Los Angeles Public Library. 

You can watch the video of the event here:

Full notes: Help support the Bruce Lee Podcast & check out our Podcast Bundle on the Bruce Lee Store! Follow us @Brucelee & write us at

#114 What Would Bruce Lee Do?

Sep 5, 2018 47:26


What would Bruce Lee Do? This is a question that many of our podcast listeners have wondered. Over the course of this podcast, people have written us with different life questions asking what would Bruce Lee do if he were in their situation. In this special episode of the podcast, Shannon and Sharon answer listener questions based on their personal opinions, life experiences, and their knowledge of Bruce Lee, his life and his philosophy.

Full notes: Help support the Bruce Lee Podcast & check out our Podcast Bundle on the Bruce Lee Store! Follow us @Brucelee & write us at

#113 Why Philosophy?

Aug 29, 2018 42:12


How did Bruce Lee become a philosopher? Bruce wrote an essay on why he got interested in philosophy and what he hoped to do with it.

Bruce Lee majored in philosophy at the University of Washington.

At the beginning of this essay Bruce addresses the question people kept asking him after the completion of Big Boss:

“What was it that made me give up career in the States and return to Hong Kong to shoot Chinese films?”

Bruce writes:

“Perhaps the general feeling was that it was all hell to have to work on Chinese films since the Chinese film industry was still so underdeveloped. To the above question I find no easy explanation except that I am Chinese and I have to fulfill my duty as a Chinese.”

“The truth is, I am an American-born Chinese. That I should become an American-born Chinese was accidental, or it might have been my father’s arrangement. At that time, the Chinese inhabitants in the States, mostly from the province of Kwangtung, were very much homesick: nostalgia was held towards everything that was associated with their homeland.”

“In this context, Chinese opera, with its unmistakably unique Chinese characteristics, won the day. My old mam was a famous artist of the Chinese opera and was popularly accepted by the people. Hence he spent a lot of time performing in the States. I was born when he brought my mother along during one of his performance trips.”

“Yet my father did not want me to receive an American education. When I reached my school age, he sent me back to Hong Kong—his second homeland—to live with his kinsmen. It could have been a matter of heredity or environment; I cam to be greatly interested in the making of films when I was studying in Hong Kong. My father was then well acquainted with lots of movie stars and directors. They brought me into the studio and gave me some roles to play. I started off as a bit player and gradually became the star of the show.”

“That was a very crucial experience in my life. For the first time I was confronted with genuine Chinese culture. The sense of being part of it was so strongly felt that I was enchanted. I didn’t realize it then, nor did I see how great an influence environment can have on the molding of one’s character and personality. Nevertheless, the notion of “being Chinese” was duly conceived.”

It was being a child actor that really immersed Bruce in Chinese culture and being around Chinese artists fed his creativity.

“From boyhood to adolescence, I presented myself as a troublemaker and was greatly disapproved of by my elders. I was extremely mischievous, aggressive, hot-tempered, and fierce. Not only my “opponents” of more or less my age stayed out of my way, but even the adults sometimes gave in to my temper. I never knew what it was that made me so pugnacious. The first thought that came into my mind whenever I met somebody I disliked was, “Challenge him!” Challenge him with what? The only concrete thing that I could think of was my fists. I thought that victory gained by way of force was not real victory.”

As a kid, Bruce was filled with an intense energy and did not know how to handle it except by challenging others. But later on he came to regret those actions.

“When I enrolled in the University of Washington and was enlightened by philosophy, I regretted all my previous immature assumptions.

My majoring in philosophy was closely related to the pugnacity of my childhood. I often ask myself these questions:

What comes after victory? Why do people value victory so much? What is “glory”? What kind of “victory” is “glorious”?

When my tutor assisted me in choosing my courses, he advised me to take up philosophy because of my inquisitiveness. He said, “Philosophy will tell you what man lives for.” When I told my friends and relatives that I had picked up philosophy, they were all amazed. Everybody thought I had better go into physical education since the only extra-curricular activity that I was interested in, from my childhood until I graduated from my secondary school, was Chinese martial arts. As a matter of fact, martial arts and philosophy seem to be antithetical to each other. But I think that the theoretical part of Chinese martial arts seems to be getting indistinct.”

“Every action should have its why and wherefore; and there ought to be a complete and proficient theory to back up the whole concept of Chinese martial arts. I wish to infuse the spirit of philosophy into martial arts; therefore I insisted on studying philosophy.”

Bruce could see that there was a fissure between martial arts and philosophy teachings. Growing up, Bruce was likely too young to appreciate the philosophy his sifu Yip Man shared with him while teaching him martial arts. Now with some distance and age Bruce wanted to bring philosophy back into this martial arts practice.

“I have never discontinued studying and practicing martial arts. While I am tracing the source and history of Chinese martial arts, this doubt always comes up: Now that every branch of Chinese gung fu has its own form, its own established style, are these the original intentions of their founders? I don’t think so.”

This bold statement is likely why Bruce Lee received criticism from the Chinese gung fu establishment; they did not appreciate him questioning their methods. 

Bruce was clear with his intention to infuse philosophy into martial arts. He recognized that the wholeness of the art was being compartmentalized and made less distinct by the different styles.

“Formality could be a hindrance to progress; this is applicable to everything, including philosophy.”

People can be very rigid about philosophy. It becomes one school of thought versus another, creating arguments over which philosophy is right. Arguing about who is better hinders growth and progress.

“Philosophy brings my jeet kune do into a new realm in the sphere of martial arts, and jeet kune do brings my acting career to a new horizon.”

The philosophy is like water, it cannot be contained to one area. Bruce realized that if he applied philosophy to one area of his life, like martial arts, he could apply it to other parts such as his acting career.

Bruce moved from needing to win to questioning what it was to have victory and why people find it important. He remained present in his life and because of his naturally inquisitive nature was able to shift easily through needing victory to asking what comes after victory. Bruce remained curious about everything he did in his life. He was able to reflect on his experiences, see how he learned from them, and acted according to what he had learned.

Pause, breathe, and ask: Why am I doing this?

What is happening next for you that you are really excited about?

This is about going deep under our superficial layers and see what is really driving us.

What Bruce Lee is modeling in this essay is: be curious about this philosophy and energy that is you.

Take time to reflect on your life and energy. What do you see?


Help support the Bruce Lee Podcast and check out our Podcast Bundle on the Bruce Lee Store! Follow us @Brucelee & write us at

#112 How to Choose a Teacher

Aug 22, 2018 45:47


This topic comes from an essay that Bruce Lee wrote about how to choose a martial arts instructor, but the advice can be applied in general to mentors, teachers, or guides.

“I sincerely give this advice to all who are about to take up martial arts. Believe only half of what you see and definitely nothing that you hear. Before you take any lessons from any instructor, find out clearly from him what his method is and politely request that he demonstrate to you how some techniques operate. Use your common sense and if he convinces you, then, by all means go ahead.”

Full notes at

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#111 The Three Faults

Aug 15, 2018 38:48


The invention of an empirical self that observes itself Viewing one’s thoughts as a kind of object or possession, situating it in a separate, isolated part of itself – I “have” a mind The striving to wipe the mirror

These three faults are the mistakes and obstacles that we make in our seeking for consciousness.

Fault 1 is about ego-consciousness and our identification with our egos and our intelligence.

Fault 2 is about giving too much power to our thoughts and our cleverness.

Fault 3 is about believing we can attain enlightenment through outwitting reality and possessing an empty mind.

Join Shannon and Sharon as they discuss the Three Faults, and how they affect our journey towards enlightenment.

Full notes at

Help support the Bruce Lee Podcast and check out our Podcast Bundle on the Bruce Lee Store! Follow us @Brucelee & write us at

#110 Bruce Lee Library - Commentaries on Living

Aug 8, 2018 42:47


As we have mentioned before, Bruce Lee was an avid reader and pursuer of knowledge. Bruce had a passionate intensity around his desire to learn. He had an extensive library and would annotate many of his books. After reading these books, Bruce would write journal entries about what he had read. Bruce would read these books and synthesize the ideas, he would take the bits he liked, and you’ll notice that he used similar language in his own writings. Now we have those books as a part of the Bruce Lee Archive.

This week we share another book from the Bruce Lee Library, Commentaries on Living 1st Series by Jiddu Krishnamurti.

Jiddu Krishnamurti (11 May 1895 – 17 February 1986) was a philosopher, speaker and writer. His subject matter included psychological revolution, the nature of mind, meditation, inquiry, human relationships, and bringing about radical change in society. He constantly stressed the need for a revolution in the psyche of every human being and emphasized that such revolution cannot be brought about by any external entity, be it religious, political, or social.

It's clear through Bruce's annotations that Krishnamurti's ideas resonated with Bruce Lee's own perspectives and philosophies.

Join Shannon and Sharon as they go through Bruce Lee's annotations in Commentaries on Living 1st Series and discuss the parallels between Bruce Lee and Krishnamurti.

Full notes at

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#109 Nothing Special

Aug 1, 2018 37:26


“Gung fu is so extraordinary because it is nothing at all special, it is simply the direct expression of one’s feeling with the minimum of lines and energy. Every movement is being so of itself without the artificiality with which we tend to complicate them. The closer to the true way, the less wastage of expression there is.”

What did Bruce mean by the extraordinary being nothing at all special? Join Shannon and Sharon as they discuss the ordinary day and what is “Nothing Special.”

Full notes at

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#108 True Mastery

Jul 25, 2018 38:10


“The true gung fu master aims his blows at himself, and when successful, he may even succeed in knocking himself out. The primary function of one’s tools is really revealed when they are self-directed and used to destroy greed, fear, anger and folly. Manipulative skill is not the goal. After years of training, one hopes to achieve a vital loosening and equability of all powers.”

“In every day life the mind is capable of moving from one thought to one object to another. However, when one is face to face with an opponent in a deadly contest, the mind tends to lose its mobility and get sticky and stopped. This is a problem that haunts everyone.”

“Purposelessness”, “empty-mindedness” or “no art” are frequent terms used to denote the ultimate achievement of a martial artist. According to zen, the spirit is by nature formless and no “things” are to harbored in it. When anything is harbored there, psychic energy loses its balance, native activity becomes cramped, and the spirit no longer flows with the stream. When the energy is tipped out of balance, it is unable to cope with the ever-changing situations. But when there prevails a state of fluidity, the spirit harbors nothing in it, nor is it tipped out of balance. It transcends both subject and object and responds with an empty mind to whatever is happening.”

“True mastery transcends any particular art. It stems from mastery of oneself – the ability, developed through self-discipline, to be calm, fully aware, and completely in tune with oneself and the surroundings in the midst of the ever-changing moment.”

Join Shannon and Sharon as they explore the idea of True Mastery and discuss Bruce Lee’s life lessons learned in the practice of martial arts.

Full notes at

Help support the Bruce Lee Podcast and check out our Podcast Bundle on the Bruce Lee Store! Follow us @Brucelee & write us at

#107 Obstacles in the Way

Jul 18, 2018 40:58


“In the long history of martial art, the instinct to follow and imitate seems to be inherent in most martial artists – instructors and students alike. This is due partly to being human and partly due to patterns of styles. Ever since the establishment of institutes, academies, schools and their instructors, the need for a “pointer of the Way” is echoed.”

“Each man belongs to a style that claims to possess the truth to the exclusion of all other styles, and these styles become institutes with their explanations, dissecting and isolating the harmony, establishing forms as the encyclopedia of their particular techniques.”

“All goals apart from the means are therefore an illusion. Becoming becomes a denial of being. By an error repeated throughout the ages, truth becomes law or faith and therefore places obstacles in the way of knowledge. Method, which is in its very substance ignorance, encloses truth in a vicious circle. We should break such circles not by seeking knowledge but by discovering the cause of our ignorance.”

Join Shannon and Sharon as they discuss obstacles that interrupt Flow and how to discover the cause of our ignorance.

We’d love to hear about your journey! Email us at or tag us @brucelee on social media with #bruceleepodcast.

Full notes at

Help support the Bruce Lee Podcast and check out our Podcast Bundle on the Bruce Lee Store!

#106 The Void

Jul 11, 2018 40:01


“The void may be said to have two aspects:

It simply is what it is.

It is realized; it is aware of itself. And to speak improperly, this awareness is “in us,” or better, we are “in it.””

Void = Nothingess = Emptiness = The Origin of Things = Tao

The first form of the Void where ‘it simply is what it is,’ is to cultivate an acceptance of reality as it is; to engage in simplicity and everyday mind; to simply be with acceptance and without force. 

The second form of the Void is aware of itself – this is a more developed sense of emptiness, an emptiness where we are “of it” or “we are it.”

Join Shannon and Sharon as they discuss the practice of finding your path, knowing yourself, and freeing yourself.

We’d love to hear from you! Email us at or tag us @brucelee on social media with #bruceleepodcast.

Full notes at

Help support the Bruce Lee Podcast and check out our Podcast Bundle on the Bruce Lee Store!

#105 Becoming a Warrior Part 2

Jul 4, 2018 45:15


This episode is a follow up to episode #87 Becoming a Warrior. In this episode, we revisit what it is to Become a Warrior, Shannon shares her progress on Becoming a Warrior, discusses different self-experiments she’s trying, and what it’s like to develop your own warrior code.

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

We would love to hear about your path to becoming a true warrior! If you would like to share your own stories about your path to becoming a true warrior email us at or tag us @brucelee on social media with #bruceleepodcast.

Full notes at

Help support the Bruce Lee Podcast and check out our Podcast Bundle on the Bruce Lee Store!

#104 Listener Wisdom

Jun 27, 2018 41:41


This week we have a special episode where Shannon and Sharon share wisdom from Bruce Lee Podcast listeners. We asked for our listeners to share their #BruceLeeMoments and we’ve gotten emails from around the world! 

Shannon and Sharon love reading the stories about how Bruce Lee has affected so many people’s lives. It is wonderful when listeners share their wisdom and insights they’ve gained from listening to the Bruce Lee Podcast. By implementing Bruce Lee’s philosophy into their lives, people are staying present, being in flow, and living life authentically.

Thank you to all of our listeners for sharing your wisdoms and insights! We appreciate you and support you in your journey towards self-actualization. Be water, my friend.

Go to our show notes to read in full the wisdom and insights shared in this episode. Full notes at

Have a #BruceLeeMoment or insight you’ve gained from listening to the podcast? We’d love to hear from you! Please write to us at or tag us on social media @BruceLee #BruceLeePodcast

Help support the Bruce Lee Podcast and check out our Podcast Bundle on the Bruce Lee Store!


#103 The Moon and the Stream

Jun 20, 2018 39:08


“Fluidity of mind – the moon in the stream – where it is at once movable and immovable.”

Your mind is the moon and all the thoughts and awareness that move through it is the stream. The goal is to cultivate a mind that is both still, but also able to move and take in everything at the same time.

Bruce Lee thought that the mind was endowed with infinite mobility.

“The mind itself is endowed with infinite mobilities that know no hindrances.”

Bruce had a story about the many-armed Kwan Yin. All of her arms are holding and doing different things, and if she stops to think about what one arm is doing then all of her arms stop. This is because she is no longer in flow as she has drawn back to question if she can operate all of these things at once.

This is the idea of the moon and the stream, as applied to our mind. We can take in all manner of input and still have a point of view.

“Moving and yet not moving, in tension and yet relaxed, seeing everything that is going on and yet not at all anxious about the way it may turn, with nothing purposely designed, nothing consciously calculated, no anticipation, no expectation – in short, standing innocently like a baby and yet with all the cunning of the keenest intelligence of a fully matured mind.”

The mind is easily distracted because it loved to analyze. Bruce believed that the native structure of the mind is fluidity. We are born with minds that sense and take it all in. It is through our experiences and input that we can start to shut down and fixate on certain experiences getting stuck in a mental loop.

“The delusional mind is the mind intellectually and effectively burdened. It thus cannot move on from one move to another without stopping and reflecting on itself, and this obstructs its native fluidity – its creativity.”

“The wheel revolves when it is not too tightly attached to the axle. When the mind is tied up, it feels inhibited in every move it makes, and nothing will be accomplished with any sense of spontaneity. Not only that, the work itself will be of poor quality or may never be finished.”

When the mind is too bound up, we become paralyzed. Fear is a distraction that can block up our mind and paralyze us. We replay experiences repeatedly and get trapped in this loop. We have to let go of these replays, no matter how difficult it is.

“Recollection and anticipation are fine qualities of consciousness; they are useful and serve their purposes, but when actions are directly related to the problem of life and death, recollection and anticipation must be given up so that they will not interfere with the fluidity of mentation and the lightning rapidity of action.”

When we have fluidity of mind, the mind is infinitely mobile and creative.

Sometimes we get caught up in the fear that pain in life will last forever and crush us, but life does not stay fixed, it flows forward. Life moves all the time, the bad things move and the good things move.

You must make the bad decisions so you can get the experience to make good decisions.

If you have a fluid mind, it is easier to traverse rough terrain. Much of the pain we feel is due to resistance and bracing for the worst.

All of the difficult experiences in your life are to help you practice the Moon and the Stream.

Peacefulness is does not mean that nothing bad never happens, but instead peacefulness is letting bad things flow through you instead of creating blockage or a whirlpool of emotion inside you.

“It is the ego that stands rigidly against things coming from the outside. It is this “ego rigidity” that makes it impossible for us to be fluid and accepting.”

Do not beat yourself up if you have a hard time being fluid in a situation; know that there will be another time where you can put fluidity into practice. It takes dedicated practice to have a fluid mind.

Notice when you have difficulty having fluidity of mind. Notice when you have an insight and put it into practice.

“The waters are in motion all the time, but the moon retains its serenity. The mind moves in response to the ten thousand situations but remains ever the same.”

What are you experiences of the Moon and the Stream? We’d love to hear from you! Please write to us at or tag us on social media @BruceLee #BruceLeePodcast

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#102 The Intelligent Mind

Jun 13, 2018 44:36


“An intelligent mind is an inquiring mind. It is not satisfied with explanations, with conclusions; nor is it a mind that believes, because belief is again another form of conclusion.

An intelligent mind is one which is constantly learning, never concluding – styles and patterns have come to conclusion, therefore they have ceased to be intelligent.”

Bruce Lee trained his mind as diligently as he trained his body. An intelligent mind is a curious mind that is constantly learning.

“Knowledge is the past; learning is the present.”

In the past, memorizing facts was what was considered intelligent and not everyone had access to educational resources. Now, we have computers, the internet, and smart phones that give us wide access to information, so having an intelligent mind is about how we use that access to information.

“Not “what” to think but “how” to think.”

There are all kinds of intelligence, not just intelligence based on how much you know or how many facts you can recall.

“Intelligence is the understanding of self.”

“Intelligence is sometimes defined as the capacity of the individual to adjust himself successfully to his environment, or to adjust the environment to his needs.”

The intelligence of understanding yourself is challenging. It requires you to look deeply at both the good and the bad.

Sometimes people show a performance of intelligence through eloquent words and fact recall, but have no understanding of their self. These people tend to rely on using other people’s words and quotes in everyday conversations, instead of voicing their own thoughts and words. If you are only using other people’s words without putting them into practice, then you are living a performance. 

It is good to use quotes from inspirational people such as Bruce Lee, but you should not use them in a superficial way.

“Learning is discovery. The best way of learning is not the computation of information, but discovering and uncovering what there is in us – our own abilities, our own eyes, in order to find our potential.”

Bruce Lee held the belief that self-education makes a great person and to use your mind instead of being used by your mind.

The intelligent mind is the mind that we are using. It is important that your mind and your outward expression be as in line as possible. When the words do not match the actions, there is a feeling of inauthenticity that is felt by you and everyone you are in relationship with.

With an intelligent mind it is important to notice and be open to feedback you receive from your environment and relationships.

“Life is something for which there is no answer. It must be understood from moment to moment.”

If you make the shift from a fixed mind to a curious mind, then you can invite discussion instead if shutting down discussion. 

"A conditioned mind is not a free mind."

“Real freedom is the outcome of intelligence.”

If you are adaptable, if you are always learning and present, then the ability to be more free comes from that.

Understanding yourself is difficult because examining your self and looking within can be painful. Use what is going on inside yourself to fuel your curiosity.

The study of imperfection can perfectly lead you to a more free existence.

If you saw Bruce Lee walk into a room, he was fluid, real, present, and alive in his mind. The intelligent mind is an alive mind, a mind that is actively engaged.

“You have to raise your mind up to absolute awareness.”

Conversing and engaging with new people can be difficult, especially now when we can go on our phones and use that isolated activity as a shield in social situations. Mindfully entering a new space requires awareness and conversing with people in a meaningful way requires being fully present and engaged.

“If you learn concepts and information, then you don’t understand. You only explain. When a man thinks, he stands off from what he is trying to understand." 

“Drop and dissolve inner blockage.”

“A concentrated mind is not an attentive mind, but a mind that is in a state of open awareness can concentrate. We are concerned with the total process of living, and to concentrate exclusively on any particular aspect of life, belittles life.”

Sometimes a concentrated mind is needed in order to solve a specific problem, but the mistake is to bring the concentrated mind into all situations, instead then you need an attentive mind. You can concentrate and be open and aware of your surroundings at the same time.

“The thought of a distracted mind cannot be sincere. Sincere thought means thought of quiet awareness.”

When your mind is distracted you cannot be fully sincere or fully engaged with what is happening. 

“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”.”

Often we become preoccupied with thoughts about what we would like a situation or person to be, and miss what is actually happening or who that person actually is. Let people be who they are, and just observe, learn and be curious. 

“When you are awake, you must be fully awake and conscious about everything. This is a wonderful mental exercise.”

“The important thing is to be alert, to question, to find out, so that your own initiative may be awakened.” 

We’d love to hear from you! Please write to us at or tag us on social media @BruceLee #BruceLeePodcast

Help support the Bruce Lee Podcast and check out our Podcast Bundle on the Bruce Lee Store!

#101 The Complete Human

Jun 6, 2018 50:06



“The conformer seldom learns to depend upon himself for expression; rather he faithfully follows a pattern.

As time passes, he will probably learn some dead routines and be good according to his set patterns, but he has not come to understand himself.”

If you follow patterns in life to seek approval and to be “good” you can be shutting down your true essence. This is just going through the motions of living life, and then we do things we do not want to because we are trained to please.

In the business and career world, there is a lot of focus on productivity and efficiency. This can create dead patterns that are automatic responses to situations in order to achieve a certain level of efficiency. When we follow dead patterns we miss out on connecting with people.

To be a complete human, you show up in the full aliveness of your experience, you show up with the availability of all your attention to engage in an intimate and real way. 

It can be scary to move away from the prepared pattern and be fully present because you do not know what someone will say or how they will react.

This is where all your self-work comes into play. All the work that you have done on knowing yourself, and discovering what you are passionate about, will serve you in these situations.

“A live person is not a “dead” product of this or that; he is an individual. And the individual is always more important than the system.

Drilling on set patterns and routines will eventually make a person good according to the routine, but only self-awareness and self-expression can lead to truth.”

It feels safe to have a routine because you know that it works. This routine may work for a while, but eventually you will run into a situation where it will not work because the circumstances have changed while you have not.

“Many people derive their techniques and principles from intellectual theories and not from application. He can talk about (and there are some master talkers), but he cannot teach it.”

Instead of just regurgitating Bruce Lee’s quotes, we have to apply his philosophy to our lives. These inspirational quotes make us feel good, but it is important to integrate that lesson into our actual lives, which can be challenging.

This requires you to really think about what you say and ask, “Am I walking the walk or just talking the talk?”

While it can be challenging at first to live the principles, ultimately it takes less energy to live authentically than to be living a performance.

“An excellent guide should be excellent at what he does. And inactive or mediocre guide might be of some help to the mediocre student but he can never truly understand.”

“Of this I am certain: superior performances will rest in future development and not on existing methods.” 

When Bruce Lee says performances, he means the ability to execute. With future development you have to be open to change, growth, and evolution of oneself.

Every time Bruce broke out of a dead routine or a set pattern or an establishment, he would get negative feedback from others, and because he was so grounded that negative feedback did not affect him as much. However, we are not all Bruce Lee, and for most of us we have fear around being exposed and vulnerable to outside criticism. This fear causes a hindrance as we do things in order to avoid that criticism.

When you start to feel uncomfortable in a situation or something that you’re choosing, is your response to withdraw or explore?

“You can employ a systematic approach to training and practicing but never a method of [living]. [Life] is a process, not a goal; a means but not an end; a constant movement rather than an established pattern.”

Without thinking we can let these productivity systems take us over. The rhythm of our daily life should not feel like a machine.

“Mechanical efficiency or manipulatory skill is never as important as inward awareness.”

It can feel painful to take an honest look inwards, but it is in the looking that you get real information.

There is a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. In the fixed mindset we believe that our abilities, talents, and situations are fixed and we cannot have expansion. In the growth mindset we have the openness that anything is possible.

The Conformer = Fixed Mindset

The Complete Human = Growth Mindset

“A true warrior “listens” to circumstances, while a conformer “recites” his circumstances.”

If you ask a question and a person responds with a canned response that is unspecific, this is them acting as a conformer reciting their circumstances. However, if you ask a question and a person is a complete human and listens, then if they do not know the answer they can answer honestly or help figure out the answer.

“As a person matures, he will realize that his skills are not so much tools used to conquer others, but tools used to explode his ego and all its follies. All the practice is to round him up to be a complete man.”

When you fully engage with life in all its scariness and uncertainty, then you become more comfortable with the unknown and start to find the unknown exciting.

“In short, the idea is to enter a mold yet not be caged in it, or to obey the principles without being bound by them. This is important, for a pliable, choiceless observation without exclusion is foundation of a [complete human being].”

Are there any cages you are stuck inside? How can you go from conformer to complete human? We’d love to hear from you! Please write to us at or tag us on social media @BruceLee #BruceLeePodcast

Help support the Bruce Lee Podcast and check out our Podcast Bundle on the Bruce Lee Store!

#100 Freedom

May 30, 2018 45:45


It’s the 100th episode of the Bruce Lee Podcast! For this monumental episode Shannon and Sharon discuss freedom.

Freedom, both what it is and how we can work towards it, was very important to Bruce Lee. Within freedom rests peacefulness and harmony, and Bruce wanted to live in harmony.

What freedom feels like will be different for everyone because it is based on what makes you personally feel at peace.

“Although I can tell you what is not freedom, I cannot tell you what is because that you must discover for yourself.”

Freedom has to do with the practice of researching your own experience, self-knowledge, understanding oneself, and self-actualizing at a deep level.

“Free equals the absence of a feeling of constraint. Different people feel free in different ways, so the question is “how free are you?””

Where are you feeling constraint in your life and how can you examine that? You have to observe what your normally practice without condemning it.

Having freedom in its primary sense is to be not limited by attachments, confinements, partialization, complexities. You have to get to a practice of neutrality and observation to move towards freedom.

“Freedom is pliability of mind, neutrality of mind, and effortless of mind.”

Our minds are made for thinking, and sometimes we can be distracted by negative and/or limiting thoughts, so it is important to practice not letting those thoughts bog you down. But also thoughts or ideas can appear in your mind that energize you and you have the freedom to pursue those ideas. It is important to trust your feelings.

“Don’t think – feel! Feeling exists here and now when not interrupted and dissected by ideas and concepts. The moment we stop analyzing and let go is the moment we start really seeing and feeling as one whole. Stay with your feeling and feel it to the full without naming it. You and the feeling will merge and become one and there will be no other self than the oneness of that which is the moment.”

Many times when we feel strong feelings, especially painful feelings of sadness or anger, we have the urge to shut down that feeling. But what does it feel like when we feel that feeling all the way through? When you feel a feeling all the way through, then you can let it go, freeing yourself.

Freedom is being fully present, having your body be fully sensing, and knowing yourself well.

“Freedom is something that cannot be preconceived. To realize freedom requires a mind capable of immediate perception without the process of graduation, without the idea of an end to be slowly achieved.”

Sometimes we can disconnect from our bodies to go into our mind. There, we can get stuck and ignore how we feel. This will interrupt your flow.

To achieve freedom you must stay in flow, with your mind and body connected. Trust your intuition.

“The truth lived and experienced in concrete and existential awareness is what makes us free.”

“There is no freedom if you are enclosed by self-interest and walls of discipline.”

When there is too much rigidity or ego there will never be freedom. But if you are disciplined about practicing openness, observation, experimentation, and sensing with your body, will lead you to a path of freedom.

Freedom has always been with us. You do not have to go on a great outward journey to find freedom it is within us all.

“One must practice freedom in order to understand freedom. Create immediately an atmosphere of freedom so that you can live and find out for yourself what is true, so that you can face the world with the ability to understand it. One can tell for oneself whether the water is warm or cold.”

Practice freedom:

Ask yourself, how free are you? Where do you feel the restraints? Where do you feel confined? See if it is possible to perceive your confinement in any other way.

How does practicing freedom feel? Please write to us at or tag us on social media @BruceLee #BruceLeePodcast

#99 Someone Real

May 23, 2018 47:41


“Somehow, one day, you will hear, “Hey, now that is quality. That is someone REAL.” I would like that.”

We are still drawn to Bruce Lee and his performances are so magnetizing because there is authenticity and energy emanating from him.

It was Bruce’s ultimate goal that he be known for quality and realness. In order to achieve realness Bruce had to really know himself and not get distracted by performing a fake image or shortcuts in life. It was a big part of Bruce’s life work to stay in the realness of himself.

It is exhausting to constantly project a false image of yourself.

“In life, what can you ask for but to be real; to fulfill your potential instead of wasting energy on actualizing your dissipating image, which is not real and expends your vital energy.”

In our modern society, social media has made a mass market of projecting an image of our lives. People work to project a perfect image of their lives through their social media even if their reality is different from that. With social media there is a cultural expectation that not only do you need it to create your self-image, but that you don’t exist without it.

Social media and projecting a curated image of yourself can be intoxicating. Image creation can become addicting when that image receives positive accolades from society. When you expend energy towards image creation you are putting energy towards maintaining an image that is not real, but is a performance or a disguise.

We live in a world where people can reach you at any time and there is often no boundary between life and work. It can be hard to take a rest when you are constantly available, but if you take time to properly rest yourself then you will have more energy to devote to your work and life.

The cultivation and proper use of your vital energy is an important Bruce Lee lesson.

We are not machines, we are real people, and because we are real we need rest and nourishment as a regular part of our daily lives.

“The truth is that life is an ever-going process, ever-renewing and it is just meant to be lived, but not lived for.”

If you are living only for external things it will deplete your energy and you are not truly living life.

“To be what I term a “quality” human being, one has to be transparently real and have the courage to be what he is.”

It takes a lot of courage to be real and vulnerable. There are some people who are on social media being real and vulnerable and are building a community around that because people gravitate towards realness.

Social media is a reflection of our society. People are putting on a performance in their jobs and personal lives, no one wants to be the one who “sticks out.”

“To be what I term a “quality” human being, one has to be transparently real and have the courage to be what he is.

Yet most people are doing just the opposite; they engage in a protective daily routine of security (a kind of thumb-sucking).”

It can feel safe and comfortable to hide behind a performance. However, you can also feel safe and comfortable in yourself when you know who you are. When you move through the world with realness and authenticity then you know your interactions and relationships are real.

“Someone Real has an urge to be honest, to express themselves honestly. You are what you are and self-honesty occupies a definite and vital part in the ever-growing process to become a “real” human being.

Someone Real works their ass off and commits to constant learning and discovering.

Someone Real takes responsibility to be what he actually is.

Someone Real has an instinctive urge for growth and daily expansion of his/her potential.

Someone Real participates in “what is” rather than get caught up in “what should be”.

Someone Real understands the distinction between self-actualization and self-image actualization.”

“To be Someone Real means to have a burning enthusiasm with the neutrality to choose to be.”

“Someone Real takes responsibility for one’s actions, good and bad.”

“Someone Real centers their energy on expanding and broadening their potential or on expressing and relaying a unified energy for their clearest communication. Someone Real is a changing person because he is and always will be learning, discovering and expanding.” 

“Someone Real demands the absence of prejudice, superstition, and ignorance, and leaves the circus acts to the circus performers.”

In your search to become Someone Real, ask yourself (substitute your name):

“What it boils down to is a sincere and honest revelation about a person called ______________ - his viewpoint, who he is, where he is heading, what he hopes to discover. To do this, a person must stand on their own two feet and find out the cause of their ignorance.”

We support you on your path to being Someone Real and we’d love to hear about your explorations into becoming Someone Real. Please write to us at or tag us on social media @BruceLee #BruceLeePodcast

#98 Bruce Lee Library - Tao Te Ching

May 16, 2018 51:11


Bruce Lee was a prolific reader; we have around 1,700 books in the Bruce Lee Archive. In the Bruce Lee Library series we will explore different books from Bruce’s library, sharing his annotations and underlined passages, and discussing how these books contributed to Bruce’s philosophy and life.

Bruce Lee was extremely well read, his library had a range of topics on things he was interested in from philosophy to fighting techniques to self-help to acting and directing.

The first book that we will be sharing from the Bruce Lee Library is the Tao Te King by Lao Tzu Interpreted as Nature and Intelligence by Archie J Bahm. Tao Te Ching is an ancient Chinese text written some time during the 5th or 4th century BC and its author Lao Tzu (Old Master) was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer, and the founder of philosophical Taoism. The book itself is only 81 sections and it’s very poetic. The Tao Te Ching has been translated into Western languages over 250 times.

Full show notes at

Please write to us at or tag us on social media @BruceLee #BruceLeePodcast.

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#97 Linda Lee Cadwell – Stories of Bruce

May 9, 2018 48:46


This week we have a special guest on the podcast, Shannon’s mom Linda Lee Cadwell!

Linda joins us to share her firsthand stories of Bruce and their life as a family. She talks about Bruce’s back injury, how Bruce was better than her at English grammar, and how Bruce charmed his way up to first class with the Cha Cha.

It is always a pleasure to have Linda on the podcast, and we love that she was able to join us for this episode. Thank you Linda for sharing your stories with us!

We’d love to hear from you! Please write to us at or tag us on social media @BruceLee #BruceLeePodcast.

Help support the Bruce Lee Podcast and check out our Podcast Bundle on the Bruce Lee Store!

#96 5 Ways of Flow

May 2, 2018 47:44


Five Ways of Flow

The highest truth is inexpressible. Spiritual cultivation cannot be cultivated. In the last resort nothing is gained. There is nothing much in the teaching. In throwing punches and moving, therein lies the wonderful Tao.

1. The highest truth is inexpressible.

The highest truth, your truth, is an experience, a knowing, it is a reverberation in the soul and heart of man.

“When both the man and his surroundings are eliminated, neither man nor his surroundings are eliminated – Walk On!”

“Between enlightenment and knowledge, in the latter a contrast exists between the knower and the known, whereas in the former, there is no such contrast.”

2. Spiritual cultivation cannot be cultivated.

After spiritual cultivation you return to the ordinariness of life but filled with the extraordinariness of life; gratitude; acceptance; allowance; flow; a return to effortlessness.

“After the completion of cultivation, one remains amid the phenomenal yet devoid of the phenomenal.”

“The aim is not the one-sided promotion of spirit, soul and senses, but the opening of all human capacities to the life rhythm of the world and nature."

3. In the last resort nothing is gained.

When we come down to the last resort of a situation, we are reaching a sort of giving up - a place where we have reconciled ourselves with losing; so don’t hang onto a last resort, rather be willing to die.

“Are you a flowing entity capable to flow with circumstances?”

“Do not run away; let go. Do not seek; it will come when least expected.”

4. There is nothing much in the teaching.

Modeling as a form of teaching. A teacher is a guide, the student has to experience things for themselves.

“A good teacher functions as a pointer to truth but not a giver of truth. He employs a minimum of form to lead his student to the formless. Furthermore, he points out the importance of being able to enter a mold without being imprisoned by it or to follow the principles without being bound by them.”

“There is no fixed teaching. All I can provide is an appropriate medicine for a particular ailment.”

5. In throwing punches and moving, therein lies the wonderful Tao.

In instinctual and direct movement, the flow of the universe is revealed. 

“Behind every motion is the music of the soul made visible.”

“The spirit of the universe or the integrating principle of the whole – instinct with contrivance which flows with purpose.”

“Simplicty. Directness. Freedom.”

Please write to us at or tag us on social media @BruceLee #BruceLeePodcast.

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#95 Transcendence

Apr 25, 2018 49:07


“A struggle of any nature can never be settled satisfactorily until the absolute fact is touched. Where neither opponent can affect the other – not neutrality, not indifference, but TRANSCENDENCE is the thing needed.”

The dictionary definition of Transcendence is:

Extending or lying beyond the limits of ordinary experience; transcending material existence; universally applicable or significant 

The 19th century movement of Transcendentalism had the core belief that there is an inherent goodness of people and nature. Transcendentalists also believed that society and its institutions have corrupted the purity of the individual and they have faith that people are at their best when truly self-reliant and independent. They believed that man was one with nature, emphasized personal freedom, and also attempted to embrace the empiricism of science. (Some famous Transcendentalists are Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.)

Parts of the movement of Transcendentalism align with Bruce Lee’s philosophies. In martial arts, Bruce rejected reliance on institutions and wanted everyone to create their own style. The focus on the individual, pursuing your own path, and being one with nature are all a part of Bruce’s philosophy.

Transcendence is a useful daily tool for our lives. Transcendence is about seeing the “big picture.” It is a change in perspective where you can take in the whole of the situation to better move through what you are struggling with. 

It is hard to have transcendence when you are in the thick of being “for” or “against” something. In that situation the other person has to be “wrong” in order for you to be “right.”

“See that there is no one to fight, only an illusion to see through. Be aware of illusions." 

Seeing through an illusion can be difficult because it is hard to give up your position in a fight with another person. It takes practice to be able to zoom out and see the big picture when you are in the midst of conflict.

A way to transcend a situation is to ask yourself, “What am I projecting onto this situation that may or may not be true? How am I trying to make this other person wrong? Why am I doing that? What am I projecting out of myself in order to win this argument?”

Sometimes in order to justify our thinking we have to make the other person “wrong.” We set up our thinking in ways that only show the other person as being wrong so that we can be right. This can keep us in anger and held in a state of confrontation and combat. This way of thinking does not rise above and it does not heal.

“To transcend the dualistic comprehension of a situation, let go at the point where the mind stops to abide – where it attaches to an object and stops the flow; don’t allow your attention to be arrested.”

Instead of fixating on the words or the blame, pull back and let go to take in the full picture and see your part in the situation.

Transcendence is a practice, and it can be difficult, but it is also extremely healing. 

Another way to transcend when you are in an “I’m right and you’re wrong,” conflict is to try to see how both of you could be right or both of you could be wrong. This thought practice will give you some headspace to help transcend the conflict. 

“Awareness is never exclusive – it includes everything.”

If you want to have a sense of full awareness, you have to include everything, not just your side.

At the Bruce Lee Family Company, when we are looking for partners and collaborators, we want our collaborative work to result in “1+1=11.” This means that when we come together with a partner we make something BIGGER, our work is not just additive it is transcendent. This type of transcendental relationship makes collaboration and working together more fun and produces better solutions. 

When you’re confronted with a difficult challenge, it can be easy to shut down, ignore it, or avoid it. But if you shift your energy towards embracing the challenge, whether you succeed or fail, ultimately you transcend the challenge and move beyond it instead of remaining stuck.

“The waters are in motion all the time, but the moon retains its serenity. The mind moves in response to the ten thousand situations but remains ever the same.”

There is always something happening around you, the waters are always in motion, but the goal is to remain serene, still, and secure in your root.

“The mind must be wide open to function freely in thought. A limited mind cannot think freely.”

In order to transcend, you have to pull back and see the big picture. You have to feel the feelings in your body. Part of allowing yourself to feel your feelings, even grief and sadness, is that once you have allowed yourself to feel then you can return to a calm stillness and begin to transcend.

“No-mindedness is not being without emotion or feeling but being one in whom feeling is not sticky or blocked - the non-grasping mind.”

Feel your feelings, but do not hold onto them and get stuck. Once you have felt your feelings you can release them instead of allowing them to create blockages. The sticky feeling is the fear you feel where you want to shut out everything, lock the door, and hunker down. The sticky mind is denial, refusing to examine something closely.

When you are in a conflict with someone, ask yourself afterwards, “What if what this person is saying is true? How could it be possible?” Argue from the other person’s point of view. Let your mind consider it. Even if it turns out that what the other person is claiming is not true, this exercise allows you to have compassion and understanding for them because you can see their perspective. 

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

It is hard to transcend if you are not willing to consider a bigger picture or unwilling to examine yourself.

“All movement comes out of emptiness, and the mind is the dynamic aspect of this emptiness. There is no crookedness or ego-centered motivation. The emptiness is sincerity, genuineness, and straightforwardness. Allow nothing between itself and its movements.” 

“Scratch away all the dirt our being has accumulated and reveal reality in its nakedness.” 

Take Action:

Transcendence is a daily practice. Practice zooming out and looking at the big picture in low-risk situations and it will become easier to transcend in more difficult conflicts. If you find that your thoughts are becoming entrenched in one side of a situation, interrupt your thought pattern by trying to look at the whole situation. 

We would love to hear about how practicing transcendence is going for you! Please write to us at or tag us on social media @BruceLee #BruceLeePodcast

#94 The Center

Apr 18, 2018 49:16


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“Centering is the reconciliation of opposites so that they no longer waste energy in useless struggle with each other but can join in productive combination and interplay.”

Often we waste energy by engaging in the struggle between two opposing things. But if you can take these two opposing things and join them into a productive combination and interplay then you can use their energy instead of waste it. 

“We are vortices whose center is a point that is motionless and eternal but which appears in manifestation as motion which increases in velocity in the manner of a whirlpool or tornado. The nucleus is reality whereas the vortex is phenomenon. Hold to the core!”

If you are centered, then your power is the center of the storm and there is stillness there. This manifests in your life as a powerful motion that you are engaged in. 

Bruce Lee is a great physical example of this powerful motion. On screen you can see that right before he moves to attack he has stillness, like a cat about to pounce. He wastes no energy before moving to attack; he gathers his energy into his stillness before a whirlwind attack.

As in the concept of Yin Yang, things are not truly opposite; they are compliments to each other. They are extremes as part of one whole, such as how hot and cold are not opposites, but extremes of temperature. As a part of reconciling these opposites it is important to know that they are not separate, but are on the same scale. 

“When we hold to the core, the opposite sides are the same if seen from the center of a moving circle.”

We want to look at the sides of ourselves, and the sides of other people, as having gradation of scale rather than as “good” and “bad.”

You have to be aware and neutral in your assessments in order to recognize that one extreme is the expression of the other extreme.

“It is futile to argue as to which single leaf, which design of branch or which attractive flower you like; when you understand the root, you understand all its blossoming.”

When it comes to our minds and our hearts, we cannot separate them out into different parts; they are all apart of the same whole.

The moment we bump into something about ourselves that we do not like and we push it away, we are not integrating or accepting what we do not like about ourselves. This can lead to self-hatred because we are labeling part of ourselves as the “other” or as “wrong.” Since we still have to live with ourselves we start to beat ourselves up over this part of us that is “wrong” and this becomes an energy depleting exercise of self-hate.

You have to neutrally examine that part of yourself you do not like, feel how it feels in your body, and assess how it is showing what you need in your life. This will help your form an understanding of yourself and will help in your centering.

The reason centering is hard is because we are in the habit of picking one side or the other to identify with.

By examining yourself neutrally without judgment, you can really see and process difficult parts of yourself, integrate those parts, and then center yourself.

If you are stuck more on one side or the other, and it cures into more extreme versions, it makes us feel more and more separate.

Centering yourself is not just about calming you down from one extreme towards the center; it is also about finding this power source. If you confront a situation from your center then you have both sides to put your energy towards, instead of just limiting your energy to one side.

Be willing to give yourself a break when you overshoot to one extreme or another. Life has waves and we are only human. Take each overshoot as a learning experience and eventually your pendulum will swing less wide and you will remain closer to your center.

Centering is a difficult process. It is challenging in real life to integrate this learning in the moment.

“You are what you are, and self-honesty occupies a definite and vital part in the ever-growing process to become a “real” human being.”

Self-honesty is hard because we do not want to get real with ourselves and look at the ugly parts. We want to place the blame outside of ourselves, but we have to own our own involvement.

“Instead of establishing rigid rules and separative thoughts, we should look within ourselves to see where our particular problems lie and our cause of ignorance. You must look for the truth yourself and experience every minute detail of for yourself.”

To find the “cause of our ignorance” we have to look deeply into what we do not know or what causes us confusion. 

Everything is an experiment and a process to know your self. You have to practice and accept that it will be hard.

A good place to start your process of centering is by examining your strengths and your weaknesses. What sides do you lean towards? What biases do you have?

“Those who are walking in darkness will never see the light.”

When you get to the center, it is a powerful place of mobility and infinite possibility.

What is available in the center is choice. When you’re sitting in the center, you have the ability to choose any direction you want.

“If you disown yourself to perpetuate an image, you become the target.”

“Being one’s self leads to real relationships and acceptance of oneself leads to change.”

“Wisdom does not consist of trying to wrest the good from the evil, but in learning to ride them as a cork adapts itself to the crests and troughs of the waves.”

“This achieving the center – being grounded in one’s self – is about the highest state a human being can achieve.”

We’d love to hear from you! Write to us at or tag us @brucelee on social media with #bruceleepodcast

#93 Conquer Yourself Part 2 – The Keys

Apr 11, 2018 43:41


“A man is born to achieve great things if he can conquer himself.”

Last episode we talked about the things with which we shackle ourselves, and this episode we discuss the keys that will unlock our fetters and liberate us.

“True mastery stems from mastery of oneself.”

Although you can apply this idea to the mastery of a skill, this quote is really about the knowing and the freeing oneself. But in mastering a skill, knowing oneself masterfully, will only make one more artful in that discipline. True mastery is built up through the mastery of oneself.

The fetters were:





The keys are:

Know Yourself (Self-knowledge)




Remain Neutral

Taking Action

“Action is a high road to confidence and self-esteem. Its rewards are tangible. The cultivation of the spirit is elusive and difficult and the tendency toward it is rarely spontaneous, whereas, the opportunities for action are many.”

Sometimes we use action as a distraction technique, doing the small things to avoid looking inwards to what actually need to be done. If your sequence of actions are taking you away from Self-Knowledge, that is not the type of action we want when we Take Action. Act instead of distract.


“Self-knowledge has a liberating quality.”

Self-knowledge gives you your freedom. Self-knowledge is not about finding just the positive in yourself; it is the willingness to look at your whole self, shadow and the light. Be honest with yourself. Create intimacy with yourself so that you feel safe in your mind and heart in order to really examine your whole self.

“We should look within ourselves to see where our particular problems lie and our cause of ignorance. You see, ultimately all types of knowledge simply means self-knowledge. You must look for the truth yourself and directly experience every minute detail for yourself." 

For those who tend towards just the negative, this is not an inventory of everything bad about you. Looking inward is about every detail and being honest with yourself about the good and the bad.

“A man is at his worst when he does not understand himself.”

The Self-Knowledge journey will be hard work, but the gift is that you know your true self.


It is important to have optimism when looking at your tools and getting to know them, so that you will have faith that those experiences will teach you and help you grow into your best self.

“Optimism is a faith that leads to success.”

“Pessimism blunts the tools you need to succeed.”


When looking at your ignorance, it is a void of good information and it becomes a great opportunity to fill that void with good information. Seek out the information and teachers to help you fill that void of ignorance.

“Learning is discovery, the discovery of the cause of our ignorance.”

Ignorance is just something that you do not know. People can have a lot of shame around not wanting to admit their ignorance out of fearing that they will look stupid to others. Acknowledging your ignorance is a part of the discovery process and you discover through learning.

It is better to say, “I don’t know. Let’s find the answer,” instead of refusing to admit your ignorance and manufacturing a false answer.

“Learning is discovering, uncovering what is there in us. When we discover, we are uncovering our own ability, our own eyes, in order to find our potential, to see what is going on, to discover how we enlarge our lives, to find means to our disposal that will let us cope with a difficult situation.”

Remain Neutral

“Eliminate all opportunities for rivalry.”

We can waste a lot of our time and energy in competition with others. Some competition can be good to push or motivate yourself, but when competition becomes rivalry then you start aiming to make the other person fail so that you can win. Rivalry is “me against you,” and does not lift up you or anyone else.

“If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between “for” and “against” is the mind’s worst disease.”

When you look at something neutrally then you can look at its whole, instead of its parts. Then, by looking at something wholly you can decide if it works for you or if it does not.

“Completeness is the absence of the conscious mind to strive to divide that which is indivisible.”

“Be a calm beholder of what is happening around you.”

Take in the information, allow it to be as it is, take what works for you and leave what does not work for you for someone else.

Take Action + Self-Awareness

You learn through experience.

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

Combine your action with self-awareness. You do not want to go through the day unaware with robotic action because then you are not living in the present or acting with awareness of your actions.

“A healthy person has both a good orientation and an ability to act.”

A healthy person uses all of the keys together: Self-Knowledge, Optimism, Self-Awareness, Learning, Remain Neutral, and Taking Action.

Be in inquiry with yourself. You must do in order to know.

For example, if you are in inquiry with yourself, instead of saying “I hate exercise,” you could ask, “How do I like to move?”

“Decide to be cured.”

Do not examine yourself with shame and guilt, it will make you want to shut down and stop your self-inquiry. Approach your investigation with openness.

“I have to leave you now, my friend. You have a long journey ahead of you, and you must travel light. From now on, drop all your burden of preconceived conclusions behind, and “open” yourself to everything and everyone ahead. Remember, my friend, the usefulness of the cup is in its emptiness.”

Other episodes to delve into:

Episode #3 “Take Action”

Episode #60 “ Choiceless Awareness”

Episode #46 “The Mind is a Fertile Garden”

Episode #57 “Self-Knowledge”

We’d love to hear from you! Write to us at or tag us @brucelee on social media with #bruceleepodcast

#92 Conquer Yourself Part 1 – The Fetters

Apr 4, 2018 44:01


“A man is born to achieve great things if he can conquer himself.”

When Bruce Lee says “conquer” it is not about subjugating yourself, but instead it is about knowing yourself in order to liberate yourself.

“Each man binds himself – the fetters are ignorance, laziness, preoccupation with self and fear. You must liberate yourself.“

Fetters are a chain or manacle used to restrain a prisoner. In this quote the fetters are our own restrictions of ignorance, laziness, preoccupation with self, and fear. These things hold us prisoner, restraining us from being free to be our most authentic selves.

Bruce Lee was a normal person dealing with his personal chains and traps. Here, he was describing his own fetters, describing what was holding him back and what he needed to work on in order to free himself.


Bruce wrote often about how we have to discover the cause of our ignorance. To accept and know that you do not know is a huge initial step. Then you have to ask “What is it that I am ignorant about?”

Self-work is hard work. It can be draining and take a long time, but it is worth putting in the work.

When we have those feelings of love and joy, it feels good in our bodies and our souls, and we always want to get more of that. We return to our fetters because they are familiar and easy and we fear leaving them behind. We fear looking at our chains too closely.

“To understand your fear is the beginning of really seeing.”

“Most of us would rather suffer being self-conscious than to realize our blindness and get our eyes again.”

We are fearful of looking closely at ourselves because that means that there is a part of you that has to change. You have to let go of some story you might have been holding on to your whole life. 

Self-work is such hard work because they way that you grow and change is by going through, working through the hard feelings. You cannot just put aside the hard feelings; they will not go away, they must be dealt with.

If you are numbed to a big part of your feelings, it is hard to know yourself.


“Use the ego as a tool.”

We all have an ego. We all have a place in our lives where we do not want to be challenged or told we are wrong.

To use our ego as a tool, we look at the places in our life where we are rigid and do not want to hear that we could be wrong.

Where are you resisting with your set choice patterns?

When Bruce Lee talks about being a flowing entity, capable to flow with whatever comes at you, this means you cannot be in resistance with your ego or your story.

Look at the ego rigidity within you, and ask, “How am I resisting?” Investigate why there is rigidity and as yourself if you really want that.

The first step is being willing to see the ego rigidity.

Have a willingness to listen. In our present culture, there is a push to debate in order to force your point to be heard, but when you do this you are not listening to the other person. Be present. Be willing to listen.

It is important to engage in these conversations even if you do not think the other person will listen to you. Even if someone does not listen to you, you still were able to express yourself. You got to practice being in relationship in conversation with someone and practicing these things helps you grow.

“One should get rid of the obtruding self or ego-consciousness and apply himself to the work to be done.”


Fear is a heavy chain. We are often fearful of being hurt so we do not engage. If we are fearful and defensive all of the time, we cut off connection and growth.

Do not put so much energy into guarding against being hurt, especially if the hurt might not even come. It requires so much of your time and personal power to stay defensive against hurt. It is uncomfortable to be anxious and tense, tiptoeing through life out of fear. 

“Sensitivity is not possible when you are afraid.”

Truly seeing and really listening is not possible when you are coming from a place of fear because you are on guard. Sensitivity is about having mastery of your senses.

“There can be no initiative if one has fear. Fear compels us to cling to traditions and gurus, etc.”

If you are fearful, you seek other people or structures to make yourself whole.

If you cling to others for validation then Bruce says, “We know ourselves chiefly by hearsay.”

You do not want to get stuck in the esteem of others because then you will not know yourself.


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

If you are always self-conscious about how you do something, even if the desire is to do it well, but you want to do it well to receive esteem from others, then you will never achieve flow in that action. That self-consciousness prevents you from truly doing the task the best that you can and expressing yourself.

Striving for perfection will prevent you from starting something or prevent you from finishing something.

“Freedom discovers man the moment he loses concern over what impression he is making or about to make.“

If you fear sharing something because you fear the impression that you will make, your projected self is in conflict with your true self. If you can always be your true self then you have freedom to create and share anything.

“Secretiveness plays the same role as boasting – both are engaged in the creation of a disguise. Of the two, secretiveness is the more difficult and effective.”

Secretiveness is dishonesty to yourself and those around you. If you’re secretive you are engaged in the creation of a disguise because you are not comfortable in your own skin. It is ok to come out and be yourself.


Laziness is heaviness and paralysis. It is a result of not dealing with your fear, ego, or self-consciousness. You feel that you have no energy to do anything productive. 

Ask yourself: Where is my energy going? How can I reclaim that energy?

“Use the ego as a tool rather than a possession. Inwardly, psychologically, be a nobody.”

Know yourself, look inside yourself, develop yourself to be a better master of yourself.

Use you ego, be in relationship, have sensitivity. 

“It is the ego that stands rigidly against things coming in from the outside.”

This ego rigidity makes it impossible for us to meet where we are and who we are in every moment. Ego rigidity is the source of losing energy.

“The ego boundary is the differentiation between the self and the otherness. If the ego boundary is fixed, then the character becomes an armor. Inside the ego boundary, there is love and cooperation, and outside the ego boundary, there is suspicion and unfamiliarity.”

The boundary should be limitless; you need to dissolve the boundary so that the love and cooperation that is within can flow out.

Write to us at or tag us @brucelee on social media with #bruceleepodcast

#91 Brandon Lee

Mar 28, 2018 45:18


This is a special episode of the Bruce Lee Podcast honoring Brandon Bruce Lee. We just celebrated Brandon’s birthday February 1st and coming up on March 31st is the 25th anniversary of his passing, so Shannon wanted to share some stories of growing up with Brandon as her big brother and share some excerpts from Brandon’s journals. 

Shannon and Brandon had a very special relationship and Brandon viewed himself as her protector. Brandon was also the typical older brother in that he loved to mess with Shannon playing pranks and picking fights, but there were instances where he would come to Shannon’s rescue. If he thought Shannon was in trouble, or had really hurt herself, or if someone was picking on her, he would come to save her.

Brandon was a larger than life soul. He was a voracious reader and would have a dictionary with him so that when he encountered a word he didn’t know he would look it up. Brandon knew the definition of everything and he got a perfect score on the English portion of the SATs. His favorite book was “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance."

Brandon was super sharp, smart, and theatrical. He loved to tell stories and capture the attention of the room and was able to sell any story he told.

Brandon always knew that he wanted to be an actor. Even though it could have been daunting to go into acting like his larger than life father Bruce Lee, Brandon saw himself as different from his father because Bruce Lee’s passion was martial arts and Brandon’s passion was acting. Brandon was an artist through and through.

He only went to one semester of college at Emerson before dropping out to pursue acting. Since he was Bruce Lee’s son, Brandon was expected to do martial arts and be in action films. So while being Bruce Lee’s son opened some doors for him, he was pigeonholed as an action star. However, neither Brandon nor Shannon studied martial arts after their father died.

Brandon eventually started to study martial arts around the age of 19, and because he was naturally coordinated he was able to pick it up quickly. He studied at the Inosanto Academy with Dan Inosanto and picked up proficiency in muay thai and JKD, but while he enjoyed martial arts it was not his life’s passion. Brandon studied martial arts because he kept being asked to do action films, but ultimately wanted to be a real actor and not be stuck in action roles.

Brandon was romantic, bohemian, and literary. He kept journals and wrote letters written in a way that reminds Shannon of an old timey “days of yore” style of writing.

Fun epitomized Brandon. He loved to play jokes, and had a big boisterous laugh and a huge smile. He was a daredevil and used to skateboard and ski, he was constantly breaking bones, getting stitches, and knocked himself unconscious a few times. He was always building rickety skate ramps in the backyard. 

Brandon loved nature. From when they were young, their mom would take them on camping trips and he continued to love nature and camping as a teen and adult. When he was an adult he would take his motorcycle and go on solo camping trips.

On one such camping trip, when he was around 19 or 20, Brandon rode up with some friends and then he went off on his own into the wilderness. He ended up in a meadow when a rainstorm hit. He pitched his tent, but it was old and had holes so it was waterlogged and leaking, barely keeping him protected. Here he wrote some journal entries.

“Day 5: I am depressed again. This trip, which was supposed to save me, is failing. I am having extremely fatalistic feelings. I’m in the woods now – alone. Right now, I wish I had some other people around. This small blue tent has become a prison of sorts. Outside, it’s raining, and if it rains much harder, I am going to die. Literally. I am far from help and it is cold and wet. Never have I been alone for this long. The tent is sagging around me, and a flood of water is rushing into the meadow…I want to go home. If the weather doesn’t improve tomorrow, I may snap.”

“Day 6: Aha! I have it figured out. The day began with rain. There was a brief period of sunshine, which induced me to begin packing up. I was in high spirits. But then the crafty rain caught me just as I was taking the tent down and utterly soaked both it and me. I reset the tent and huddled within. This brief period while I sat in a water-logged tent – which bore a new rip made by my careless step – was, in a sense, my catharsis.

I was truly fearful, with that gut fear one may experience after losing large sums of someone else’s money – but I do not believe I was fearful for my life. No, I was fearful for my ego, for my comfort. 

The rain eventually stopped and the sun actually shone intermittently. With a zeal born of fear, I rushed forth, took down the dilapidated tent, packed my bags and set off at what can only be described as a dead run. The meadow had seemed to have acquired evil – bad karma. Through some sort of grace (the good karma of affirmative action) it did not rain again. In fact, I had the distinct impression that I was the storm front, for the small patch of blue sky through which the sun peeked occasionally seemed to center itself directly above my head and follow me as I walked.

I made it to China Camp without further ado. Whereupon, being a man of extreme good taste, I moved into the men’s bathroom where I am at present and where I expect to remain. …The weather is a great gumption effector, and I hope I did not carve “I’M HAPPY” on the bathroom door ephemerally. I am no longer alone, for I have as company now myself. After you have been away from other people long enough, there is nothing to do but be with yourself. Your ego – which operates solely for others – is gone.

Hopefully I will make it to a town tomorrow where it is my fervent desire to check into a hotel. This tent has had it anyway. An interesting note – my flashlight batteries just died very slowly. Good thing I have more.


Brandon always had an excellent grasp of writing. Here’s an excerpt from his 8th grade graduation speech his teacher had them write as an exercise:

“To me, my educational career thus far, seems to resemble (in a way) the myth of Sisyphus; who was forever condemned to push a boulder up a steep hill in Hades; but ere he reached the top, the boulder would slip from his grasp. …The more we learn, the more we are forced to realize we do not know. As Socrates said, “I am the smartest man in all Athens because I know how ignorant I am.”

As an aspiring actor, Brandon understood that being Bruce Lee’s son gave him access to the industry and landed him meetings that he would not have had normally. But being Bruce Lee’s son also pigeonholed him in the action genre, which is not where he wanted to be. Brandon approached the roles he got wholeheartedly, but he was using these action films toward the goal of landing future dramatic roles.

When Brandon got “The Crow” he was very excited because it was a different genre than the typical action films. While there was some action, the role was dramatic with the main character being a tortured soul. One of the reasons that this role was successful for him was because Brandon’s portrayal of this role was very engaging, emotional, and deep.

Even though Brandon struggled with being Bruce Lee’s son in the acting industry, he knew what he wanted and did not rely on the legacy of his famous father. With just the short time that Brandon was working in film, he had begun to be recognized as Brandon Lee, not just as Bruce Lee’s son.

“Yes, I think that I could share the fact that I am Bruce Lee’s son with someone else. It is a fact that it is both a burden and a blessing, which one it is will be determined in years to come when I intend to share it with the whole world.”

From a camping trip in northern California:

“Gorgeous. It is absolutely gorgeous. The sun is out, the sky is blue. Few black clouds mar the horizon. Time passes slow up here. I will make a concerted effort to concentrate on it alone.”

Brandon was the only other person who walked in shoes similar to Shannon. Even though they were four years a part, they had a deep bond between them. Brandon died just a few weeks before his wedding and he had asked Shannon to be his best man. They lived a part when they were adults, but the times that they spent together were very meaningful. They would have real conversations and talk to each other in a very real way. Shannon always knew that he was there for her, and that he still is. 

Thank you Brandon for sharing your artistic beauty and work you gave the world. Today we honor Brandon Bruce Lee.


Social media links for Brandon Lee:

#90 Broken Rhythm

Mar 21, 2018 39:13


Broken Rhythm is Bruce Lee’s technique for creating an opening in combat.

“Ordinarily, two people (of more or less equal ability) can follow each other’s movements. They work in rhythm with each other. If the rhythm has been well established, the tendency is to continue in the sequence of the movement. In other words, we are “motorset” to continue a sequence. The person who can break this rhythm can now score an attack with only moderate exertion.”

The notion is that there are rhythms in fighting, and in life. In combat, Bruce’s form of disruption is to create an opening to strike. In life, we have our own habits and patterns, and if we can disrupt that rhythm then progression can be made and new things can be allowed into our life.

In the combat analogy, Bruce says you can break the rhythm though a small hesitation or a large unexpected shift or change. This way of disruption can be applied to life as a way to shift ourselves off of our plateaus and go to the next level. We all get stuck in patterns or loops in life.

If we are in our practice of wanting to level-up and grow, can we look at our lives to see where we are stuck in a pattern? How can we disrupt that pattern? How can we break that rhythm to move forward?

“Broken rhythm is meant to break the trance.”

“Running water never grows stale.”

When talking about injuring his back, Bruce says it is because his routine became stale. Bruce talked often of pattern and habit, and how he did not believe in them. He believed in living life and being fully present and engaged.

“Mirror repetition of rhythmic calculated movements robs you of your aliveness.”

In recent years, there is a self-help trend that promotes the creation of habits. The emphasis on creating habits is so you do not have to think about everything in order to increase your overall productivity or creativity. This can create robotic, unthinking motions and can take away your aliveness.

“Don’t think, feel.”

The “feel” is a part of your aliveness.

An easy way to practice disruption in your life is to break the rhythm of how you get dressed in the morning. How do you feel in the morning? Practice switching up your morning routine.

“Free yourself by observing closely what your normally practice. Do not condemn or approve, merely observe.”

Sharon is a professional disrupter. She’s hired by companies to come in and change up the routine. Back when she first started, disruption was unusual for the workplace and she often met resistance within the establishment when trying to implement changes. Now, disruption is often demanded in the workplace with companies using disruption to promote innovation and new ideas.

The point is not to disrupt for the sake of being disruptive, but to highlight areas that are experiencing stagnation and are no longer serving you.

There can be a willingness to disrupt in the mind, but not in the heart or the body because we are scared to disrupt our stability. What we want is stability and predictability, even though nothing is stable since everything is in flow and changes constantly, so a shift away from that idea of stability is scary.

“Pliability is life, rigidity is death.” 

The idea of stability and predictability give us a sense of security, but we are not experiencing our aliveness. To cultivate a sense of stability within instability is the true stability. Being grounded within oneself in the midst of a storm and to feel secure is the sense of stability that serves you well.

“The real stillness is the stillness in movement.”

Breaking the rhythm in small ways can be a good way to infuse aliveness back into anything that is feeling stale or where you’re feeling stuck. Notice where you are in routine and pattern and try to break that rhythm in a small way.

Find your fun in breaking the rhythm; it does not have to be a painful disruption to your routine. If you can infuse your shifts with a sense of play then it can be a fun break in your rhythm and you do not have to be fearful.

As a working mother, Sharon found that her mornings were often stressful trying to get the kids, her husband, and herself all ready for the day and out the door. As a small way to make those mornings more enjoyable she started listening to a 70’s funk playlist to infuse some fun into her morning. It was a small change to her morning routine, but has greatly changed how she feels about her mornings from feeling robotic to feeling fun and alive.

The way to break the rhythm is to become aware of the rhythms and patterns that you are in.

We are engaged in many small routines throughout our lives, from how we put or socks on in the morning to how we wash our hair in the shower. Try to change one thing about one of your small routines, just to see what happens.

Bruce Lee talked about timing, cadence, and rhythm as something that had to be felt and mastered as a psychological problem, even more than it being a physical thing. Noticing where we are and having awareness of the ruts we are in, is a noticing of your psychological state. To be able to disrupt or change that pattern, to insert play, is an issue of the heart and the mind. Aliveness is about the whole of mind, body, and spirit together.

Doing your duty can be something that pulls us away from our aliveness because duty creates a sense of obligation and is therefore outside of oneself. We should engage our aliveness whenever possible.

“Life is meant to be lived.”

If we can alter our internal framing where we are not doing something out of a feeling of obligation, but instead because you enjoy it and it makes you feel alive, then you will be more present and enjoy your life.

“If you meet a situation with a chosen pattern, then your reaction and your response will always be lacking pliability and aliveness.”

We would love to hear about your experiments in breaking the rhythm! Write to us at or tag us @brucelee on social media with #bruceleepodcast

Read full show notes at

#89 The Tools

Mar 14, 2018 38:53


“The Tools” are what you have in your arsenal at your disposal to tackle life head-on.

Bruce Lee repeatedly wrote about different Tools he used in life. We have talked about these tools separately on the podcast, but what is it to have these tools in your arsenal and to use them? 

“Your tools have a dual-purpose, to destroy whatever is in front of you that stands in the way of peace, justice, and humanity, and to destroy your own impulse of self-preservation, to destroy anything bothering your mind, to overcome your own greed, anger, and folly.”

We have the obstacles in our life that are outside of ourselves and then we have the obstacles within our own mind. Bruce has a warrior-like mentality to destroy these barriers in life to achieve peace.

These are Bruce Lee’s Tools:







Flexibility and Adaptability



Willpower was a tool that was extremely important to Bruce Lee as he considered himself a self-willed man. He had the power to direct his energy toward the things that he wanted.

Bruce Lee wanted to destroy these obstacles not to force through his own path, but to achieve greater harmony and connectedness with the world around him. He is asking us to replace our greed and anger with peace and humanity. 

“When you are training, your mind and body are active and dynamic in every way. But in actual combat your mind must be calm, you must feel as if nothing critical is happening. Your movements should be light and secure, not fixed and glaring. Your behavior should not be in any way different from your everyday behavior.”

You cultivate these tools so that when the situation arises and you need them, you can use these tools in a masterful way with calmness, with presence, and put them into service to handle the situation without aggression.

“If you are pure-hearted, and choicelessly aware, then your tools will hold these qualities, and will play their role to the utmost degree. Your tools stand as symbols of the invisible spirit, and they keep the mind and body in full engagement.”

Simplicity is an important tool because it can be easy to overcomplicate and overthink a situation or a solution. You have to “Hack away the unessentials.” You want to know exactly what you need and to go directly to a solution.

Our instinct to overthink or overcomplicate situations is fear-based. We fear that something will go wrong and it can create a negative thought spiral taking us out of the reality of the situation.

Listen to people expressing themselves. If they are expressing themselves simply, it is easier to understand and connect through communication.

“Our tools represent the force of intuitive or instinctive directness and do not divide or block our freedom. Our tools move us onward without looking back or to the side.”

Use your intuition to test how good your tools are and if they are moving you forward. 

For Shannon, she has been working on her tool of Joy recently. She has been trying to turn her ego, when it comes up, into Joy. Shannon’s process is to first notice ego showing up, then she aims to remain present, and look around herself to ask, “What is there I can be Joyful about?”

Sometimes when we are in a negative state of being, such as anger, we can forget about using our other tools. Try to give your tools a definite shape, imagine a toolbox filled with your tools that you can visualize to help bring your out of a negative state and utilize your tools instead.

Shannon has also been experimenting with her tools of Simplicity and Intuition. Sometimes we will have an intuition about something and we sit and overthink it. Shannon has been practicing noticing her intuition and applying it as simply as she can. This action requires Willpower to move you to act on your intuition.

“This is not a matter of petty techniques, but of highly developed personal spirituality. It is not a question of developing what has already been developed, but of recovering what has been left behind. It is not a matter of technology, but of spiritual insight and training.”

We tend to think of tools as something outside of ourselves, but these tools we were born with and they are always inside of us. All spiritual growth is a remembering of the love, joy, and intuition inside of us, the remembering of our true essence.

“Make the tools see. All movements come out of the mind, keep it straight without ego-centered motivation. Keep the mind sincere and genuine and straightforward; allow nothing between itself and its movements.”

You have these tools that are innate to you and have their own energy, keep yourself genuine and straightforward and do not block these tools.

“The tools are at an undifferentiated center of a circle that has no circumference. Moving and yet not moving, intention and yet relaxed, seeing everything happening and yet not at all anxious about its outcome, with nothing purposefully designed, nothing consciously calculated, no anticipation, no expectation. In short, standing innocently like a baby, and yet with all the keen intelligence of a fully mature mind.”

There is limitless ability of these tools within our own person.

Bruce Lee emphasizes the idea that there is work and training to be done, there is awareness and utilization of the tools, but there is also the letting go of the tools. You do the work and then you just “be.” You let these tools come forth as needed and you continue to move down your path. 

“One can never be the master of his knowledge unless all psychic hindrances are removed and he can keep his mind in a state of fluidity even purged of whatever knowledge he has attained.”

We would love to hear about the Tools you are working with in your internal toolbox! Write to us at or tag us @brucelee on social media with #bruceleepodcast.

#88 Artist of Life

Mar 7, 2018 44:25


Most people know Bruce Lee as an actor and martial artist, but he defined himself as an Artist of Life.

This term comes from a series of drafts of his essay “In My Own Process” which we discussed in Episode 29.

In Bruce’s essays on “In My Own Process” he stated that being an Artist of Life was his overall goal and how he identified himself. It is because he was an artist of life that we still know about Bruce Lee today. He was intentional about cultivating his life and who Bruce Lee was.

“I am a martial artist by choice, an actor by profession, and I am actualizing myself daily to be an Artist of Life." 

This definition was both concise and broad enough to allow Bruce to grow and expand. Bruce wrote often about how he is an ever expanding person and that there is no end or limit to this process and that he is discovering and growing exponentially all the time.

Bruce put his identity in the context of humanity, not a profession or trade. This is applicable to everyone. 

If you are the artist and your canvas is the body that you are in, what do you want to do with it?

In order to pursue being an artist of life, you have to have done some self-work already. In order to cultivate who you are, you have to start with the premise that you know who you are.

There is a quote we use around Bruce Lee that is not actually one of his quotes, but it is: “The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.”

This is not about trying to create a legacy by which people will remember you, but instead living a life of value to yourself.

Anyone can identify themselves as an Artist of Life, you do not have to be creative or a painter or a musician.

Bruce starts off his “In My Own Process” writings by saying: 

“It is most difficult to write about oneself because each of us is such a complexity. In an attempt to really write something about oneself demands an honesty toward oneself, to be able to take responsibility to be what we actually are.” 

Bruce said that, “Being honest is one of the least things a human being can do.”

Honesty can be one of the hardest things that human beings can do. We can hide our true self from different people in our lives because we fear rejection of our self as an Artist of Life. 

“To be what I term, a quality human being, one has to be transparently real and have the courage to be what he is.”

Being an Artist of Life is not a temporary project it is a lifelong endeavor.

Through all the work that Bruce did in his life he came to realize as he has grown and worked through things in his life that the only kind of help there is, is self-help. Even if through the self-help you have to ask someone else for help, you still have to ask for that help. You have to help yourself move to the next step.

“Self-help comes in many forms: daily discoveries through choiceless awareness, honestly as well as wholeheartedly doing one’s best, indomitable dedication, and realizing that there is no end or limit to this.”

If you are in exploration like Bruce Lee, the constant learning and curiosity becomes like breathing.

“Discovery is one of the means to uncovering our potentiality.”

Discovering something you did not know before is a way to uncover your potential and to help you know yourself.

Bruce Lee knew himself early and was able to act on it at a young age. Some of us take longer to know ourselves. 

If you really want to know yourself, start your self-inquiry. What do you love? What makes you angry? What makes your heart sing? What don’t you like?

“I feel best when I am showing my skill. Why? Because baby I have worked my ass off to be able to do just that. And that means dedication, constant hard work, constant learning and discovering, and lots of sacrifices.”

It is not about showing off, it is about shining your light. 

In his essays Bruce wrote:

“I would just love it if someday somebody said, ‘Oh look at that guy, now there is something real.’”

How would you fill out Bruce’s Artist of Life statement?

“I am a martial artist by choice, an actor by profession, and I am actualizing myself daily to be an Artist of Life.”

“What it boils down to is my sincere and honest revelation of a man called Bruce Lee. Some significant traits of him are his honesty to himself, quality over quantity, and he is hardworking. But, just who is Bruce Lee? Where is he heading? What does he hope to discover? To do this a person has to stand on his own two feet and find out his cause of ignorance. Bruce Lee is a changing person because he is always learning, discovering, and expanding. And at best, Bruce Lee represents a possible direction and nothing more. You must let your inner light guide you out of the darkness.”

“Our duty is to become real and simply be.”

If this speaks to you, embrace the Artist of Life philosophy. Shine your light and we would love to hear about your experience. Write to us at or tag us @brucelee on social media with #bruceleepodcast.

#87 Becoming a Warrior

Feb 28, 2018 45:14


Bruce Lee is a true warrior.

A warrior is often thought of in the physical sense, as a fighter and physically strong.

But it is possible to be a warrior in the mind, body, and spirit.

Shannon comes from a lineage of warriors and has been exploring what being a a true warrior means for her.

What does it take for us to become true warriors?

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

There is no language about fighting or physical prowess in this quote, but what does Bruce Lee mean by “laser-like focus”? Laser-like is to put intense energy towards something.

To be a warrior is a big commitment in one’s life and Bruce put an intense, energetic beam of focus towards that goal.

For Bruce, being a warrior was actually about one’s growth and healing, and the combination of using your mind, body, and spirit in harmony toward the cultivation of one’s self.

Bruce was a warrior in the broader sense of life. Every day Bruce got up with the intention of working on himself, bettering himself, actualizing himself, and cultivating his own essence and energy. He did this in a way that benefited himself and everyone around him.

Bruce Lee was so committed to this laser-like focus that he was able to achieve so much in a short time, and seemed at times super-human. His embodiment of his warrior focus could be intimidating.

Becoming a true warrior is about taking action towards this path and living your life by your own warrior code. 

“Warriors have the discipline to change their behavior for the sake of honorable ends.”

The warrior path is not an easy path, it takes commitment, work, and effort. You will have struggles and failures along the way, and it will take time. You are shifting towards your more true self when you decide to pursue the warrior path.

“Not tense, but ready.”

For those of you feeling called to the warrior awakening, to start you have to have an honest assessment of where you need help, what you’re good at, your strengths, and your weaknesses. You have to have courage to pursue your warrior awakening; it is not an easy undertaking.

Read full show notes at

If you would like to share your own stories about your path to becoming a true warrior email us at or tag us @brucelee on social media with #bruceleepodcast.

#86 Core Values at Work: Part 3

Feb 21, 2018 43:32


In our final Core Values at Work Episode Shannon and Sharon discuss Relationship, Communication, and Trust. 

These Core Values are derived from Bruce Lee’s philosophies and Shannon has adjusted them for her workplace. Shannon has put together these Core Values based on how her workplace functions best, incorporating the philosophy and essence of her father, including what was important to him and what is important to Shannon.

For many of us, work is where we spend most of our time. It is important to have values in the workplace, even if you work for yourself or a small company.

Shannon carries her values and principles through all aspects her life. She likes to be able to show up at work as she would be at home, with an integrated principle of being able to be herself and continue to work on what is important to her as a human being no matter where she is.

It is a good thing to know what your values are. Are your values different in your personal life than at work? How can you make those values more integrated?


Be in relationship. You are not working or living in a bubble. You are part of a team, part of an environment. Relate actively to your work, to your coworkers, to yourself. Treat others with respect. Take care of your side of the relationship. Have care for the humans around you and the human who makes this all possible – Bruce Lee.

Bruce Lee always said life is about relating; relating to, learning from, and growing within your environment and people you’re in relationship with.

If you are paying attention and actively willing to engage with people and everything outside of yourself, you will learn about yourself, what is important to you, and how you want to move through the world.

Something we found at the Bruce Lee Family Company is that even though we are a small company, each member of the team was working in isolation. People would work on their specific job without relating with the rest of the team. We created a better ecosystem by working on how each team member could help each other and contribute to other aspects of the company. 

Sometimes workplaces can be hierarchical and isolating, so it’s important to remember that your coworkers are people too. You are with your coworkers every single day, and no matter their job, you are in relationship with them.

We all started at the bottom, and we remember the people who were jerks to us. We also remember the people who were kind and respectful. Everyone deserves to be treated with a basic level of respect no matter their position in the company.


Communicate clearly and openly. No one knows what you need. No one knows how you feel. No one knows what you know or don’t know. If you need help, ask. Don’t wait to be communicated to. Be proactive and straightforward with communication.

This Core Value is specific to Shannon and the Bruce Lee Family Company. She found that people were waiting to be communicated to because they did not want to bother her since she is very busy. Instead they would wait for Shannon to come to them to explain things. This resulted in projects getting stalled when someone did not know what to do and they would not ask how to do it.

There were a few times where it got to the point where Shannon would wonder why someone was not doing their job or not doing what she had asked them to do. It was because they did not know what to do and were afraid to ask for guidance.

Shannon does not expect everyone to know how to do everything, but she does expect people to ask for help and to do research in order to move forward with a project.

There are some workplaces where this value of communication is discouraged. Where if you ask for help or admit you do not know how to do something it is a mark against you and can be detrimental to your position. This can make you fearful to ever ask for help. However, not every place is like that so it is important to leave that fear behind when you move to a new job.

Know that people cannot read your mind and you have to ask for what you need. Practice asking for what you need before it gets to a point of anger or frustration for you. Usually there is at least one person you can reach out to ask for help no matter where you work.

Observe who you are in relationship with, and know that their reactions might have nothing to do with you. If someone is speaking heatedly to you, be curious and ask, “Are you upset with me or just upset?” It’s possible the person is just tired or upset about something unrelated to you and it is affecting their communication with you. 

We can sense when things are not quite right. If you walk into a room you can sense the energy of the people and whether it is a good or bad energy. This is helpful in a work environment since you can read the room and decide how to communicate accordingly.


Trust yourself. Trust your instincts. Trust your skills. Trust your ability to learn. Trust your coworkers. Trust your leadership. Trust Shannon. Trust Bruce. Have faith that we are in a process together. You don’t need to trust blindly - communicate and question from a place of centered curiosity and relationship.

This is an important Core Value to Shannon and one that she has been working on personally as well as at work.

When you first start working with someone, they can be inclined to check in with you often to make sure that they are doing the job correctly. However, at some point the person has to start trusting in themselves that they know how to their job or trust that they will be able to figure it out. For Shannon, she has to trust that her employees will do their jobs and move forward with projects. If people are constantly checking in with her for assurance that makes her wonder if she can continue to trust that they’re doing their jobs.

Even if you don’t have a boss like Shannon: trust yourself, trust your instincts, and trust your skills. If you’re in a bad situation, if you trust yourself you can work to the highest of your ability until you’re ready to move on.

This is about having a positive attitude mindset. Focus on the positive instead of the negative, even though as humans we tend to focus on what is wrong instead of what is right. You got this job, so somebody believed enough in you to give you this chance. That should give you a boost; someone believed in you so you should believe in yourself. If you trust in yourself, are in relationship, and communicate, then you will grow.

It can be hard to be positive if you’re in a company where you don’t trust your leadership. But by trusting yourself, you will trust that you will figure out how to be in your environment, or you can trust that you’ll know when to move on.

Practice trusting yourself in small ways. Trust that you remembered to turn off the light before leaving. Don’t second-guess your ideas or feelings you have. Just decide that you’re going to believe in yourself, as impossible as that might seem.

Shannon and Sharon decided to talk about these Core Values at Work because many of us feel helpless and out of control at work. This helpless feeling can stem from the fact that we are not in power, we are not making decisions, or in control of the finances. With reframing Bruce Lee’s philosophy into these Core Values at work, it is to help us realize that we are in control of our own experience and to let go of that idea of powerlessness.

You are in control of how you show up in your life. No one’s job is 100% guaranteed since there can be major shifts or changes that are out of our control. Even if you are not secure in your job, you can be secure in how you show up in your life.

Life is a co-creation, whether you recognize it or not you are constantly co-creating with those around you and your environment.

Life can be a struggle so remember to have fun! Fun and play were integral to Bruce Lee’s life and Shannon incorporates fun into her work and life.

Go out and have fun co-creating, be in relationship, embrace communication, and trust in yourself!

What are your work values? We would love to hear from you about what values at work that you really appreciate, enjoy, and that work for you. Email us at or tag us @brucelee on social media with #bruceleepodcast and tell us about your work values!

Read full show notes at

#85 Core Values at Work: Part 2

Feb 14, 2018 40:30


In this episode, we continue our conversation on Core Values at Work, and this week we talk about the Core Values Change and Curiosity.

Bruce Lee thought change was very important:

“To change with change is the changeless state.” 

Bruce’s idea of “Be water,” is about adapting to change because life is always different. Change is a constant on big or small levels.

Shannon included the core value of Change for the Bruce Lee Family Company because over the years the company has gone through a lot of changes. Change has been challenging at times, but for a small company like ours change is necessary.


Embrace change. Be open to change. Learn to love change. Change is inevitable. Don’t get paralyzed in the face of change. Be open to pivots, goal shifts, reframes, change of strategy. This is a living organism in constant process.

It can be difficult to think of your company as a changing, living organism because change can spark the fears of “Am I going to lose my job?” “Will I be replaced?” “Will I lose my stability?”

Company changes can be caused by more than just the company’s internal structure. Society, culture, politics, and even the environment can all cause a company to go through change.

For the Bruce Lee Family Company, we had to deal with change almost immediately after opening our doors. Shannon had finally acquired the Bruce Lee licensing rights back from the studios and officially opened up shop with a few employees when the 2008 recession hit. Shannon gave her employees the options to leave and look for another job or to stay and take a pay cut and ride through the recession together. She was very fortunate that all of her employees decided to stay with the Bruce Lee Family Company. 

Like her father Bruce Lee, Shannon loves change and thrives on new experiences. Since Bruce Lee was constantly innovating, flowing, and changing, Shannon thought it would be obvious that the Bruce Lee Family Company would function the same way. There was a disconnect between Shannon’s expectation of change and what her employees expected, so she had a company meeting to clarify that change and innovation are a integral part of the Bruce Lee Family Company.

The Bruce Lee Family Company is a company based on the values, work, and innovation of Bruce Lee, and Shannon wants the whole company to embody those values. Bruce Lee was a clear example of his own values at work and that is extensively documented in his writings and in all he accomplished.

Much of our fear about change is worrying about the past and the future, which brings us out of the present moment. If we stay in the present, then change can be invigorating.

Change in business can be scary because it is connected to your financial stability. For Shannon, change can be hard as the leader of the company since it can require her having to let a team member go. By living her core values at work and outside of work, Shannon finds that if she communicates well, communicates kindly, and communicates the changes happening, these difficult situations are easier to navigate. Shannon has found that by working on her core values in and out of work she is growing as a human being.

If you take away the fear of change, change is actually about growth and renewal. Try to have a different perspective on change. What do you get to create out of this change?


Engage your curiosity. Be interested in your environment, in your work, in the people around you, in Bruce Lee. Wonder. Investigate. Learn.

As Bruce Lee would say: “Be the Eternal Student,” and “Research your own experience.”

At the Bruce Lee Family Company, it helps people do their job better if they are curious about and interested in Bruce Lee. For other companies, you can do your job better if you are interested and actively curious about your work.

Curiosity is the energy of play. Often, when people go to work they do not think of it as a place where fun can happen, so they leave their playful curiosity at home. When they are at work they are there to work. This is common delineation that happens. But what if you came to work to play? What if you engaged your curiosity at work?

Shannon engages her curiosity at work whenever something business related comes up and she has to figure out how to do it. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Shannon has had to learn as she goes about how to run a business. She investigates, reads, asks questions, and finds answers to problems that come up in the business. This is fueled by her curiosity as to how a good business is run.

Curiosity helps with the other Core Values at work we discussed, Uplift and Personal Responsibility. Curiosity feeds into positive energy creating uplift at work. Curiosity helps you be personally responsible for your job as you are curious about how to do your job better or to figure out the task you have to do.

If you are engaged in curiosity about how to do your job, you will do your job better. You will learn how to be more self-sufficient and personally responsible as you follow your curiosity at work.

Curiosity does not lead you down a direct path, if you are following your curiosity it will be a winding road. Even if your curiosity leads you to a dead-end, you will learn from that too. 

Bruce Lee was always curious, nothing could keep him down, and he was constantly looking towards what he could do next. 

If you are curious about change, it shifts the whole experience of change and what change might bring.

“There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”

What are your work values? We would love to hear from you about what values at work that you really appreciate, enjoy, and that work for you. Email us at or tag us @brucelee on social media with #bruceleepodcast and tell us about your work values!

#84 Core Values at Work: Part 1

Feb 7, 2018 48:26


Many companies have core values, which are a set of values that they share throughout the company on how everyone should proceed in their jobs. 

At the Bruce Lee Family Company, Shannon has created core values for the company. With the New Lunar Year approaching Shannon has decided to revisit those core values. Shannon started with core values from her father’s philosophy and has refined her own core values for the Bruce Lee Family Company.

In developing her core values for the Bruce Lee Family Company, Shannon asked herself, “What does it really take to work at the Bruce Lee Family Company?”

Bruce Lee was against compartmentalizing your life. Often we have our own personal values at home and then we have to switch to our workplace’s values. It is really important to Shannon to create harmony between her personal values and her work values, and she is lucky enough to get to shape the culture at her work.

The Bruce Lee Family Company is a really small workplace, and it has been an interesting journey for Shannon to decide what the workplace culture will be. She has found that the people who stay in the company really work well within the core values and those who leave did not fit the values. This is why having core values at work is so important, it helps you build a solid team of people who work well together.

The conversation of core values at work is an important one to have because many people have small businesses or work for themselves, and might not have considered creating an office culture for themselves. The work place has shifted so much that there are many more people who are working in small work environments and establishing shared values will help you build a better workplace and team.

Shannon’s core values of Best Effort, Personal Responsibility, and Uplift are how she wants to show-up in the workplace and how she wants others to show-up.

Best Effort:

Understanding that your best is different depending on the day and where you are in your life, try to approach everything with your best quality effort. Do just a little more than what’s required. There’s fulfillment and gratification in a job well done.

Personal Responsibility:

Know what you need to do (or find out) and do it. You will not be micro-managed or handheld. You will be supported and encouraged to be a strong, competent, skilled and creative individual, but you are responsible for your own success, progress and advancement. You are responsible for figuring out how best to do your job through Communication, Relationship, Curiosity, Best Effort and being open to Change. Take initiative toward your own growth. 


Be a source of uplift. Positive attitude and energy make yourself and everyone else around you resonate at a higher frequency. It’s okay to struggle. It’s not okay to take it out on those around you or to desire for others to get in the mud with you if they don’t want to. Cultivate empathy and compassion. Remember that you are a light. Illuminate yourself and we will all be illuminated.

Even if you don’t work in an environment quite like the Bruce Lee Family Company, you can still apply these values to yourself and your work.

If you become the person who is always a source of uplift, showing up, doing high quality work, you start to attract people who practice the same work values. Then you will have a small group within the larger company that can be your best effort, high quality, work group. Your group can feed your positive energy, improve your work, and create wonderful collaborations. This will make working at a larger company more satisfying, fulfilling, and fun.

Ask yourself:

What are my values in Life?

What are my values at Work?

Are those values the same?

Can you apply those same values in both Life and Work?

What are your work values? We would love to hear from you about what values at work that you really appreciate, enjoy, and that work for you. Email us at or tag us @brucelee on social media with #bruceleepodcast and tell us about your work values!

We are experimenting with the formatting for the podcast so we do not have an #AAHA or #BruceLeeMoment this week, but we would still love to hear from you!

We get many emails requesting advice with “What would Bruce Lee do?” and would like to start a “What would Bruce Lee do?” section of the podcast where Shannon and Sharon respond to your emails for advice. If you need advice and are wondering, “What would Bruce Lee do?” write to us at

Read full show notes at

#83 Compassion

Jan 31, 2018 44:17


For Bruce Lee the notion of compassion extends beyond the common definition that compassion is “allowing ourselves to be moved by suffering and wanting to alleviate or prevent suffering.” 

Bruce Lee was a huge admirer of Kuan Yin, the goddess of compassion and mercy. Kuan Yin shows up in many different cultures in East Asia. In Bruce’s home he had a huge, full-size statue of Kuan Yin and as a kid Shannon used to sit in her lap. Bruce had a great relationship with Kuan Yin and he believed in compassion because he believed humankind as One Family. He believed in living in relationship and understanding of our surroundings and everyone you come into contact with, living the oneness of things.

Compassion is acceptance of others for who they are and where they are. It’s freedom from judgment and acceptance of your whole experience.

Bruce Lee was an integrated masculine and feminine energy. As an esteemed athlete in a highly masculine practice of martial arts, Bruce balanced that with his inclusion of Kuan Yin in his home and life. Kuan Yin has her own balance of masculine and feminine as in her origin story she started as a man and then transformed into a woman. She became known as the goddess of compassion and mercy. 

Many years later, Shannon asked one of her father’s friends what was something about her father that really stood out. Bruce’s friend replied that it was how much Bruce cared about people.

“I’m not one of those people who can just brush people off. I feel that if I can just take a second to make someone happy, why not do it?”

The story of Bruce’s life is filled with many instances where he tried to help as many people as he could. From helping his friend and partner in the Oakland school James Lee write a book because James was dying of cancer and needed money. To taking Ted, Shannon’s sifu, out to buy new clothes and get a haircut so Ted could find a girlfriend. Later, when he was more famous, Bruce went on the telethons to help raise money.

Bruce Lee was genuinely interested in humans and the human condition because he was interested in his own human condition. This is a part of the Bruce Lee compassion message that the more that you understand about yourself and the world, the greater and deeper your connection will be with everything around you. 

Having compassion is not just having compassion for others, but also for yourself. Self-compassion is key in all the work that Bruce Lee was doing. If we cannot have compassion for ourselves, then we will not have compassion for other people.

If we think harshly about ourselves, we will project that onto other people. The judgments we pass on other people are usually the judgments we have about ourselves. Often people do not notice when they are projecting, try to practice awareness and notice when you are projecting.

“Please do not take the finger to be the moon, or fix your intense gaze on the finger and thus miss all the beautiful sight of heaven. After all, the usefulness in the finger is in pointing away from itself to the light that illuminates.”

This is a great metaphor for compassion; that in the seeking and looking at something outside ourselves, we can be illuminated about ourselves and everything around us. Then we can experience that oneness and which helps us feel connected, which helps us feel compassion.

It can be easy to be compassionate if you are only practicing compassion for people who are suffering. The real test of compassion is practicing compassion for someone who you are challenged by.

Everyone in the world is dealing with their own issues. We do not know the depths of anyone else’s story. As humans, we have all been through trials in life. If we disagree with someone, can we respond in the framework of humanity?

Remember that we all want to be happy, to be loved, to feel joy, we are the same on this human level.

Instead of engaging in meaningless small talk, try asking a deeper question. “Are you in love?” “What are you really into at the moment?” These types of questions are intimate, but engage people on a deeper level in a real moment of humanity.

Instead of looking at people with negative judgment on the differences between you and them, look at how they are similar to you. Acknowledge that this way of thinking is challenging.

Bruce Lee on self-mastery:

“The ability developed through self-work, to be calm, fully aware, and completely in tune with oneself and one’s surroundings.”

You have to be right with yourself in order to be right with others. If you are not right with yourself, you will project your issues on to others.

“A man is at his worst when he does not understand himself. He will work to accumulate external securities rather than do the inner work that will bring true security and rootedness. So cultivate and school yourself.”


Practice approaching the world through the lens of kindness. Work on yourself, look for connection and acceptance, free yourself from judgment. Take that compassion out into a challenging situation. 

Read our full show notes at

Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at

#82 How You Give

Jan 24, 2018 43:21


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

Bruce Lee is talking about how you approach life, how you show-up in the world. It’s not what you’re doing, but how you’re approaching it. This concept is about effort, quality, and injecting your heart into what you do. Bruce was a big believer in putting in the training, the hours of practice, and applying effort towards his goals. He also believed in natural action, being in the flow, and not being in opposition to life. Bruce believed in sincerity, with your work coming from your heart. 

When Bruce Lee came to the US when he was 18, he could speak some English, but was not fluent. He really wanted to communicate and have facility with the English language in a way that he did not have. Bruce put in the effort and applied himself learning the grammar and syntax of English. He also wanted to be able to communicate colloquially, and practiced this through telling jokes. Being able to understand humor in another language helps you to communicate in a more natural way. So, Bruce Lee was very into telling jokes, especially puns. Bruce approached learning the English language from all angles, including perfecting his handwriting and signature.

Quality was a very important value to Bruce as a human being and in all that he did. It was important to Bruce to have the quality of nice penmanship and sentence structure, but also the quality of communication and expression in English. To be able to express himself clearly and beautifully was important to Bruce because his goal in life was self-actualization and expressing who he was as a human being to the world.

“I don’t want to do things halfway.”

It was a value of Bruce Lee to express himself fully in whatever he decided to engage in.

“Some people may not believe it, but I have spent hours perfecting and working on whatever I did.” 

Bruce Lee’s hard work shows, but for some reason, we want to look at Bruce Lee and declare him a natural talent. Which is not to say that Bruce had no natural talent, but he put in the effort, the time, the practice, and the love to craft his talents and achieve his level of mastery. He is an example of what can be accomplished if we put work into and develop our natural talents. 

You have to work hard, but not work against yourself. Just because Bruce Lee followed a certain path, does not mean you have to follow the same path. You have to find what works for you and your goals. How you give is also the way that you give. It has to be your way, not someone else’s way.

When you listen to Bruce Lee talk, it is very distinct and memorable. Anything that he is saying, he is expressing at a high level because he is so tuned into who he is. When Bruce is speaking he is very present and connected to whomever he is talking to because he is trying to connect and relate to that person.

“It is sincerity that leads you to the Way.”

What is sincerity? It is coming from your heart, your feeling, your emotion, and your genuineness. This notion of sincerity is about “how you give it.”

“You should express yourself as an effect from within.”

Express yourself from the inside out. There was a balance of masculine and feminine within Bruce, which can be jarring for some people since visually Bruce was such a representation of the masculine. Bruce Lee was a balanced masculine because he was vulnerable about his sincerity and genuineness.

Bruce did not start out this way. Growing up he experimented with expressing himself brashly and confidently (others might call it arrogantly,) and in a way that was challenging or upsetting to people. He had to learn to apply the generosity of gentleness to the way he communicated because in that way people will hear what you’re saying. Early on, Bruce was criticized for being brash and critical, and he realized that speaking that way was not accomplishing what he wanted to. If your words rile and inflame people then they are going to immediately be in conflict with you, they will not listen and become defensive.

The reason that we still talk about Bruce Lee’s words is because he moved into a sincere place with his communication. 

“Living destiny is to follow the silent, unshakeable law in your own heart which to the self-expressed man is godhead.”

If you’re going to live your destiny you need to follow what you know to be true and real in your own heart and self-express that. To express who you are and what is in heart is to live your destiny harmoniously.

You as a human being are an experience in this world. When you are present with people you are inviting them to the experience of you. What do you want the experience of you to be in this world?

“To live is a constant process of relating.”

If you are truly rooted in yourself, if you truly know who you are, if your internal world and your outer expression are really flowing as one, then what you manifest out in the world will be an expression of your soul. When you meet someone who is expressing their soul, you feel it. This is what is so compelling and captivating about Bruce Lee, he was expressing his soul.

“The root is the fulcrum on which will rest the expression of your soul. The root is the starting point of natural manifestation. If the root is right, so will be its manifestations.”

Don’t neglect who you are because the experience of you out in the world is what you are cultivating within yourself. 

“To mature means to take responsibility for your life and to be your own. Maturing is the transcendence from environment to self.”

Take Action:

What is the “you” experience? Are you expressing that experience? Experiment with a small, manageable moment to see how close you can get that interaction to be an expression of your truest self, the “you” experience. If you have a task or conversation you have to do, ask yourself what you want the experience to be. Remember to anchor the experience of “you” in your own sincerity. 

Read our full show notes at

Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at

#81 Natural Action

Jan 17, 2018 45:25


Bruce Lee referred to Natural Action in different ways. He would write about “spontaneous action” or “naturalism” or used a Taoist term “wu wei” which means non-action or non-doing.

From Wikipedia: Wu Wei

“In the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu explains that beings (or phenomena) that are wholly in harmony with the Tao behave in a completely natural, uncontrived way. The goal of spiritual practice for the human being is, according to Lao Tzu, the attainment of this purely natural way of behaving, as when the planets revolve around the sun.”

This grand, celestial action of the planets, the sun, stars, moons; it is a concert of beauty and movement happening naturally with no force or effort.

The idea of natural action is action in one’s life without forcing. Bruce talked frequently about the Tao, and a nice synonym for the Tao is nature or the natural world. Bruce Lee talked often about not being in opposition to nature.

Our culture is mind-heavy. We are always trying to hack, force, speed up this natural action. Sometimes we can lose sight of our naturalness as human beings.

Bruce Lee talked about willpower and being a self-willed man, which is about applying some force and effort into your journey. But this was in the context of naturalness, it is not forcing your way through life. Natural action allows you to gather information to see what works and what does not, revealing a natural path to take towards your purpose. Bruce’s whole concept of being like water is about natural action, being in flow, flowing around obstacles. 

Natural Action, or Wu Wei, is described as non-action, but this does not mean no action. 

“Non-action does not mean no action, but no such action as begets opposition. Right action is neither to oppose nor to give way, but to be pliable, as a reed in the wind.”

It is true that life’s circumstances can toss us around, we can get really mentally busy, and we can blindly engage without sensing the environment around us or without knowing who we really are. Let’s tune in more to our environment, and ourselves, and let those cues help guide us.

Pay attention to what your body tells you. Our bodies are the number one indicator that we are not following natural action. The body will become tense and tight in response to unnatural pressure. Our bodies will initially give us feedback in subtle ways, but often we don’t listen until our body escalates to a more extreme reaction. 

Bruce Lee would talks a lot in his writings about the difference between the rational, thinking mind and the deep mind. The deep mind is the feeling mind that is in tune with the heart, the body, and the soul. It is the opposite of the calculating mind.

Trust and listen to your intuition. Do not let your mind rationalize away a bad feeling. Try not to compartmentalize your life; this takes away from the naturalness of your life. Since we are human, we will want to have goals and make plans, to take action. The goal is to calibrate the naturalness with our efforts and actions.

Bruce Lee ignites the feeling of a naturally occurring phenomenon, beautiful and in flow. But he was not always that way because he was a person. There were times where he would not listen to his natural way. Bruce was a growing and evolving human being, and wrote extensively about learning from mistakes, which means even Bruce Lee made mistakes.

When Bruce was a kid living in Hong Kong he was getting into fights. He had this innate energy in him and he wanted to explore and push those boundaries. Bruce wanted to tap that energy and use it aggressively, but he had no direction, no container. He was getting into fights, people were getting hurt, and his teacher was sending him home from class. Bruce had to learn how to cultivate his energy and harness it.

“You are not in an independent position, but rather you are acting as an assistant. It is not your task to try to lead, that would only make you lose the Way, but to let yourself be led. The superior person lets himself be guided; do not go ahead blindly but learn from the situation what is demanded of you and then follow.”

A good test is when we have a decision or a question, what is the feeling in our chest, in our heart? Is it a feeling of skipping towards that decision or answer with ease? Or do you feel that you are forcing yourself to march forward? From time to time, we do have to force ourselves to do things, such as getting out of bed in the morning, but if you are grounded in your life then you can still achieve flow throughout your day.

When Bruce was in Hollywood, he had the goal of wanting to show the world the beauty of his culture and his art in a big way in Hollywood where it was not being done. This was a huge goal. He started it initially by being in the system, getting roles, writing treatments, trying to convince people to make his ideas, and doing everything he could to try to break Asians out of the stereotypical, racist portrayals. The natural state of Hollywood at the time was not going to allow Bruce to achieve this goal, so he had to find another way. Bruce had to find another, more natural route to his goal since all this efforting on his part was yielding nothing. So that is when he decided to go to Hong Kong where there were no barriers to an Asian actor being the lead actor. There, Bruce was able to write, direct, and star in his own projects. Bruce was able to execute his creativity and ideas in a place where it was more accepted, and was able to do it at such a high level because his ideas were good, and his artistry and mastery were superb. He took his learning’s from Hollywood, and implemented them in Hong Kong, creating his won production company. This is when Hollywood finally noticed Bruce Lee.

Bruce Lee’s natural action was always towards innovation and weaving east and west together.

“Support all things in their natural stage and allow them to transform.”

Bruce Lee was able to achieve so much so fast because he was so attuned to listen to his body and feelings. As soon as he started feeling that something was not right, he was able to shift and pivot. Many of us waste days, years, even our lives, not hearing and not shifting because we are in fear.

“Naturalness is expressed in producing and rearing things without taking possession of them and doing work but not taking pride in it. In this way, the natural way can stand in compliment to all artificial ways.”

We can exert our effort without using the effort to satisfy our ego. As you level up, you can let the past go as you move forward. In this way you can combine your will with nature.

Take Action:

Where in life can you go with the grain more and follow the unfolding of things rather than force your way in opposition? Notice the times where your body feels like it is going into that controlled, tight feeling. When you notice that feeling take the opportunity to explore how you could experience that occasion by going with the grain. Don’t create problems where there aren’t problems, see what is there to be seen, accept it, incorporate it, and move through it. Start practicing being in your natural action.

“Simplicity is a quality of perception in approaching any problem.”

“Philosophy does not accept what life believes and strives to convert reality into a problem. Like asking a question such as, ‘Is this chair that I see in front of me really there? Can it exist by itself?’ Thus rather than making life easy for living by living in accord with life, philosophy complicates it by replacing the tranquility with the restlessness of problems.”

Read our full show notes at

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#80 Kristen Ulmer Author of "The Art of Fear"

Jan 10, 2018 58:58


Shannon met former Kristen Ulmer at the Spartan Race in Lake Tahoe. Kristen is the author of The Art of Fear: Why Conquering Fear Won’t Work and What to Do Instead. In this episode she shares her journey with fear and discusses how we deal with fear.

Kristen Ulmer started out as a professional athlete, she was the best female big mountain extreme skier in the world, a status she kept for 12 years. She risked her life on a pair of skis, jumping off cliffs and skiing “you fall you die” descents. Kristen was voted “Most Fearless Woman in America” by the outdoor industry beating women in all sports and disciplines, not just skiing. 

While Kristen felt fearless, she realized after looking under her everyday reality that fear was with her in every single moment of every day and in every decision she made. She came to this realization after retiring her ski career in 2003 and studying with a Zen master for 15 years. Kristen started off as a mindset sports coach and currently is a fear specialist. Now Kristen’s whole world is talking about and thinking about fear.

When Kristen retired, it wasn’t because her career was over; it was because she got to the point where she hated skiing. Every time winter would roll around she would cringe. Kristen started getting injured more and she had PTSD from seeing a lot of her friends die in the mountains and having many near death experiences herself. She was exhausted all the time and felt that there was something really wrong. So Kristen quit her ski career and set out to find out what was wrong. This is when she met the Zen master with whom she studied with for 15 years.

Within the first ten minutes of working with her Zen master, Kristen discovered that she had been repressing her fear for years in order to ski the way that she wanted. Repressing your fear only works for about ten years then things begin to go south. Kristen started working with other athletes, and found they were underperforming due to their repressed fear. She also worked with people dealing with depression, panic attacks, anxiety disorders, and insomnia, discovering that repressing fear caused these problems too. Kristen realized that she needed to declare herself a fear specialist and write a book. 

In a fear exercise, Kristen asked Shannon to talk to her like Kristen is Shannon’s fear. Kristen points out that fear is a huge part of our lives and with us everyday, in everything that we do, and how we treat our fear is ultimately how we treat our self. It’s important to have the best relationship with fear and it’s important how we talk to our fear.

How do you talk to your fear? Do you tell it to go away? Do you tell it you hate it? Do you ignore it?

If you hate your fear, how does that make fear feel?

Darkness is not the opposite of light, it is just the absence of light.

“Those who are unaware they are walking in darkness will never see the light.” –Bruce Lee

If we see fear as a dark voice, then that is how it will appear. If we try to crush fear, push it away, conquer it, lock it away in the basement and throw away the key, then fear will come out in a very dark way. How would you feel if you were locked in the basement?

Fear will not be denied. If you repress it, fear will come out as anger, sadness, or depression. It is a bad idea to repress fear, but it is something many of us do, and our fear comes out in a dark way.

Fighting your fear creates a war in your subconscious. It is an exhausting war that you cannot win because fear is a part of life.

Take Action:

First, change your language surrounding fear. Instead of saying “Fear and anxiety is a problem in my life,” you should say, “Because I’m unwilling to deal with my fear and anxiety in an honest way that has become a problem in my life.”

Second, have a fear practice:

Identify where the discomfort is in your body. Recognize that it’s normal and natural to feel fear. Notice if you have any resistance to your fear. Can you lower your resistance? For 30 seconds feel your fear. Feel that discomfort without trying to get rid of it.

“Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the ability to act in the presence of fear.” – Bruce Lee


(Awesome Asians and Hapas)

Kristen nominated her friend Bill Tai who is her kiteboarding buddy. Bill Tai is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a fantastic kiteboarder. Tai is the Founding Chairman of Treasure Data, board director of BitFury and Voxer, seed investor in Canva, Color Genomics, Tweetdeck/Twitter,, and Zoom Video, and Adjunct Professor of Innovation & Economic Development at Curtin University. He just started ACTAI, which is a group that brings together entrepreneurs, innovators, athletes, artists, tech heads, and thought leaders supporting causes around the world. Bill Tai, officially from the Bruce Lee Podcast, you’re awesome!


 Kristen shares her #BruceLeeMoment:

“Of course everyone knows who Bruce Lee is, I’m no exception. I am really drawn to his quotes, the second I hear a quote of his it just goes into my soul. I think of “Be water my friend. Water can flow.” Which your dad said. When I think of flow, I think of water, I think of myself as a hose. And I have these droplets of water coming into, through, and out of my life. These droplets of water are fear, anger, joy, love, a thought, a belief, they all come into, through, and out of my life just influencing me.

I remember one time I was invited to compete in this very prestigious competition to see who the best female/male skier in the world was. And I didn’t want to do it, I just wanted to make movies. I felt obligated to go though because they were paying me to be there, but I felt even more obligated to win the thing, if I didn’t win this thing it would be humiliating. It was the best of two runs and after the first run I was not winning. I just rode the chairlift, I had two hours before my next run and I was feeling frustrated. That was a droplet of water. I was embarrassed, that was a droplet of water. I was afraid, of looking like a fool, I felt like a fraud. That I was pulling the wool over these guys’ eyes, maybe I’m not the best. I had all these really unpleasant, uncomfortable [feelings], fear of failure, coming into, through [me].

But because I was in flow with them because they were like water droplets, they were coming into my eyes and motivating me and helping me come alive and be more sharp. By the time two hours passed, and I got in the gate again, I went and skied this run that I jumped off a 70ft cliff. I took 4th overall for the men out of 120 men, and of course won for the women. It was this incredible moment where I was completely in flow with all these unpleasant experiences not resisting any of them and they all helped me be amazing for my second run."

Thank you Kristen for doing your teaching and for sharing your insights with our community! Everyone should go out and get Kristen’s book “The Art of Fear.” Thank you so much for joining us!

Read our full show notes at

Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at

#79 Peace of Mind

Jan 3, 2018 44:30


“All in all, the goal of my planning and doing is to find the true meaning in life – peace of mind.”

Achieving peace of mind was Bruce Lee’s ultimate goal. Peace of mind is something that we all desire, whether we know it or not. We want to feel peaceful so that we can enjoy life fully.

Having peace of mind does not mean that you are removed from your everyday life, but instead you are living in a calm state while fully engaged in life.

Shannon shares that she has, at times, achieved peace of mind, but that it is very difficult to live your life constantly in that state. This is because there is always something that is going to come and shake things up in life. For Shannon, peace of mind can come in the form of acceptance, just accepting where she is in life right now, that she is in process, and that it is enough. Especially when things are difficult and challenging, being able to step back, observe, and reflect, helps Shannon accept where she is in the moment. This reflection and acceptance helps bring peace of mind in a challenging situation. The reflection and acceptance during challenging times becomes easier with practice.

Life will not always be good, there will be struggles, but if we can approach these times with pliability and acceptance, we can move through our struggles more peacefully. Knowing that change is constant can be comforting because then we know that whatever difficulty we are facing, it will pass.

For Sharon, she finds peace of mind through shifts in consciousness. From moments of beauty and laughter to practicing “zooming out” her perspective in order to take a step back from a situation. Sometimes Sharon finds herself too close to a situation and has to practice a mental exercise of visualizing zooming out, such as on Google maps. This zooming out practice helps her step back and get perspective on situations and decreases her anxiety surrounding the situation. The “zoom out” helps Sharon create distance and space from a situation and helps her process what is happening.

Sometimes when our minds get caught in an anxiety loop with our thoughts racing around in a circle. Performing an action can help break that loop and can give peace of mind. Sharon uses laughter as a way to break her anxiety loop and when she feels stuck in sadness or anger, she seeks out either a funny movie or a comedy show to make her laugh and bring her peace of mind. Nature is another consciousness shifter for Sharon, so she will seek out natural places to help calm her mind.

If you do not have the time to seek out a funny show or to go out into nature, your action to break your anxiety loop can be as simple as getting up and going outside. Taking a walk or just feeling the wind can help quiet your mind.

Bruce Lee accomplished a great deal in his life, and it can be hard comparing our lives to his, but he accomplished so much because he pursued his passions with his ultimate goal of achieving peace of mind. The bigger picture of Bruce’s life was to move toward a more heart-centered place, which he did by pursuing what he loved and wanted to express. That love is what drove the Bruce Lee machine.

Bruce was kickass at kung-fu and wanted to express his passion for martial arts to the world. What are you kickass at? What is your kung-fu? It can be difficult to answer this question for yourself, so you should ask five people who are close to you, “What are some of my greatest contributions?” People will tell you what you’re good at and can help you find your kung-fu. This is about finding what you love.

What will help bring you peace of mind is integrating your internal with your external.

“Man’s mind and his behavior are one. His inner thought and outer expression cannot contradict each other.”

We know that in life our mind and our behavior contradict each other all of the time. What Bruce is saying that it is the aim to investigate the inner realm, to know yourself, and then to begin to match how you move through the world with how you are inside.

“Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, love will flow back to oneself and soften and purify the heart.”

Many people fear putting themselves out in the world because they worry that people will not love them, or that they are not good enough. If putting your love out in the world is not well received, you can draw that love back into yourself. Peace of mind is the state where you are trusting yourself, knowing yourself, and expressing your honest self.

“If you’re busy with your mental computer, your energy goes into your thinking, and you can’t hear or see anymore.”


Practice staying present. Be in the experience of where you are in this moment and engage with where you are right now. Synchronize your inner world with your outer expression. Be the same “you” wherever you go. Stop the mental chatter and remember that you are not your mind, accept where you are right now.


Karyn Kusama is an American independent film director know for the 2000 film Girlfight which she wrote, directed, and produced. It took two years to finance the film due to her insistence that the main character be Latina rather than allowing the film to become a vehicle for a well-known white actress. The film was released in 2000 and won the Director’s Prize and the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival as well as the Prix de la Jeunesse at the Cannes Film Festival. Kusama went on to direct Aeon Flux staring Charlize Theron in 2005. She also directed Jennifer’s Body in 2009 and The Invitation in 2015. Starting in 2015, Kusama began working regularly in TV as a director on shows Halt and Catch Fire, Casual, and Billons. In 2017, Kusama directed a segment of an all female directed anthology horror film called XX. Karyn Kusama, thank you for being out in the world writing your own story, we think you’re awesome!


A #BruceLeeMoment from listener Heath:

“One of my greatest intuition moments just came this week.  For several months now, I had been considering leaving my current job because of how toxic the environment had become. Although I was the leader of the organization, and had been through some terribly troubling situations over the past couple years with the team, the bonding we "felt" over persevering in those situations Was very short lived.  The culture had always been very self centered and defensive of the status quo.  Growth and change, even if better for our customers was seen as a negative, as a threat, and was defended against unfairly.  Even as the leader of this organization, I felt completely helpless to change the culture of this team.

I knew it was time to move on, but I was afraid of leaving without having something to go to.  Wife, kids, home mortgage...a lot of responsibilities to take care of.  Everyone can understand that fear. But it was killing me, and my intuition for MONTHS had been screaming for me to move on.

So after telling myself I was going to do it tomorrow (for nearly one year of "tomorrows"), I finally did so this week.  Not knowing what I was going to do or where that was going to be, I felt internally that nothing would be revealed until I took that ONE step.  And it felt great when I did.  Not in a vengeful or vindictive way, though.  I felt like I had continuity with my mind and what my spirit was telling me. Harmony. And that harmony was freeing.  Uplifting even.  And I now had energy to move forward toward what was next, whatever...whenever that might be, without fear.  Without anxiety. With hope that my intuition would continue to lead me and end up in my next "moment".”

Read our full show notes at

Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at


#78 Motivation When You're Stuck

Dec 27, 2017 01:02:14


For our end of year episode we asked our listeners to submit questions they wanted us to answer or advice they wished they could receive from Bruce Lee. We had many, many questions submitted and we noticed that many dealt with finding motivation when you’re stuck. People were feeling stuck and unmotivated in a range of topics from their work and jobs, to dealing with injuries and feeling isolated.

From listener Anthony:

“I’ve had an empty feeling in me for as long as I can remember. It’s not what I would call depression, more like an unmotivated feeling. Like a “nothing really matters” feeling. It’s been with me since early years (I’m 20 now) and I’ve had problems feeling any belonging. Bruce has written about this type of thing. How loneliness is an opportunity to find yourself. I was wondering, were there any rituals Bruce would find himself doing when things were rough?. For example, when he was struggling to land genuine movie roles that weren’t discriminatory to him in his early years.

Best wishes from Ireland.”

Shannon shares that she knows this sort of low-grade depression well, and remembers feeling this way during her childhood. She remembers her mom telling her that when things wouldn’t work out for Bruce, at first he would be really angry and frustrated. Then, he would get really quiet and give himself some space and time to contemplate and “go in.”

For many of us, the problem with feeling stuck is that we do not want to feel stuck and we want to fix it right away. We feel judgment if we cannot fix it immediately and be rid of it. This is a natural reaction, but it prevents us from really experiencing what the “stuckness” is and looking at it. Instead we push it away and we beat ourselves up when it comes back. If you allow yourself to be with that feeling, it has information for you. When you allow yourself to feel the feelings fully, it can help it pass through.

The first step: be gentle and kind with yourself. Let go of the judgment you have about what you’re feeling and don’t beat yourself up or push the feeling away. Just say, “Ok, this is where I am right now.”

The second step: feel your feelings. When Bruce would become quiet he would sit with the problem, allow himself to feel it, and investigate it. Some of Bruce’s greatest philosophical realizations and writings came from these times of hardship.

The third step: take action. After sitting with your feelings and investigating, you have to take a step towards action. Do not skip the first two steps and go right to the action item because then you are trying to fix the problem before knowing what the problem is. For some it works to come up with an aggressive action plan, but for others we do not know what action to take at all. The actions you can take can be small, and they should not be viewed as a fight you have to make to overcome your problem. These action steps should be towards your wellness and wholeness, and that bring you joy. What works for someone else might not work for you, so you have to customize and personalize your action steps for yourself. 

Affirmations and journaling can be actions that you can take. Affirmations are statements you read aloud everyday, which are meaningful to you that you want to make a part of your life. Then it becomes a part of your everyday thoughts and you’re planting a seed in you mind that will grow.

If you're having a difficult time thinking of anything that brings you joy, remember the things that brought you joy as a kid. Or remember the last time that you felt joyful. When you're depressed it can feel impossible to think of anything that makes you happy, which is why you might have to go way back to think of a thing that brings you joy. 

Doing these small actions will not immediately solve your problems or how you feel, but they create space for you to start to energize and heal. Creating this space helps you tackle the next bigger action steps to address your larger problem.

Bruce Lee had tools to help him such as to be quiet, to meditate, to write, to move his body, to laugh and tell jokes. Find out what your tools might be. Bruce’s lesson is that YOU are the medicine and you have to participate in your own healing. You have to be willing to engage in your own wellness and healing.

“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 I will never find the light unless, like a candle, I am my own fuel.”

For more listen to Episode "#12 The Medicine For My Suffering” 

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

Listen to Episode "#18 The Individual Over Any Established System”

When we are talking about our own healing and unsticking of ourselves, you are the most important thing. Take the focus off of “I have to be well so that I can participate in this other thing.” You have to treat yourself as the most important thing in your life. We often put ourselves last in the wake of our obligations to our family, job, and friends. The truth is all those people might need you to do things, but without you as a whole, functioning human being, they are not going to get those things or a very partial version.

Read our full episode show notes for “#78 Motivation When You’re Stuck” at We share more about healing from injury, time management, feeling stuck in your job, and letting go.

Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at

#77 It's Not About What Happens

Dec 20, 2017 49:56


“It’s not about what happens; it’s about your reaction to what happens that matters.”

This is a big Bruce Lee concept and a big concept for moving through life. Sometimes we use what happens in a situation as justification for our extreme reaction. How you react to anything says more about you and where you are in that moment than any of the events that led to your response.

It could be that you had been having a bad day all day and then this one incident sparked a huge reaction from you. Or it could be that this event poked some small part of you where this fear, anger, or insecurity exists and that provoked a huge reaction from you that is not truly related to the situation. The truth is that it is never about the incident it is about the response.

“I have learned that being challenged means one thing and that is what is your reaction to it? How does it affect you? If you are secure with yourself, you treat it lightly – just like today the rain is going on strong, but tomorrow, baby, the sun is going to come out again." 

The more rooted you are within yourself, the more you’re able to let things go. It is about noticing how you are reacting to a situation. You always have a choice with how you react to something, even though it can be difficult with an onslaught of emotions hitting you. A good practice is to not react right away. Take a beat to react to something.

There is a lot of information to be found in your initial reaction to a situation. Take a step back and look at how you’re reacting. Why are you reacting so irrationally?

“To live is a constant process of relating, so come on out of that shell of isolation and conclusion and relate directly to what is being said. Bear in mind, seek neither approval or influence. Do not make up your mind as to “this is this” or “that is that.” I will be more satisfied if you begin to learn to investigate everything yourself from now on.”

This is a posture of openness and taking things in as they occur.

Don’t take things personally, and don’t make assumptions.

“Eliminate all opportunities for rivalry.”

Bruce was not about competition and was not about putting someone down to “win.” If you’re always looking to be the “winner” and for someone to be the “loser”, then you will always be living in conflict.

“It is the ego that stands rigidly against things coming from the outside and it is this ego rigidity that makes it impossible for us to accept everything that confronts us.”

There is also the “ego boundary” which is everything that is outside of you. We keep this wall up to justify our existence, and protect us, but usually at the expense of yourself and others. This wall will prevent you from meaningful relationships and interactions with other humans.

“A man is born to achieve great things if he has the strength to conquer himself.”

If you can be knocked over easily, then you need to work on self-love and self-worth. You need to look and see why you are being triggered. What is the pain that is being touched to set you off? You cannot push your fears and pain aside, they will continue to grow and fester. You have to look at them and learn about them. Face those fears and pain with the posture of “What do you have to teach me? What can I learn from you?” Then, it is not so scary to face your fears and your pain.

“The growth aim is to lose more and more of your “mind” and come more to your sense. To be more and more in touch with yourself and the world, instead of only in touch with fantasies and prejudices.”

The mind is a justifying machine; it will justify anything you want it to. The mind wants to be in control. The mind can be a negative thought generator, and the misinterpretation is that the mind is always right. Our minds can create these fantasies that aren’t based in the real world. If you stay in fantasy then you will not have fulfilling relationships in work, friendship, family or romance. Fantasy keeps us in isolation.

“I acquire no understanding of myself except as I take account of my surroundings. I do not think unless I think of things – and there I find myself.”

When we are in relationship with people and our surroundings then we can constantly ping ourselves off of these relationships and get feedback about ourselves. You have to truly engage with your actual relationships, not just the fantasy of what you think that relationship is.

The close relationships in your life, such as your best friend, family, or partner, are meant to push your buttons, they are meant to show you the things you need to work on.

“People have to grow by skillful frustrations, otherwise they have no incentive to develop their own means and ways of coping with the world.”

“Zen reveals that there is nowhere for man to go out of this world; no tavern in which he can overcome anxiety; no jail in which he can expiate his guilt. So, instead of telling us what the problem is, Zen insists that the whole trouble is just our failure to realize that there is no problem. And, of course, this means that there is no solution either.”

There is no escape; you have to be engaged in the process to grow. That’s not to say that there are not problems or solutions to problems, but there is not one solution for every problem. You’re in constant process of relating and flowing. 

“Be a calm beholder of what is happening around you.”


Pick one of these and try it out: eliminate judgements; eliminate rivalry and competition; eliminate needing approval from others; eliminate wanting to influence others; think of yourself as an equal part of a whole. What happens if you eliminate being in competition? A simple exercise: when you’re about to have a strong reaction, take a beat before reacting. 

“Do what seems wise to be done, forget it and walk on.”


Grace Lee & Grace Lee Boggs

Grace Lee is an American director and producer. She grew up in Columbia, Missouri. Lee originally wanted to be a journalist, but after interviewing sex workers in South Korea she realized she could tell better stories through film and studied at UCLA. In 2005, she filmed “The Grace Lee Project,” a documentary about Asian-American women who share her name, Grace Lee. This film is about Lee’s attempt to define a common set of stereotypes associated with the name that she shares with the film’s subjects and how they break the mold. During this project she met Grace Lee Boggs, a Chinese-American philosopher and activist about whom she later made a documentary.

Grace Lee Boggs is a Chinese-American philosopher, author, feminist, and activist. Lee was born in 1915 in Providence, Rhode Island, and died at the age of 100 in 2015. On scholarship, Boggs studied at Barnard College and went on to receive her Ph.D. in philosophy from Bryn Mawr College. She began working as an activist for human rights. In 1953, she married African-American autoworker and political activist James Boggs, and they moved to Detroit where they continued to focus on Civil Rights and Black Power Movement activism.

Grace Lee and Grace Lee Boggs, thank you for sharing your talents and your voices with the world, we think you’re awesome!


This week our #BruceLeeMoment is from listener Harry:

“The one piece of advice of Bruce's I have always find most useful, and although it may not seem like one of his more profound statements, it is one I have always followed:

"Make at least one definite move *daily* toward your goal."

The other year at the age of 28, the same age as Bruce when he did, I wrote myself a definite chief aim. I won't reveal all of what I wrote, but the first part of it is this:

To reach the point of becoming a full-time artist. And in return, to fully dedicate myself to keeping it that way.

And so I wanted to share today's definite move with you - and one that actually achieves this goal - of sending my letter of resignation, right now.” 

Read our full show notes at

Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at

#76 Podcast Challenge Winner #7: Dina Lewicki

Dec 13, 2017 01:02:50


This episode we talked with our final Podcast Challenge winner, Dina, who called us all the way from Germany!

Dina is a recent fan of Bruce Lee. She grew up in East Germany, the German Democratic Republic, and she never heard anything about Bruce Lee. She thinks Bruce Lee wasn’t mentioned in the GDR because he had “made it” in the Western world and people from Western countries were not talked about in the GDR. Dina just discovered Bruce Lee last year when she and her boyfriend watched “Way of the Dragon,” last December. Her boyfriend grew up in Western Germany has been a huge fan of Bruce Lee since he was young. Finally, he convinced Dina to watch a Bruce Lee movie. She thought the movie was really fantastic and it touched her. The humor in the film surprised and delighted her since she sat down expecting a serious action film. Bruce Lee was like Superman, but without any special effects. It was so impressive and she could see that everything was real, the muscles, the fast moves, something you can only achieve today with computers. She thought, “He must have a special super power.” After the movie, they watched the footage on the DVD and Dina found out what Bruce Lee’s super power is, his philosophy. That’s when Dina decided she had to research Bruce Lee further.

After the movie, Dina’s boyfriend gave her a book, “The Life and Tragic Death of Bruce Lee,” which is a biography Bruce’s wife Linda wrote in the 70’s. Dina would read some of the stories aloud when she and her boyfriend would sit down to breakfast or lunch. She then searched online for more about Bruce Lee and that is how she discovered the podcast 

Dina decided to participate in the Podcast Challenge because she’s always been interested in working on herself. She finds it is important to not stand still and to get better for oneself. Bruce Lee’s perspective on being the everlasting student especially impressed Dina and that way of life was something she wanted to pursue herself. She wanted to know what would happen to her if she applied this philosophy.

After completing the Podcast Challenge, Dina’s takeaway is that it was hard, but also fun. Before the Challenge, when an episode particularly resonated with her, Dina would try and do the Action Item for that episode. With the Podcast Challenge, she says all that came together and helped her to take her inner development more seriously and to put it in focus.

At the beginning of the Challenge, Dina says she was not the best student. She wasn’t journaling or saying her affirmations out loud, she thought she could just recall her affirmations to mind and that would be enough. Dina found that this doesn’t work and by the 3rd or 4th day she decided that she had to take the time in the mornings to do it properly.

Dina’s affirmations:

(1) Will power: I will bring the power of my will into action at least once daily e.g. getting one unloved task done (at work or at home)

(2) Be water: I won't be in the opposite and rigid but I will be neutral to any at first sight strange or nonsense things that happen or are going to happen and will try to adapt myself, look at them from a positive side and so change them by adapting to my favor or put my mark on them

(3) I will recognize /be conscious of my negative feelings and hold back an outward reaction as soon as I recognize them. I'll take a pause in these situations, calm down, analyze why I am negative about it (analyze my fears) and give a response later or maybe no response. In best cases I try to see something good in it or try to reframe it to something positive.

Once she started to read her affirmations out loud, Dina found she was thinking deeper about them and that the words gave her energy. They became a daily reminder, especially for her second and third affirmations which she thinks she has to work extra hard on.

Dina’s third affirmation was helpful in her workplace. She works for a large corporation and sometimes she gets notified about things or has to do tasks that don’t make sense. She found that being more open in those situations created a better dialogue between her and her coworkers and that people became more helpful when she didn’t have a negative attitude about the situation. It energized Dina and the people around her.

For the second part of the Challenge, Dina said, “I would feel better in my body if I would sleep at least 7hrs per night.” She only accomplished that goal for half of the Challenge, but the rest of the time she slept her usual 5-6 hours a night.

Even though going to sleep earlier was getting Dina more sleep, it wasn’t making her happier. She has a full-time job and by going to sleep earlier she was cutting into her time to do her hobbies and whatever her household needs. While her body was feeling better in the mornings, her mind wasn’t happy giving up doing the activities in the evening that bring her joy. The balance between feeling fulfilled in life and caring for her body is a problem that Dina can continue to experiment with.

Dina discovered the third action item of “Letting others be,” to be the most difficult for her.

She framed it as, “Letting others be / live in harmony by not saying or thinking anything negative about anyone else or myself or trying to reframe negative thoughts into positive ones or just being happy with them when they are.”

Even though Dina is not one to comment negatively about others, she found that others like to talk to her about other people. She didn’t realize that people liked to gossip with her, and found it hard to refrain from commenting when a colleague would come to her and ask, What do you think of person X or Y?“ or “He/she is so this-and-that, don‘t you think so?“ She found that it was very difficult to refrain from commenting, but tried to remain positive about everyone. Dina worked on different responses to these situations, either just having a non-committal response or if she had to say something bad about someone she would also say something good about them. She noticed that the negative talk would stick with her longer than the positive talk, but that there is also a time when criticism has to be given to improve someone’s performance.

Sometimes you have to let your emotions our and it is okay to vent, but with a trusted friend or partner instead of with everyone. If you vent with everyone then you can become the person that everyone brings their gossip talk to, and that’s never a good thing.


Dina nominated Korean American actor Steven Yeun and she knows him from the TV show he’s on, The Walking Dead. Steven Yeun plays the character Glenn in the show, and Dina thinks that he does a wonderful job. Yuen was born in Seoul, South Korea and grew up in Michigan. He received a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in neuroscience and became involved in the improv scene in Chicago before moving to Los Angeles in 2009. In 2010, Yeun was cast as Glenn on AMC’s The Walking Dead. Yeun is also an investor of The Bun Shop, a Korean-Mediterranean fusion restaurant in Koreatown, Los Angeles. Steven Yeun, we think you’re awesome!


Dina shares her #BruceLeeMoment:

“It’s all a process. I realized that everything that Bruce Lee says, his legacy, that I am able to use this in my own process, to develop myself. This is actually not a Bruce Lee Moment, but it is a Bruce Lee ongoing moment. What I learned is to start, just to start, jump into cold water, and not to have everything ready and perfect. The “Oh I can’t start before I have prepared on this or that.” That is something I learned from Bruce Lee. To start, to fail a little bit, learn from that, and do it again. Maybe make some adjustments on it as I experienced doing the challenge. Better done than perfect. If something is done then it is perfect but never done. To me this is sort of fun. Although it is work, it means fun and a lot of things that I can research into myself. It piqued my curiosity.”

If you’re interested in doing the challenge, check it out at

Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at

#75 Reform the Formula

Dec 6, 2017 42:57


“Many people are still bound by tradition; when the elder generation says ‘no’ to something, then these other people will strongly disapprove of it as well. If the elders say that something is wrong, then they will believe that it is wrong. They seldom use their mind to find out the truth and seldom express sincerely their real feeling. The simple truth is that these opinions on such things as racism and traditions, which are nothing more than a ‘formula’ laid down by these elder people’s experience. As we progress and time changes, it is necessary to reform this formula.”

Bruce is talking specifically about racism, but this quote can be applied in a broader sense to old traditions and stagnations we face in life. Bruce encountered racism and stale traditions in both the martial arts world and in Hollywood, and decided that he had to create his own formula for moving through those worlds.

When is it time to reform the formula? How do we know when a formula is not working? You can tell when something is not working for you if you are banging against a barrier and not progressing forward or if the tradition you are upholding is hurting other people. Another indication of a formula not working is if you find you are dimming your light, your essence, for the sake of others. These are all indicators that you need to change the formula because what currently exists is not working. 

“When one is not expressing himself, he is not free. Thus he begins to struggle and the struggle breeds methodical routine. Pretty soon on is doing his methodical routine as response rather than responding to what is.”

This is when you return to doing what has always been done, instead of asking: is this the right thing to do in this moment? Have you grown past that routine? It can be hard to notice that you need to grow, especially when you are frustrated in the struggle.

“Organic seeing is diminished or forgotten when we begin to choose sides.”

Witness what is flowing. Organic seeing comes from within you and is not influenced by other people’s thoughts and ideas. Organic seeing is more difficult when you are mired in negative self-talk.

“In a struggle you need, not neutrality, not indifference, but Transcendence.”

Transcendence is the reforming of the formula. Step back, get a different view of the landscape, and figure out where you need to go from there.

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

Not all patterns we follow are bad. Routines can be created as the solution for a particular problem, but that does not mean the pattern will be a solution for all situations or continue to work forever. 

When do you notice hints that the pattern is not working for you? It is important to be in constant awareness of those signs so you know when you need to modify or tweak what you’re doing.

“When your actions and your thinking become mechanical, you cease to expand or grow. You do not rely on yourself for expression. Do not nurture dependence, rather nurture independent inquiry.”

Get curious about what is not working. Inquire as to why it isn’t working.

Some things are going to be easy, small things in your life and others are going to be much bigger like racism and going up against the old school traditions. Those big things do not change quickly and require a lot of souls bonding together to fight against them.

“When real feeling occurs, like anger, fear, etc, can one express himself with a classical pattern? Or is he merely listening to his own screams and yells while mechanically performing his routine?”

This quote offers a great visual of how to know when you have to reform the formula. (Think of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.”)

“However, do not deny the classical approach as a reaction, for you will have created another pattern in which you will be trapped.” 

This idea of reforming the formula is not that either “all old ideas are bad” or “all new ideas are good.” It is about an evolution, it’s about building on what works and tweaking what does not for your self. This is an ongoing process that is never finished. 

Trusting your self and living in harmony means that you do not have to be constantly at war with everyone who disagrees with you, you can let them be and follow your own path. 

“Fortune is the reward of the man who can think of something that hasn’t been thought is before.”

Reforming the formula, thinking of something that you have not before, can bring you good fortune and goodwill in your life, and help you transcend your struggles. 

“A choice method is the cultivation of resistance. A well-disciplined mind is not a free mind. Any technique, however worthy and desirable, becomes a disease then the mind is obsessed with it.”


 Notice where you are stagnant or dimming your light. Ask yourself: what would it look like to go beyond the thing I am struggling with?

Is there a place in your life where you say, “That’s how I’ve always done it.” Examine that and ask if that is truly the best way or if you are stuck in a pattern.


Jennifer Yuh Nelson is an American director and storyboard artist. Born in South Korea, Jennifer grew up in Lakewood, CA. Jennifer Yuh is best known for her directorial debut Kung Fu Panda 2. Jennifer is the first woman to solely direct an animated feature from a major Hollywood studio. She won an Annie Award for Best Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production for directing the opening for Kung Fu Panda and was the second woman nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature for her work on Kung Fu Panda 2. After Kung Fu Panda 2 was one of the most financially successful films directed by a woman, Jennifer returned to direct Kung Fu Panda 3. In 2016, Jennifer was added as one of the board of Governors by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Jennifer, thank you for sharing your talent with the world and being a pioneer in Hollywood and the animation industry, we love your work and think you’re awesome!


This week our #BruceLeeMoment comes from listener Tyler J.:

“I just finished the 27th episode about energy. My Bruce Lee moment, before I realized it was a Bruce Lee moment, was keeping in touch with friends with good energy, or energy that is positive, the friends with those good vibes. I haven't lost touch with my old friends, but I definitely haven't reached out to them because I feel their energy has never been positive toward my life. Even in my workplace, which I am in the process of finding a new job, I've had plenty interviews and although I am desperate for a job, I do not want to be at a job where the energy is negative. I am hoping to find a job with good energy that I can also be a part of as well.”

Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at

Read our full show notes at

#74 To Hell with Circumstances

Nov 29, 2017 45:14


“To hell with circumstances, I create opportunities.”

Patience was something that Bruce Lee tried to cultivate. His wife Linda said that he would get very frustrated by other people not being able to match his timeline or if they would say they would do something and then not do it. Bruce was in dynamic motion all of the time. He had follow through so when others did not he would get frustrated.

This quote starts with a frustrated, fed up tone, but ends with a proactive, positive tone. It is about not being a victim of circumstances and creating your own solution.

Bruce offered a unique talent to Hollywood, he was a superb martial artist, actor, and writer, but he was dealing with a racist 1960s Hollywood. He was not getting the opportunities his talent deserved because of the color of his skin. Bruce could have kept slowly chipping away at the establishment to get to where he wanted to be, but instead he decided to figure out how to fast track his way to the lead roles he wanted. This led Bruce to move to Hong Kong where he could be a leading role. He became a huge movie star in Hong Kong, breaking every box office, and this finally got the attention of Hollywood. 

Bruce Lee’s philosophy is truly action oriented. It comes back to the idea that these things are meant to be lived, not just thought about, not just intellectualized and pondered, but really applied. Since Bruce was a martial artist, it makes sense that he would want to pursue his ideas through movement and action.

Bruce lived fully in the world as a martial artist, father, husband, actor, teacher, artist, writer, and philosopher. He never limited himself to pursuing just one thing at a time. Sometimes we think that we cannot have a relationship since we are focusing on our career or that we cannot be a parent and pursue a career. Go for the whole life experience.

“A man can achieve great things if he can conquer himself.”

When you reach a plateau, the only way to go beyond that is to put in the effort and conquer whatever is keeping you on that ledge.

“In this world there are a lot of people who talk intellectually about how they would do this or that. They talk about it but nothing is ever actualized or accomplished.”

Talking about an idea or a project can simulate the feeling that you’re taking action towards your goal, but in reality if you only talk and never take action then you won’t move forward.

“The result of man is action and not thought.” 

Creating opportunities is a creative act, and by using your imagination it can be limitless. If you can conceive it then there is a pathway toward it.

“The spiritual power of man’s will remove all obstacles.”

You have to have confidence in yourself, and cannot listen to those who have power over you telling you that you cannot do something.

“I’ve always been buffeted by circumstances because I thought of myself as a human being affected by outside conditioning. Now I realize that I am the power that commands the feeling of my mind and from which circumstances grow.”

Bruce talked a lot about being a self-willed man and that is how he viewed himself.

“A self-willed man obeys a different law – the one law I too hold sacred – the human law in himself, his own individual will.”

Asking someone what they want often causes them to stall without a response.

“Know what you want, don’t worry about the reward but set the motion the machinery to achieve it. My contribution will be the measure of my reward and success.”

Sometimes we confuse ourselves and think that what we want is the reward. Know what you want in the big picture and that there are many pathways to get there. How you get there is the fun of it and when we encounter obstacles we have to be willing to adjust our path to continue forward.

“It is not your task solely to lead, for this might make you lose The Way, but to let yourself be led. If you know how to meet you fate with attitude of acceptance, you are sure to find the right guidance. The superior man lets himself be guided; he does not go ahead blindly, but learns form the situation what is demanded of him and then follows that.”

It is a give and take of “What do I need to learn?” and then stepping up to action.

You do have to be a warrior in the pursuit of your purpose because there will be times where you struggle or meet with resistance and you have to figure out how to get beyond that. 

“The enemy of development is pain phobia. The unwillingness to suffer interrupts your continuum of awareness and stagnates your action.”

“When you drop a pebble to a pool of water, the pebble starts a series of ripples that expand until they compass the whole pool. This is exactly what will happen when I give my ideas a definite plan of action.”

Take Action:

“Anytime you use the words NOW and HOW and have awareness about this, you grow – it is the path to reintegration, taking back what is rightfully yours.”

What do you want or need right now? And how can you get? Within that be creative, be honest with yourself, and act. Be brave and create that opportunity.


This week our #AAHA is Mindy Kaling as nominated by our listener Grace who said that she “gave me hope and people to look up to, since they closely resembled what I look like and the culture I come from.”

Vera Mindy Chokalingam (born June 24, 1979), known professionally as Mindy Kaling, is an American actress, comedian and writer. Kaling’s parents are from India.

She is the creator and star of the television sitcom The Mindy Project, which premiered on Fox and later moved to Hulu; Kaling also serves as a writer and executive producer on the series. Kaling is also known for her work on the popular NBC sitcom The Office, where she portrayed the character Kelly Kapoor. In addition to acting on the show, she was a writer, executive producer, and occasional director for the show throughout most of its run. For her work on The Office, Kaling received various accolades, including a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series, in 2010. In 2012, Kaling was included in the Time 100 list of influential people. In 2014, she was named one of Glamour magazine's Women of the Year.

In addition to her work on film and television, Kaling has written two New York Times best-selling memoirs, titled Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) and Why Not Me?, respectively.

Mindy thank you for sharing your talents and we think you’re awesome!


This week our #BruceLeeMoment comes from listener Aaron:
“My middle name is Bruce. I'm told I was given it because it's a strong name. My dad told me about your dad and introduced me to his films. I think your fathers films do a great job of teaching and conveying the importance of inner strength. Even though your father died before I was born I wonder what he would be doing if he was still around. Even just Game of Death getting completed would have been pretty epic if you ask me.
I guess I don't know how to pinpoint the exact "Bruce Lee Moment" I've had. There's been lots of them. They just happen. Maybe it's this moment right now. I just know I'm grateful. Thank you forever.”

Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at

#73 Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge Winner #6: Mahmoud Hamed

Nov 22, 2017 48:35


This episode we sit down with another Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge Winner, Mahmoud Hamed! He shares with us his experience with the challenge and how approaching life from a place of love has deepened his daily interactions.

Mahmoud first discovered the podcast out of a desire to learn more about Bruce Lee and reengage with the interest he had in Bruce Lee when he was growing up. Mahmoud knew of Bruce Lee the martial artist and actor, and over the years he acquired that interest in Bruce again, but wanted to know “What more can I learn about Bruce Lee, what more did he have to tell us?” After doing a quick search Mahmoud was excited to find the podcast and excited to see that Bruce’s legacy was being upheld and showcased in a meaningful way. When the Podcast Challenge was announced, Mahmoud was impressed with the format, the affirmations, and the introspection the challenge promoted.

Mahmoud’s five affirmations:

Love Presence Knowledge Purpose Wellbeing

Mahmoud’s Wellbeing Affirmation:

Complete wellbeing in mind, body and soul makes one whole. These faculties must be well-nourished for one to feel well and good. While I may encounter obstacles that result in the contrary, I shall remain cognizant of this truth and make it the default pattern of my way of life.

The fact that Bruce Lee took time to write out his affirmations and read them every day, impressed upon Mahmoud that the practice of affirmations is important. With his own affirmations, Mahmoud took inspiration from Bruce, but had to dig deep, and access aspects of his life, history, and future that he didn’t normally spend much time thinking about. Mahmoud shares, “A lot of times we have these assumptions of what we want and where we want to go, what we want to achieve, but then we wonder if there’s anything beyond that, if there’s anything more to it, if there’s more substance behind it.” Having to write out the affirmations really put Mahmoud on the spot, instead of only having vague notions he wanted something specific, achievable, and direct. 

Mahmoud’s Love Affirmation:

Love is the loftiest of all emotions. It is also the most mysterious, as it is most elusive to define yet most apparent when experienced. Love is capable of innumerable manifestations that are inclusive of all existence. I shall therefore attempt to afford others the love they deserve, and love for them that which I love for myself.

For Mahmoud, this affirmation was about wanting to love everyone as a human being even though their actions might vary and they might do very unloving things. This goes for everyone from family and friends, to coworkers and strangers. He found that love is a great catalyst for breaking down barriers and for social connection. During the Podcast Challenge, Mahmoud found that his relationships took on a higher meaning and felt more genuine.

For the second part of the challenge Mahmoud said, “I would feel better in my body if…I move more and eat more mindfully.”

Mahmoud wanted to become more mindful of how often he moved his body and remember to move it more often. Even just being aware of the position of his body, and how it feels, taking time to stretch and change his posture. He found that over the two weeks, just taking the time to stretch, move his limbs, and when sitting to have good posture, Mahmoud started to feel better in his body.

The third part of the challenge is the Harmony challenge of “Letting others be.” Mahmoud found this part to be particularly challenging. Letting others be turned out to be not as easy as he thought it would be and it took him some time to get a hold of it and hold himself accountable. Mahmoud found that he often makes snap judgments about people, like most of us do, before they even do anything.

Doing all of these exercises gave Mahmoud a heightened awareness overall. He found that in general he’s giving everything more attention, time, and more consideration, learning more about things. You cannot change other people, but you can change yourself and how you interact with others.

Thank you so much for participating in the Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge, Mahmoud! Keep up the good work!

If you’re interested in doing the challenge, check it out at 


This week we have a listener nomination from Marlon who nominates his friend Westley Chow:

“I would like to nominate my friend and buddy Westley Chow. An awesome trainer in NYC, he motivates me to be not only a better trainer, but a more stronger and awesome version of myself. He is pound for pound the strongest person I know. Not only because he's a little power house, but because he sets goals and materializes them.  He is truly the type of person that has ALWAYS been himself from the moment I met him. He was always wise enough to learn from others the good and bad, either from being a trainer or just in life and applied it to himself. So that's why I want to nominate my friend one of the most inspiring person I know for, AAHA.”

Westley works for FIT Formula and you can view his profile here:


This week our #BruceLeeMoment comes from listener William D.:

"I was told to sleep until my operation tomorrow at 9am. I was frightened and scared. I was surrounded by suffering all evening and now I'm in a dull and depressing room. I googled what was to happen and it made me worry even more. I was to have a real operation with general anesthesia. All of the things I saw on TV that seemed so unreal and distant was to happen to me.

My thinking started to become clouded and I became frustrated. I thought to myself, this is unfair! I run 15km per week, I go to the gym regularly, I meditate, I do yoga, I eat healthily and I'm only 26 - this is not supposed to happen to me.

I became disappointed because I work very hard on my goals and I'm determined to achieve them, how much time out would I lose because of this operation? What is the point of achievement if I'm going to end up here again when I'm old like the man in the corner of the room? A very negative pattern of though began to loop in my mind.

It was at that time that I thought of Bruce Lee and how he had damaged his sacral nerve. I read many of his biographies and I remembered my reaction when I first learnt of this. I thought to myself he must have been really pissed off. But then he made the most of it. I was reminded of how he chose to react; how he made the most of his time injured by reading, striving to recover quickly with positive visualizations and doing what he could whilst being in a bad situation.

Thinking of his incident gave me hope and inspired me to think positively. His injury was much worst than mine but he got back up and achieved what he set out to do. I can do the same and I did.”

If you feel inspired to try out the Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge you can check it out here:

Read our full show notes at

Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at

#72 Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge Winner #5: Mary C.

Nov 15, 2017 52:02


For this episode we talked with another Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge winner, Mary C. If you’ve been following the Bruce Lee Challenge, then you know that we couldn’t just pick one winner due to all the wonderful submissions we received. Mary was kind enough to join us and share her experience participating in the challenge.

The Podcast Challenge came to Mary at a very crucial time in her life. She is in a career transition and since 2009 she had been doing her business as a public speaking coach and trainer part time, but at the beginning of this year she decided to do it full time. One aspect that she focuses on with her clients is the “inner critic” and she used the challenge as an excuse to document her own inner critic.

The part of the challenge that Mary found the most difficult was the “Letting others be” because you couldn’t say anything negative about other or yourself. Mary wanted to delve into why human beings default to negative thoughts:

“As human beings we have a tendency to want to survive. Wanting to survive means not going outside our comfort zone, and when we do go outside our comfort zone because we also want to grow as equal and opposite forces that are happening there. We take those first steps and immediately the survival mode kicks in and says, ‘No, no, no, it’s a perceived threat don’t do that.’ Therefore the negative voices come up to discourage us from growing.”

The Bruce Lee philosophy that Mary has found most useful is “self-inquiry.” The act of looking back and examining why she was feeling bad or what caused an emotion has been helpful for Mary identifying a common thought she has: “I’m not good enough.”

Many people have this same thought, and the negative thoughts gather evidence to support that “I’m not good enough,” thought pattern. We have to take action despite this negativity.

Mary started off with ten affirmations, but has since increased to thirty affirmations she reads daily. Here are her original ten:

“Heart all in & Both feet in”

“I am on the right path”

“Life is an enriching adventure”

“Everything is happening exactly the way it’s meant to”

“I am a savvy business woman”

“I believe in Abundance”

“I am excited to co-create my freedom with the universe”

“It’s not about me. It’s about the transformation & empowerment I can bring to others”

“I love my life”

“I am an expert at letting go” 

Mary thinks that because Bruce Lee created affirmations for himself, it is easier for people who normally shy away from emotional content to create and use their own affirmations.

Later, Mary created her personal mission in life to add to her affirmations and her personal mission is to develop enlightened leaders. To Mary, a leader is someone who makes others lives better.

For the second challenge of nutrition and fitness, Mary completed the statement “I would feel better in my body if…”

I got at least 7hrs of sleep per night. I did 30 minutes of intense cardio exercise & 30 minutes of weight training at least 3 times a week. Train in martial arts at least 3 session per week. I eat only the amount that I need And drank water instead of juices Only drink 1 cup of coffee per week day (and none on the weekend).

By doing the podcast challenge, it made Mary more conscious about what is going on inside her head. She had the epiphany that if she relaxes, is present, and looks inwards she finds that love is always there; she just needs to tap into it within herself to feel it.

Bruce Lee was truly connected with his heart, and really the Bruce Lee lesson is all about love. 


(Awesome Asians and Hapas)

Mary nominates Amy Tan, author of the Joy Luck Club and many other best-selling novels. Amy Tan is American Chinese, born in Oakland, CA, one of three kids to Chinese immigrants. Mary wanted to nominate Amy Tan because when she saw the movie version of The Joy Luck Club, it really shifted some things within her. Growing up with Chinese immigrant parents, Mary always felt the feeling of “Do I belong in this culture or this culture?” and never felt like she belonged in either culture growing up. Amy Tan speaking about this experience in her work helped Mary realize that this is a common experience that other Asian kids like her have growing up in a western culture. This helped Mary integrate her two selves and realize that she belonged to both cultures. Amy Tan, officially from the Bruce Lee podcast, you’re awesome!


Mary shared with us a specific #BruceLeeMoment:

“It was a quote that I saw online, later on I discovered it was from a book by John Little. It was when John Little, the author, expressed a moment that he had with Bruce Lee, which really inspired me, when they were running. They had run three miles and Bruce said ‘Oh tomorrow let’s do another two.’ They started doing the other two miles extra, and John said to Bruce, ‘I’m going to die, I feel like I’m going to die. I really can’t do this.’ And Bruce Lee says back to him, ‘Then die.’ And John Little got so mad that he just ran the two miles. Later on, after they had finished running, he said to Bruce, ‘Why did you say that to me?’ Bruce Lee said to him, ‘Well, seriously if you’re always putting limits on what you can do physically or otherwise, it’s going to spread over to the rest of your life. It’s going to spread to your work, to your entire being. There are no limits there are only plateaus, but you must not stay there you must go beyond them. A man must constantly exceed his level.’

When I read that I was re-inspired to not let my own limits hold me back.”

Thank you so much Mary for joining us and sharing with us your experiences participating in the Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge, your #AAHA nomination, and your #BruceLeeMoment!

If you feel inspired to try out the Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge you can check it out here:

Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at

#71 Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge Winner #4: Bryce Young

Nov 8, 2017 01:00:55


We had a chance to talk with another Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge winner, Bryce Young, who came all the way from Montana to record with us. Bryce shared with us his experience doing the challenge, how he found the podcast during a difficult time, and how participating in the podcast challenge changed his life.

Below is an excerpt of our show notes, to read our full notes for this episode go to

Bryce first found the Bruce Lee Podcast during a very tough time in his life. At the time, Bryce was living with his parents in Texas because his dad was dying and Bryce moved there to help with hospital visits and supporting his parents. The applied philosophies from the podcast really helped Bryce through this trying time in his life.

From Bryce’s podcast challenge entry he shares: 

“My cousin gave me the advice that I should only do so as long as I can still be my glowing positive self, because if I couldn’t take care of that, I wouldn’t be able to take care of my parents very well. And that’s when I found the Bruce Lee podcast, and each episode echoed this philosophy. From home care, to hospitals, to the decision to stop treatments, to hospice, and my dad's eventual death on March 9th, it was a labor of love. I listened to every episode of the podcast as spiritual inspiration throughout that time and now, almost four months after my father’s death, I still listen every Thursday when the new episode comes out on iTunes.”

Fast forward to the announcement of the Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge, Bryce was excited to participate, but then he got terribly sick with an E. coli infection and nearly died. Bryce found that it turned out to be a great time for him to incorporate these philosophies to his life because it’s during those dark, challenging moments where you need them the most.

“All knowledge is self-knowledge.” – Bruce Lee

This quote really resonates with Bryce who considers finding your center to be an important part of life. If you don’t know what is there inside you, you cannot give of yourself to others. You can’t give what you don’t have. Knowing yourself helps you feel grounded and anchored, and then no matter what happens you can always get to your center.

It’s very impressive that Bryce decided to participate in the challenge as he was so sick with E. coli. He wrote: “Though my body was not doing so hot, the self was doing just fine.” While he was sick, Bryce felt that he actually had a lot of blessings in his life through his friends. They would come over with fans, change his sheets, made him food, and would keep him company.

Bryce had six affirmations during the challenge and now had three new ones. The one affirmation that carried through was his “Common Thread” affirmation.

The Common Thread Affirmation

The way one conducts oneself in one aspect of life will transfer to all others. I will therefore infuse the following in all that I do: look for reasons to laugh, reach out to others, move with purpose, do the little things well, do one thing at a time, do first things first, accept help, be ready for change, be charitable and grateful.

These are all things that Bryce is working towards, and while it’s a lot, he knows that it is something to aim at. He hopes that by reading this affirmation everyday it will become ingrained in his psyche, and eventually these things will become automatic.

This year has brought a lot of big life changes for Bryce, from his father passing earlier this year, to trying to buy a house, and to starting his own distillery. He’s excited to open his business in January.

Thank you Bryce for sharing your story with us, sharing your personal stories on this podcast helps others connect with themselves and the philosophies. Everyone is in their own process, and sharing all of that helps us know that others are also in process.

For those of you inspired by Bryce’s experience with the Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge, you can do it too! Just go to to find out more.


(Awesome Asians and Hapas)

Yoko Ono is a Japanese multimedia artist, singer, songwriter, peace activist, and feminist also known for her work in performance art and filmmaking. She performs in English and Japanese. Yoko Ono has had a long career as an artist. She is also known for being the second wife and widow of John Lennon. Yoko is awarded for her contemporary artwork and music around the world and in 1989 the Whitney Museum held a retrospective of her work, titled “Yoko Ono: Objects, Films.” She is also noted for her philanthropic contributions to world peace and disaster relief. Yoko and John Lennon held a “Bed-In for Peace” where in their pajamas, they invited in the press to talk about and promote world peace. Later they released their first single, “Give Peace a Chance,” which was a top-20 hit. Yoko has brought feminism to the forefront of much of her art. In 1964, she did the performance art piece “Cut Piece” where she kneeled on a stage dressed in her best suit with a pair of scissors in front of her and invited the audience to cut pieces of her clothing off. Since then Yoko has continued to pursue performance art and music, as well as being a committed activist for peace and human rights. Thank you Yoko Ono for being awesome!


A #BruceLeeMoment from listener Jensen:

“My #BruceLeeMoment is something I practice everyday from one of his most famous quotes which is "Be water, my friend." Currently I am a full time student in a university that is an hour away from home while working part time in an office which eats up my hours in the week. Sometimes I struggle with this crazy schedule and it saddens me because I don't get to spend as much time with friends or family due to being constantly tired. After listening to the "Be water, my friend" episode of the podcast, I started to analyze and looked into the quote more.

Even though I struggle with my schedule, I try to make the best out if it whether it’s as simple as putting some time aside to do activities with friends and family. Also I try to look at the bright side in school as I have a very tough major that can be sometimes demoralizing to a lot of students including me at one point. Whenever I just want to give up, I think back to what he said, "Be water, my friend." Bruce Lee gave me the strength to walk on and continue through tough times and I thank you guys for the podcast and sharing your insight from his teachings which inspires many.”

Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at

#70 Interview with Chris Hardwick

Nov 1, 2017 01:10:07


The Bruce Lee Podcast is joining the Nerdist Podcast Network! Hosts Shannon Lee and Sharon Lee had the pleasure of talking with Nerdist founder Chris Hardwick for the Bruce Lee Podcast’s first episode as a part of Nerdist. In this episode Shannon, Sharon and Chris chat about learning life lessons through fitness, working through negative thoughts, and what Chris and Bruce Lee have in common.

Below is an excerpt of our show notes, to read our full notes for this episode go to

Chris Hardwick has been working out with the same trainer for the past 12 years, and when he shared that he was going to be on the Bruce Lee Podcast, his trainer freaked out. Fitness training has taught Chris a lot of about himself and about life. This aligns with what Bruce Lee said, “Everything I have learned about life I have learned through my study of martial arts.” Chris’s trainer would say to him that, “the lessons you learn in here, you take out there.”

Chris has interviewed over a thousand people between his podcast and other outlets, and he has consistently found that people who excel may doubt themselves, but they push through and put in the extra time and work to succeed. This is what Bruce would do, he would push himself and when he thought he was maxed out he would push to go beyond his limit. If you put a lot of work into something, you will get good at it. You manifest whatever you put your energy into. This can go for negativity too. If you put in positivity, positivity will come out, if you put in negativity, negativity will come out.

“The mind is a fertile garden – it will grow anything you wish to plant – beautiful flowers or weeds. And it is with successful, healthy thoughts or negative ones that will, like weeds, strangle and crowd the others. Do not allow negative thoughts to enter your mind, for they are the weeds that strangle confidence.”

About ten years ago, Chris realized that even though it’s inevitable he will have negative thoughts, he can just ignore them. He even wrote a chapter in his book called “Ignore your brain,” and his therapist crystallized that idea into the phrase, “You don’t have to believe everything you think.”

Chris and Bruce Lee were both philosophy majors in college and before that both went to all boys schools. Originally Chris was a math major, but found himself not wanting to go to class and ended up switching to philosophy. Part of his decision to switch was when he heard that Steve Martin has been a philosophy major and said that philosophy was great for comedy. Since Chris wanted to get into comedy he switched majors. 

Bruce Lee said: “Philosophy is the disease for which it pretends to be the cure.”

Bruce’s philosophy is applied philosophy, it is meant to be used instead of just discussed or thought about. Everyone knows the name Bruce Lee and they associated it with martial arts and action films. What Shannon is trying to do is share the philosophy side of her father with the world. All of Bruce’s philosophy and self-work created the thrilling person that people see on screen.

Bruce said about himself: “I have always been a martial artist by choice, an actor by profession, but above all, am actualizing myself to be an artist of life.”

Chris’s #AAHA shout outs:

Michio Kau is a Japanese American theoretical physicist, futurist, and popularizer of science. He’s an educator who is a great communicator; he communicates high-level things about the universe in a very digestible way. He is a professor of theoretical physics at the City College of New York and CUNY Graduate Center. He has written three NY Times bestselling books, has had over 70 articles published in physics journals, and co-authored the first papers describing string theory in a field form. Kaku has hosted several TV specials for the BBC, the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, and the Science Channel.

Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant, author, and creator of the KonMari method of decluttering your life. She wrote bestselling book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” which has been published in more than 30 countries. (Will link this using our amazon associates link) Kondo has written four books on organizing which have collectively sold millions of copies and have been translated from Japanese into several other languages. She created the KonMari method of organizing. This consists of gather together all of one’s belongings, one category at a time, and then keeping only those things that “spark joy” (tokimeku in Japanese) and choosing a place for everything from then on. Kondo was listed as one of Time’s “100 most influential people” in 2015.

Michio Kau and Marie Kondo, we think you’re awesome!


Chris Hardwick shares when he first became aware of Bruce Lee:

“When I was a kid, I’m sure it was through movies. But it wasn’t until I was older that I really understood, and when I got sober, and when I wrote my own book about a self-help journey, that I really discovered how “Oh he was deep.” The man was deep, those waters ran really deep. He has a quote that I think has something to do with he would rather face a man who has practiced 10,000 kicks than a man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times. You can parse that out in a lot of different ways. It goes back to what we were talking about earlier how it’s not a big secret that when you focus on something and work on something that’s what you get. So if you’re running around in a million different directions, without any real goal or focus, you’re just going to be this weak, deluded, person.” 

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#69 The Easy Life

Oct 26, 2017 42:51


“Do not pray for an easy life; pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.” Sometimes this quote is misunderstood—out of context it seems like Bruce is encouraging you to toughen up because winter is coming. But these words are not about praying for the strength to fight against a hard life. Within the context of Bruce Lee’s philosophy of harmony, the “strength” Bruce is referring to is one of calm and flow. An easy life is not something you get because you pray for it or fight for it, the ease comes when you practice self-actualization and achieve peace of mind. If you only look at Bruce Lee as the ripped warrior, it is easy to misinterpret this quote to be about getting tough and developing physical strength to defend against a difficult life. When you understand who Bruce Lee was as a total human being, you know he could not have had the negative mentality that life was a constant struggle to be defended against. Bruce Lee was about keeping the mind on the positive and being in the flow. Endurance is about having the stamina to experience your whole life. It’s about inviting all of the experiences, including the challenges and catastrophes, because every experience has a lesson in it. “The good life is a process, it’s not a state of being. The good life constituted a direction selected by the total organism when there is freedom to move in any direction.” The first step in the good life process is freeing your mind from the limiting thoughts that are preventing you from engaging fully in life. “The cultivation of the spirit is elusive and difficult and the tendency toward it is rarely spontaneous.” You have to work at this, the cultivation of your spirit and root does not happen automatically. You cannot quit when it gets tough. “The true stillness is the stillness in movement.” If you develop your inner being and you have a strong root from which you function, then your life can be moving around you in a spiral of ups and down, but you at the root can maintain your stillness in the middle of it. “Wisdom does not consist in trying to wrest the good from the evil, but in learning to ride them as a cork adapts itself to the crests and troughs of the waves.” Take Action: What happens to you when you get thrown by life’s difficulties? Can you be more flexible and adaptable? Notice what kind of escape fantasy you have and when you have it. What are you praying for to take you out of your current life? Where are you trying to force instead of flow? #AAHA James Wong Howe was a Chinese American cinematographer born in 1899 and worked on over 130 films. In the 1930s and 1940s, Howe was one of the most sought after cinematographers in Hollywood. He was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won twice for The Rose Tattoo (1955) and Hud (1963). Howe was prevented from becoming a U.S. citizen until the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1943. Prior to WWII, he met his wife and they married in Paris in 1937. Due to anti-miscegenation laws, the marriage would not be legally recognized in the U.S. until 1949. James Wong Howe died in 1976 at age 76. Howe, you were a creative and social pioneer, and we think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment A moment from Daniel: “My wife and I went out of town to visit our parents over Thanksgiving, and we came back home on Sunday the 27th, I wasn't even aware that it was Bruce Lee's birthday. I previously went out and bought a inflatable Christmas Dragon for the yard, right after Halloween, in Bruce's honor of course. I put it up as soon as we got back home, which just happen to be his birthday, which would come to my attention through your podcast the following day. I just thought the Dragon was perfect and so was the timing, with his work being a more in depth influence on my life, as of the last 2 years.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#68 Defeat is a State of Mind

Oct 19, 2017 48:46


“Defeat is a state of mind; no one is very defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality. To me, defeat in anything is merely temporary, and its punishment is but an urge for me to exert greater effort to achieve my goal. Defeat simply tells me that something is wrong in my doing; it is a path leading to success and truth.” Bruce defines defeat not as a mistake or failure, but as an attitude of giving up or a depressive attitude, a loss of energy. We all get knocked down and experience moments where things go wrong. It is important to process your feelings about that failure, but you cannot dwell there. Failure is merely temporary and if you accept defeat then you stay knocked down instead of getting back up. You must accept defeat to be truly defeated. The answer to your problem is within the problem itself. What is it you’re trying to do? Why weren’t you able to do it? Was it something that was within your power to control or was it outside of your control? What can you learn from this? When something goes wrong, if you’re willing to dive deep into the problem and be very honest with yourself, there is an answer for how you can work your way out of or around the problem. “Remember, my friend, it is not what happens that counts; it is how you react to them. Your mental attitude determines what you make of it—either a stepping stone or stumbling block.” It can be frustrating when you invest time and energy into an endeavor and then something out of your control causes you to fail. You might feel that since you failed it was not worth all the effort and time you put in, but you can control how you react to the failure. “It is not a shame to be knocked down by other people. The important thing is to ask when you are being knocked down, “Why am I being knocked down?” If a person can reflect in this way, then there is hope for this person.” The sting of defeat is meant to be a wake up call; not a life sentence. “Be pliable. When man is living, he is soft and pliable; when he is dead, he becomes rigid. Pliability is life; rigidity is death, whether one speaks of his body, his mind or his spirit.” “With every adversity comes a blessing because a shock acts as a reminder to oneself that we must not get stale in routine.” Take Action: When you get knocked down by life or circumstance, how can you reframe it as a learning opportunity? How can you use this as opportunity to learn more about yourself rather than place blame outside yourself? #AAHA “Jennifer Ho is a professor at UNC Chapel Hill. She is Asian American, a professor of mixed raced studies, 20th and 21st century American literature, and critical race theory. She has written extensively on issue surrounding mixed race identity. She works diligently, both in the classroom and in her research/talks/publications, to help people understand the importance of and influence that Asian Americans have in American culture and history; as well as showing people where racism exists in our society and how to address institutional racism and how to be a racial ally.” #BruceLeeMoment Our #BruceLeeMoment comes from Trent N.: “The first time I listened to the podcast, it brought a tear to my eyes. Hearing Shannon speak about Bruce Lee's philosophy is just like hearing Rachel speak. The messages are almost identical. This makes me wonder if Rachel had been a fan of Bruce Lee. I'm going to bet that she was. I wish that I could have met Bruce Lee but in some respects, I already have. I realized that I don't have to be awesome like Bruce or Rachel were, but that people in the world can experience that 'Bruce Lee' feeling from me being the most authentic person I can be. This authentic being is what is remembered, way after the person is gone.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#67 "One Family" Film Director John Alan Thompson

Oct 12, 2017 01:03:29


Director John Alan Thompson joined us to discuss the film project we worked on together, “One Family.” John discovered he wanted to be a filmmaker at 15. A video production class in high school and seeing “Apocalypse Now” propelled John to start experimenting with filmmaking. His teacher told him about a competition that AFI was hosting for students, and his senior year John created a short film that ended up placing. After that first taste, John dove into filmmaking. John still mostly works in short formats, creating music videos, commercials, and short films, including the short film he made with the Bruce Lee Family Company “One Family.” This project came to John during a time when he was feeling creatively depleted and filled doubt about some life choices. When he started reading Bruce’s philosophy, it was exactly what he needed to hear at that moment in his life. John absorbed from Bruce that fundamental part of living is finding that true essence inside of you and expressing it to the world. For the “One Family” film, Shannon wanted to share this story of the fight between Bruce Lee and Wong Jack Man, a pivoting moment for Bruce that hasn’t been told well. The biggest challenge with creating “One Family” is that we didn’t have any footage we could use. This challenge of recreating the fight through non-traditional means intrigued John. He pitched the idea of using old photographs and animating them, which proved to be complicated since we didn’t have an animation budget. No one moves like Bruce Lee, so the creative puzzle was how to represent the energy, movement, and flow of Bruce’s fighting. When Bruce had a school in Oakland, he was challenged by the San Francisco Chinatown community because he was teaching his martial arts in a very brash way and teaching it to anyone who wanted to learn regardless of gender, race, or background. That was not done. The Chinatown community wanted him to stop teaching to non-Chinese so they challenged him to a fight. They picked their champion, Wong Jack Man, and came down to the Oakland school for the fight. Shannon’s mother, Linda, witnessed the fight. Bruce won the fight in 3 min, but the take away for him was that his traditional kung fu training didn’t prepare him for actual combat outside of a competition environment. This opened Bruce’s mind to needing to look at Kung Fu and his approach to combat as well as to training and being in the right kind of shape. Bruce won the right to continue teaching whoever he wanted and continued to do so. He truly believed that we are all one family, all of us humans, no matter our backgrounds, ethnicity, gender, or orientation. This is why the film is titled “One Family.” #AAHA Paul Kariya is a Japanese Canadian hockey player that played in the NHL from 1993-2010. He played for four NHL teams, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators, and St.Louis Blues. He still holds a few team records for Ducks and Predators. NHL First Team All-Star three times, Second Team All-Star twice. Kariya's international resume includes Olympic silver in 1994, and gold in 2002 with Team Canada, World Championship gold in 1994, silver in 1996, World Junior Championship gold in 1993. He was elected to the Hall of Fame on 26 June 2017, and is the first Asian player to be inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame. #BruceLeeMoment From listener Dan V.: “Growing up as a young child was not easy for me. Never knowing my father and only living with my mother until I was four years old, it was a very difficult time for me, as you can imagine. In 1970 I was forced to live in a shelter until I was nine years old. It was in those years that I was taken in by Bruce Lee's philosophies through his movies. He inspired me to take up martial arts; I loved the energy that was linked to his Philosophies.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#66 Podcast Challenge Winner #3: Michael R.

Oct 5, 2017 46:20


We had a great time talking with Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge winner Michael R. about his experience with the challenge. Michael first discovered Bruce Lee when he was 12 and first started studying martial arts at a martial arts school. An older student recommended “The Art of Expressing the Human Body.” After that, Michael was hooked on Bruce Lee. He discovered the Bruce Lee Podcast when he was looking for podcasts to listen to as he was remodeling his family’s apartment. Struggling with depression due to lack of job opportunity, Michael knew he wanted to make a change in his life, but felt trapped. When the challenge was announced, he decided that this was an opportunity to reframe how he perceived his world and that would give him a way out. Michael shared with us a few of his affirmations: Recognizing that emotions are both positive and negative and that I can select how I act with their influence, I will dedicate my reasoning to draw out and accentuate the positive emotions and transfigure the negative into useful activity. Accepting that all people are in the process of their own journey, as I am in the process of mine, and that each person retains the agency to choose their own actions, I remove my expectations of others and remove the desire to live up to their expectations. I welcome and encourage everyone I meet with love and appreciation of who they are and the beauty that they bring into my life. During the challenge, Michael saw dramatic improvements in all areas of his life: “My relationships got better with my wife and kids especially, I lost weight, my blood pressure went down, my heart rate improved, I was less stressed, I was happier, I had more enjoyment of each moment, people started approaching me in public and interacting with me positively. But most importantly to me, my depression disappeared.” The 2nd part of the challenge was: “I would feel better in my body if I spent 20 minutes in daily practice of movements, skills, and play. Honoring my body in its current state and yet purposefully driving myself toward the physical autonomy I desire to train my body and my mind in a continual moving mediation. I synthesize the mental and physical traits I have been given into the highest and most authentic expression of myself.” The Harmony action item of “Letting others be,” seemed like the easiest part of the challenge to Michael. However, he discovered when he started it that he interpreted “letting others be” as ignoring people versus actually just letting them be. He realized that was not working since he was still bothered by what others were doing. He found that there needed to be an interaction, recognize where the other person was coming from and then not make judgments and let it be. For those of you inspired by Michael’s experience with the Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge, go to to find out more. #AAHA Ed Kaihatsu is a long time fencer and is the US Veteran National Champion in men’s foil 7 times. As of now Ed is the associate head coach of women’s fencing at Northwestern University. He’s now a teacher and has said that his whole purpose in teaching and being a fencing coach, is to make his students better in every way not just as fencers. #BruceLeeMoment From listener Nick B.: “I read the story of when Bruce was running with John Little and when John told Bruce he could not continue or else he would die Bruce responded with "Die Then". When I run to this day I will repeat this in my head over and over, at the ends of races when I am pushing harder than I can sustain I will chant it aloud. Last May I ran my marathon and was a couple minutes off of qualifying for the Boston Marathon, I was running into 40 mile per hour headwind nonestop for the last 8 miles... Die Then was what pushed me on to the finish.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#65 Podcast Challenge Winner #2: Katrina R.

Sep 28, 2017 47:10


This episode we had the pleasure of chatting with another Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge winner, Katrina R. Katrina knew about Bruce Lee as a kung fu master, but it wasn’t until she was browsing youtube one day that she came across an interview Shannon did with NextShark. This interview sparked her interest in learning more about Bruce’s philosophy. After finding the podcast, the Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge popped up and she decided to do the challenge and found it to be extremely rewarding. Katrina is a single mom who works 40+ hours a week and didn’t get out much. Her mom passed away suddenly a few years ago, and Katrina just put away her feelings and stopped living her life. For this challenge Katrina decided to take a big step towards loving herself again. Her affirmations she repeated every morning revolved around self-love. “Some of them as simple as "love yourself", "always look at problems as lessons, not mistakes" and "everyday is only as good as you make it" One of Katrina’s affirmations was to ask herself throughout the day, “Am I being myself today?” Katrina had for doing the challenge is that she wants to be a better role model for her 4-year-old son. “I want him to believe in himself and know that he is capable of anything he sets his mind to, and to of course love and always be himself as well.” For the Harmony part of the podcast challenge, Katrina’s coworkers even noticed a difference. By “letting others be,” Katrina dissolved her attitude and became neutral toward coworkers who are consistently problematic. She was able to avoid confrontation and find a way to flow around the issue, and avoid bringing home her work stress. By staying neutral, Katrina was able to deter her coworkers from bringing her into workplace drama. Part of Katrina’s challenge was “I would feel better in my body if I was myself in my body.” She had been taking her body for granted by working long hours and not taking the time to go out. Feeling better in her body involved Katrina going back out into the world and reconnecting with nature. Katrina’s favorite Bruce Lee quote: “I feel I have this great creative and spiritual force within me that is greater than faith, greater than ambition, greater than confidence, greater than determination, greater than vision, it is all these combined. My brain becomes magnetized with this dominating force which I hold in my hand.” Thank you for sharing your story with us Katrina, we loved talking with you and hearing about your Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge. Interested in the podcast challenge? Go to #AAHA This week our #AAHA is a listener nomination from Christopher who nominated his BIL Keoni Chang: “Keoni was born in Hawaii went to college there and continued on to the mainland for culinary school in upstate NY. Keoni has been a mainstay in the kitchen. Cooking for such places as the greenbrier in West Virginia and the Eiffel Tower restaurant in Las Vegas. He also went on to go back to his homeland and became executive chef for food land food and was given an opportunity to compete at a supermarket chef competition where his recipe beat out hundreds of recipes. He continues to help leave an impact in his community and continue to help grow the food land name. He continues to inspire me not only as a businessman but as a family man as well.” #Bruce Lee Moment From listener Ken M.: As I was riding along beautiful country roads beautiful scenery my mind was filled with things I needed to do after the ride. I suddenly realized I was not enjoying the ride that I needed to clear my mind and empty it. Then I thought of Bruce's pointing finger and then was able to enjoy the Beautiful scenery. At that moment I felt personal liberation from all the responsibilities I needed to do afterwards. I was living in the moment. Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#64 A Population of Misfits

Sep 21, 2017 41:33


“The times of drastic change are times of passions. We can never be fit and ready for that which is wholly new, we have to adjust ourselves and every radical adjustment is a crisis in self-esteem. We undergo a test, we have to prove ourselves. A population subjected to drastic change is thus a population of misfits and misfits live and breathe in an atmosphere of passion.” When you hear the word “misfit” it usually has a negative connotation, but Bruce Lee recasts misfits as unique individuals who are moved by their passions as he was. These misfits are passionate about ideas which society hasn’t created space for yet, so the misfits are doing pioneering work by exploring their passion. Bruce Lee was a misfit in many respects. No one knew what martial arts were in the west, no one had seen an Asian man represent masculinity like Bruce, he was mixed race, and he was in an interracial relationship when it was illegal. Bruce received much negative feedback for his misfit way of living life, but that didn’t discourage him from living in authenticity. A drastic change can feel like a major crisis, like a storm blowing through your life. We experience this personally and in our culture. It was during the 1960’s, a time of much cultural change and exploration, when Bruce conceived his ideas on the “Population of Misfits.” “With adversity, you are shocked to higher levels, much like a rainstorm that is violent but yet afterwards all the plants grow.” Sometimes there is tumult you must go through, unrest, dissatisfaction, but if you can stay true to your focus and your path, much growth can come from the turbulent time. At some point, we all feel like the “other” and that we don’t fit in--which is why Bruce Lee, the misfit, continues to resonate with people. “My contribution will be the measure of my reward and my success. Bruce and Linda weathered personal criticism and racism for being together during a time when the whole country, and their families, said that interracial relationships were wrong. If anyone started to give Bruce attitude based on his race, he would charm them with his humor and friendliness, and they would soften towards him. Showing up as himself was Bruce’s contribution. He was able to reveal his humanity to people who thought he was less than. “Our own souls are what we must employ, to give new meaning and new form to the world.” Take Action: What kind of misfit are you? Where is your area of enthusiasm, curiosity, and passion? #AAHA Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park are on the TV series Hawaii Five-0. Recently, they decided to quit the show because they asked to be paid the same amount as their Caucasian co-stars and they were denied. This was a bold move because as an Asian actor it’s really difficult to get roles, especially on a network tv show. It takes a lot of courage to take a stand like that. Daniel Dae Kim is a Korean American actor, voice actor, producer, and director. He’s known for his role as Jin-Soo Kwon on Lost, and most recently Hawaii Five-0. Grace Park is a Canadian-American actress of Korean heritage. She is known for her roles on Battlestar Galactica, Canadian teen soap opera Edgemont, and most recently Hawaii Five-0. Daniel and Grace, we admire your courage in taking a stand and we think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment From Maria: “I felt, from the very first episode that Bruce Lee´s philosophy, he´s phrases and in general everything you discuss are very deep issues and least for me, it has taken time to digest, reflect, sink in and in time apply those ideas. I believe if I have had a Bruce Lee moment it has extended on time. I describe it as tiny lights lighting inside my brain, and for a moment I visualice their meaning briefly, then they disappear but leave a sort of indescribable trace of feeling.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#63 Research Your Own Experience

Sep 14, 2017 45:56


“Research your own experience. Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is essentially your own.” The idea of constantly researching and refining your own experience was key to Bruce Lee’s way of life. When Bruce decided to break away from traditional martial arts, he wanted to know what really works in combat and how to train your body for real conflicts. Bruce only incorporated what was useful to him and left the rest behind. This quote is the recipe for finding your path in this world and the first step is “Research your own experience.” Be neutral, be the researcher, understand what’s going on with you from a neutral place. Notice what you normally gravitate towards and notice what you enjoy in the tasks you already do in life. Take note and journal your experience. The second step is: “Absorb what is useful.” After researching and noticing, pull out the things that resonate with you and that are working for you. These are the things that you keep and take with you. The things that bring usefulness in your life, bring you joy and create threads that attract more of the same. Absorb what is useful to you personally, not what society or those around you accept as useful. Take note of moments that spark your interest and grab your attention. If you write down these moments and thoughts, you will get clues as to what interests you and it will guide you to your path in life. The third step is “Reject what is useless.” This can be the most difficult step. It can be easy to identify the most negative things holding you back, but it’s harder to identify the mediocre obstacles. When you’re doing self-research, it’s important to pick out what is useful to your journey and leave behind what doesn’t work. If you don’t reject the useless in your life, you end up carrying it around with you and it can block what is actually useful and interesting in your life. The final step is “Add what is essentially your own.” This can seem daunting if you don’t know what is “essentially your own.” It is adding what speaks to you and having the confidence to believe in yourself. What inspires you, moves you, motivates you personally. This whole process is about radical trust in oneself and becoming the divining rod for our own experience. It is about paying attention to what ignites the spark within us. Take Action: In addition to Bruce Lee, who are your other teachers, philosophers, writers, creative people, who you really connect with? Make a list of those people. There is something in that list of people that continually draws you to them, what is it? Take note of any thought or thing that catches your interest throughout your day and write it down. At the end of the week examine your notes and see what speaks to you. #AAHA This week our #AAHA is Asian American comic book illustrator, Bernard Chang. Bernard did the cover for Bruce Lee: The Dragon Rises, which is how Shannon got to know him. Bernard was born in Montreal, and started drawing comics professionally while attending the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY studying architecture. He has since gone on to draw for Marvel and DC comics, including X-Men, Deadpool, Superman, Supergirl, and Wonder Woman. Bernard was also a “blue sky” concept designer for Walt Disney Imagineering, designing a bunch of attractions in the Disney parks. He just recently drew a book that is an all Asian Superman. Bernard, we think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment Our moment comes from listener Alanzo: “I recently stumbled on the podcast, and, listening to you two have me hooked. The chemistry between you two resonates a powerful sophistication enriched with substance and candor. I guess discovering, and loving everything about the Podcast, I will say is my Bruce Lee Moment.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#62 True Flow: Bridging the Gap

Sep 7, 2017 36:52


The idea of True Flow comes directly from Bruce Lee’s physical study of martial arts and specifically from his art of Jeet Kune Do, which literally translated means "the Way of the Intercepting Fist." One of the core tenets behind Jeet Kune Do is that there are no separate movements of offense and defense, they can happen simultaneously and flow quickly together. This is an idea that can be applied to our movements in life, bridging the gap between happenings so that you can flow easier from one thing to the next. If we collapse the space between two separate movements, the result is flow--and when you’re in flow everything moves more quickly and smoothly without much effort. Forward movement becomes quicker when you don’t force or strain--you adapt and adjust in real-time, all the time. Gentleness and Firmness are also work together to bridge the gap. There is an interplay of movement between them, they are not separate motions or ideas. “Gentleness alone cannot forever dissolve away great force, nor can sheer brute force forever subdue one’s problems. In order to survive, the harmonious interfusion of gentleness and firmness as a whole is necessary, sometimes one dominating and sometimes the other, in wave like succession.” “Instead of opposing force by force, one should complete an opposing movement by accepting the flow of energy from it and defeat it by borrowing from it. This is the law of adaption.” If we can close that gap between our mistake and our learning, it can save us years of not growing. When we face challenges or make mistakes, if we can move quickly into “I was supposed to make this mistake so I could learn this lesson.” “What we are aiming for is there to be no dislocation in the movements. They are done with flowing continuity like the movement of a river that is forever flowing without a moment of cessation or standing still.” “In order to achieve oneness of movement and true flow, the gap between movements should be bridged.” “One shouldn’t, therefore, favor too much on either side alone. Remember, gentleness versus firmness is not the situation, but rather gentleness, firmness as a oneness is the way.” Take Action: Look and see, where are you being too extreme? Where is there something in your life that, deep down, you know is a problem but you don’t want to look at it? #AAHA “I wanted to reach out and recommend my best friend, Nick Maccarone, as someone who would be perfect for a feature. Nick is an Oakland native, half Korean/half Italian - an actor, filmmaker, published author and motivational speaker. Nick has done incredible volunteer work in Haiti, South Africa and Nepal which inspired him to create his own passion project here at home: After years as a frustrated Asian-American actor in NYC, and with his mission of diversifying Hollywood and Broadway, Nick wrote a book "To the Perspective Artist: Lessons from an Unknown Actor," which was published earlier this year, along with the launch of his spin-off podcast. A few weeks ago, he was asked to give his inspiring TEDxTalk entitled, "6 Ways Actors & Artists Can Empower Themselves." Thank you Jen for nominating Nick, and Nick thank you for being awesome! #BruceLeeMoment From listener Benjamin: “In college I was casually learning Hapkido from a friend who had a black belt and also doing some recreational boxing. I looked for books at the library on martial arts and found one by Bruce Lee. I learned one of his quotes and still remember it today: “Mastery is not attained by accumulating knowledge but by stripping away to the essential.” I was impressed with the deeper side of this man, as I had only know him in films.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#61 Confrontation

Aug 31, 2017 44:04


When Bruce talked about confrontation he was talking about it on two levels, physical confrontation and then confrontations between people in everyday life. As you become ore rooted and secure in yourself, the natural tendency is to feel that you can more easily avoid confrontation, that you don’t need to prove yourself. What Bruce has learned from being challenged is: What is your reaction to being challenged? How does it affect you? If you’re secure then you treat it lightly. Part of being able to handle confrontation is self-work. “Wisdom does not consist in trying to wrest the good from the evil, but in learning to ride them as a cork adapts itself to the crests and troughs of the waves.” “The great mistake is to anticipate the outcome of an engagement, you ought not to be thinking whether it ends in victory or defeat.” A lot of times confrontation has nothing to do with you and has to do with the other person being wrapped up in something that triggers them. “A struggle of any nature can never be settled satisfactorily until the absolute fact is touched.” “See that there is no one to fight, only an illusion to see through.” “Intelligence, intelligence, is sometimes defined as the capacity of the individual to adjust himself successfully to his environment or to adjust the environment to his needs.” If there is a confrontation presented to you, you want to wait a beat before reacting. “Who is there that can make muddy water clear? But if allowed to remain still, it will become clear of itself. Who is there that can secure a state of absolute repose, but keep calm and let time go on and the state of repose will gradually arrest.” It’s not about what happens, it’s about your reaction to what happens. It’s not a sign of weakness to stay calm and not respond to someone who is be aggressive towards you, it’s a sign of strength and patience. “It’s not a shame to be knocked down by other people, the important thing is to ask when being knocked down, why am I being knocked down? If a person can reflect in this way, there is hope for the person.” Most of the time when Bruce was talking about confrontation, he was talking about physical confrontation. When someone is actually attacking you, you can discover your emotional response to confrontation, it’s an amplified reaction of how you feel in other non-physical situations of confrontation. “If you want to see an opponent clearly, you must throw away prejudices, likes, and dislikes, and so forth. Then, your mind will cease all conflict and come to rest, in this silence, you will see totally and freshly.” Take Action: Start with noticing your response to confrontation and conflict. What is going on within you? What can you learn about yourself? #AAHA Tamlyn Tomita is a Japanese born American actress. She made her acting debut in The Karate Kid Part II and was also in The Joy Luck Club, Four Rooms, and Day After Tomorrow. Recently, Tamlyn was in the news for standing up against the white washing that’s been happening in Hollywood. Tamlyn was sent a script that she found extremely offensive, and she spoke out publicly about how terrible the script was and how it used offensive Asian stereotypes for the characters. We think it’s awesome that she stood up for herself and her heritage, much in the way Bruce Lee did, especially because it’s difficult to get roles as a minority in Hollywood. We think you’re awesome Tamlyn! #BruceLeeMoment From listener Karen M.: “I have been struggling with Add/ADHD and dyslexia may entire life 55 years. I have always been on edge feeling like I have not been good enough because of my disabilities. Listening to your podcast about Bruce Lee has given me a chance to look at things in a different way. Letting me know that it's ok if i have to do things a different way.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#60 Choiceless Awareness

Aug 24, 2017 42:26


Choiceless Awareness is a path to peace of mind. It means having awareness in the moment as things are unfolding but not making a choice or judgment one way or the other about whether it’s good or bad. Bruce talks about how, “There is an awareness without choice, without demand, an awareness in which there is no anxiety and in that state of mind there is perception and it's perception alone that will resolve our problems.” Choiceless Awareness is about being the objective observer, standing back from the situation a little bit and not assign any blame one way or the other. Just say, “Here’s what’s happening, I’m perceiving what’s happening, now what am I going to do?” This not easy because you have to battle the “shoulds”--what you think should or shouldn’t be happening in the situation. Remember, Bruce Lee used “No way as way.” “Just watch choicelessly, and in the watching lies the wonder. It is not an ideal end to be desired, but watching is a state of being already and not a state of becoming.” If in this moment you can achieve this state of choiceless awareness, you can achieve wholeness because you’re just being. “Choiceless Awareness. Do not condemn, do not justify. Awareness works only if it is allowed free play without interference.” Awareness leads to discovery. Discovery leads to uncovering your potential. Bruce Lee often relates this idea of Choiceless Awareness to being in tune with “what is.” “There is what is, only when there is no comparison at all. And to live with what is, is to be peaceful.” “Awareness is never exclusive. It includes everything.” The easiest way to explain this state is as “free play.” Free play without judgment, like when you were a kid playing and pursuing what interested you. The technology we have now, such as smart phones, can bring us out of the moment. “I Bruce Lee am going to die some day with out having fulfilled all my ambitions. However, I am not afraid to die. I go on, I move forward. Because everything I’ve done, I’ve done sincerely, and wholeheartedly and to the best of my ability. What more can you ask for than that?” Take Action: Practice being the objective observer, try to remove your judgment from the present moment, and just let things be as they are. Take in everything. Create time for a place of "free play”—free of expectations and outcomes. Do something with your body to enter into the space of free play, such as running around like a kid or sing a fun song. This will help you remember what free play felt like. #AAHA This week our #AAHA is hapa Michelle Waterson who is half Thai. Michelle is an American Mixed Martial Artist and competes in the UFC. MMA is the fastest growing professional sport. Michelle is ranked #6 in the UFC strawweight division. Raised in Colorado, Michelle studied karate from the age of 10 and holds a black belt in the American Free Style Karate, and also trained in WuShu, Muay Thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing, and wrestling. She started out as a ring girl, and she trained really hard and made her MMA debut in 2007. She made her debut without having any amateur fights. Michelle you’re a badass, and we think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment Our moment this week comes from Robby M. who shared with us this poem and his #BruceLeeMoment: Everything I know how to do, I learned first and foremost from Bruce Lee, I copied everything he did to the point where I got obsessed and erroneously thought myself to be his Reincarnation. Doing that, I realized I missed His central tenet of Life, Be Yourself! Express Yourself as creatively, profoundly, powerfully, dynamically, skillfully, and Honestly as humanly possible at all times no matter what the cost or situation.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#59 Faith

Aug 17, 2017 39:05


Often the immediate association with the word “Faith” is a religious one, but that’s not the type of faith we are talking about in this episode. The definition of faith in the dictionary is: "complete trust or confidence in someone or something." That’s how Bruce Lee interpreted “faith," to have trust and confidence in ones self and abilities. Bruce’s definition of faith is: the spiritual power of man’s will. Your will is your driver, something you can put effort into, but faith is the trust and confidence from the spirit. “Optimism is a faith that leads to success.” As is enthusiasm and as is confidence. Having optimism, enthusiasm and confidence means that you have a certain amount of faith in what you’re doing and who you are, and that things are going as they should. “True faith is faith back by action. Faith backed by action is applied faith.” Sometimes when we think of faith, particularly religious faith, we think about surrendering to a higher power. Which has its time and place, but in this instance Bruce, is talking about action backed faith and surrendering to the higher power within oneself, not outside of yourself. Faith is a powerful source of unlimited energy. Bruce believed in the idea that faith can actually be conditioned. If you don’t have faith in yourself, it is something you can teach yourself. “Faith is a state of mind that can be conditioned through self-discipline. Faith can be introduced or created by affirmation or repeated instructions to the subconscious mind through the principle of autosuggestion. This is the only known method of voluntary development of the emotion of faith.” We all have this subconscious mind that sometimes goes into the habit of negative thinking. So it’s important to train the subconscious mind in this optimism. You can encourage, develop, and condition your faith; you don’t just put your faith outside of yourself hoping it will work out. “Faith is the maintaining of the soul through which one’s aims may be translated into their physical equivalent.” Faith is about tapping into your true essence and applying it toward the things that you want and translating that into physical reality. For Bruce, Faith leads to action. “Faith without work is death.” “Enthusiasm is the godhead within us and instinctively becomes the art of the physical becoming.” Everyone has faith, it’s just a matter of coaxing it out and developing it. Take Action: Create some simple affirmations, you can use the three we talked about: optimism, enthusiasm, and confidence. Where do you have worries? How can you shift that into a more faith-filled outlook? #AAHA This week our #AAHA shout-out goes to Sal Khan, American educator and founder of the Khan Academy, an online educational platform. Khan Academy has produced over 6,500 video lessons teaching a wide variety of academic subjects, originally focusing on mathematics and sciences. Khan attended MIT, graduating with degrees in mathematics, electrical engineering, and computer science. In 2003, Khan started tutoring his cousin and when other friends and relatives sought his tutoring he began making tutorials on YouTube. His educational videos gained worldwide interest and popularity. The lessons are free, and have been translated into languages from all over the world. Sal Khan, you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment A moment from listener Damien L.: “"Do not run away; let go. Do not seek, for it will come when least expected." This quote made me realize that I do not have to keep searching for my answer because it will come when I least expect it. Since then I have been less worried and have accepted that I will find out when I am supposed to. Bruce Lee's philosophy has also helped me understand that if I do not get into the academy I can find another path for my life.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#58 Podcast Challenge Winner #1: Kyoko @Jinjabrew

Aug 10, 2017 00


We were overwhelmed with the responses for the Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge and found it impossible to pick just one winner, so we’ll be having several winners join us as guests on the podcast. This week we welcome our first Podcast Challenge winner, Kyoko @Jinjabrew! She lives in LA so Kyoko was able to join us in the studio for this special episode. Kyoko didn’t grow up watching Bruce Lee films, but discovered him through activism and research in Asian-American history and politics. While studying the Civil Rights movement of the 60’s, Kyoko wondered where the Asian Americans were in the movement. She started doing her own research by reading books by Fred Ho and learning about activist Yuri Kochiyama. It was a chapter in the book “Everybody was kung-fu fighting” by Vijay Prashad that introduced her to Bruce Lee’s influence on the Afro-Asian cultural connection and this made her want to find out more about Bruce Lee. At the time she was reading this book, she was moving from Boston to LA, driving solo and looking for a good podcast to listen to on the long drive. Kyoko’s main affirmation: “I am the master of my fate, captain of my soul. I can manifest all of my dreams and deepest sincere desires, but only through hard work and dedication – and the commitment to let go of fear on a daily basis – for it does not serve me. My path is unique to me, therefore, I will not compare or judge my intuition with others’. I will treasure my inner child, and ask it daily what it’s needs are and how I can be of service and infuse the pathway for it to flourish. I will respect its need to create daily, and will carve out space for it to express daily. I am a creator, a creative person. If I don’t allow it space to create, I can not flourish into my best self.” For the second challenge, Kyoko’s “I would feel better in my body if…” were: -I drank a glass of water when I woke up -Ate fresh fruit every morning -Meditated for 10 minutes daily -Commit to Wushu training for four hours a week During the challenge Kyoko worked on releasing her first song. Kyoko wrote the song “Prince," performed the music, and directed and edited the music video herself. This is the first project where Kyoko really felt in the flow. #AAHA Kyoko’s AAHA is Angelia Trinidad, she’s a Filipina entrepreneur and created a planner called “The Passion Planner.” At first she studied to be a doctor and then decided to pursue art. After college, she felt stuck and lost on how to pursue her passions. Angelia realized that her passion and what’s helped her so much is planning her time around her passions and she wanted to help other people plan their passions and implement it into their daily schedule. Kyoko has this planner and it’s really helped her work on all her passion projects. Thanks Angelia for creating this great tool for passion projects—you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment “There’s so much negativity on the media and social media about whitewashing in media and really trying to figure out a way in the audition room where everyone can win and that is a possibility. You can appeal to the producers, and you can also try and add depth and authenticity to your character so it resonates with other Asian Americans as well. Throughout both the audition room and downstairs in the waiting room, remembering Bruce Lee’s philosophy has really helped me be present in the moment.” Kyoko helped us close out the podcast episode by performing her song “Prince” live in the studio. Thank you for joining us Kyoko. It was a joy to have you on the podcast and to hear how you use Bruce Lee’s philosophy in your daily life. Congratulations on releasing your song and thank you for sharing your gifts with the world. Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#57 Self-Knowledge

Aug 3, 2017 49:53


“All knowledge ultimately means Self-knowledge.” For all of his adult life, Bruce Lee was on a journey to understand the truest essence of himself. We remember him as the ultra confident movie star with martial arts mastery but even Bruce Lee was a work in progress. Self-knowledge is not a static idea of “who I am” but it's a forward motion pursuit of understanding your root. It is lifelong pursuit of knowing yourself. “Know the cause of your ignorance.” “Instead of establishing rigid rules and separative thoughts, we should look within ourselves to see where our particular problems lie and our cause of ignorance.You see, ultimately all type of knowledge simply means self- knowledge. You must look for truth yourself and directly experience every minute detail for yourself.” Anytime in your life when you’re mired in confusion, uncertainty, or a recurring upset, you’re holding onto ignorance about something. It's a great place to start examining and learning about yourself. Often it's difficult to look at these upsetting occasions since we’ve spent so much time burying or avoiding them Study yourself in relationship. “To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person. Relationship is a process of self–revelation. Relationship is the mirror in which you discover yourself. To be is to be related.” The true test of who you are is shown in the real relationships in your life. These days there are so many ways to isolate yourself with technology, but who do you actually interact with daily and weekly, and what is the quality of those relationships? “True mastery transcends any particular art. It stems from mastery of oneself – the ability, developed through self-discipline, to be calm, fully aware, and completely in tune with oneself and the surroundings. Then and only then, can a person know himself.” Bruce’s true art was mastery of the self, and when you see him in the movies or interviews, he’s bringing authenticity, energy, and calm. His unique energy still emanates through his art, film and writings--which is why we are still talking about him today. “Freedom lies in understanding yourself from moment to moment.” When you are comfortable in your own skin, centered, grounded, and totally in touch, you’re free because you no longer have to manufacture anything. “The sage attends to the inner self and not to the outward appearance.” The more that Bruce Lee went inside, the more outwardly visible his essence became. The deeper you know your inner essence, the more you come into harmony with nature and everything around you. Take Action: Look at your relationships, check them out, what is the quality? Can you sustain them? Or do you cycle through them? Make a list of strengths and weaknesses—both are great teachers. #AAHA Miwa Matreyek is an animator, director, designer, and performer living and working in Los Angeles. Miwa is an animator who creates films and then performs along with the animation. She has screens set up where she has one screen in the front where the film is projected onto and she’s behind it doing live shadow-play interacting with her animations as a shadow silhouette. She premiered her work “Myth and Infrastructure” at the TED Conference in Oxford. Miwa, we think you’re doing amazing work in the world and we think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week our moment comes from Aleisha: “I look forward to your podcast each week and use it as part of my spiritual journey. I am currently in recovery from addiction issues that have plagued me throughout my life. This peaked 4 1/2 years when I lost my mother to a short battle with cancer. I know I can only live my life 1 day at a time and this recovery will be forever but I just wanted to thank you for being apart of my recovery.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#56 Podcast Live Event: Guest Osric Chau

Jul 27, 2017 01:01:53


We had our first live taping of the Bruce Lee Podcast last Thursday, July 20th celebrating the podcast’s one-year anniversary and honoring the 44th anniversary of Bruce Lee’s passing. When we started the podcast a year ago, on July 20th, it was to commemorate that day with a beautiful remembrance of Bruce Lee and the gifts that he left behind for all of us. The podcast format allows us to discuss Bruce Lee’s philosophy more in-depth and share his legacy with everyone for free. Special guest Osric Chau joined us for the event and shared his experiences completing the Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge, shared his thoughts on Bruce Lee, and gave an #AAHA shout-out. Osric Chau was born in Vancouver, his father is from Hong Kong and his mother is Malaysian. He trained in Wing Chun for many years and wanted to be a stuntman, but was discovered and his first film was Kung Fu Killer (2008) with David Carradine. Since then he’s been in 2012, What Women Want, The Man with the Iron Fists, and was in recurring roles in Supernatural and now on Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. We were lucky to have Osric join us for the evening before heading down to Comic Con in San Diego. For the podcast challenge we asked people to complete three action items (listed at We asked Osric to complete the challenge and he graciously said yes. He said this about his overall experience: “I loved it, this was probably one of my favorite things I’ve done in recent memory. It literally changed my life and I think it will continue to change my life.” He’s decided to incorporate the challenge into his life and continue doing the action items! Osric shared with us some of his affirmations: - “Today’s my day, tomorrow’s someone else’s. I will make the most out of every minute to the fullest of my capabilities.” - When confronted with an obstacle I will see it as a challenge to accomplish my goal in a better and creative way; it’s an opportunity to think outside my box.” - “Smaller Goals. I will focus on and set smaller goals for today, goals I can start and accomplish today. Smaller goals that lead to my larger and more ambitious goals.” For the “I would feel better in my body if…” action item, Osric thought at first he didn’t have anything to improve since he already eats well and exercises, but then realized he hates stretching. Realizing this is his weakness; it took Osric all week to remember to do stretches, but then after thinking about it often he found himself stretching while watching TV or doing something else. This is similar to how Bruce Lee would do his stretches, while reading or doing something else. In the final action item, the Harmony Challenge, “Letting others be,” Osric thought it would be easy since he considers himself a cheerful, kind person, but then he realized how much he enjoys gossip. When sitting in the makeup trailer people enjoy gossiping and he used to join in, but during this challenge the extra awareness made him step back and not participate in the gossip. Instead of wanting to put others down, he wants to raise people up Thank you so much Osric for joining us for the live event and for participating in the podcast challenge. We know that just by sharing your challenge experience you’ll inspire many people out there with your vulnerability and sharing your journal and experiences. #AAHA Osric’s Awesome Asian and Hapas nomination goes to Pakistani-American actor Kumail Nanjiani. Kumail is known for being on Silicon Valley and stars in the movie “The Big Sick,” (in theaters now!) which he co-wrote with his wife Emily about their relationship. It’s possibly the first movie to star a Pakistani actor in the lead role and it’s getting excellent reviews. Osric says he’s seen it once already and loved it and is thinking of seeing it again. Kumail, we think you’re awesome! Share your #AAHAs and #BruceLeeMoments with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#55 1 Year Anniversary: Shannon and Sharon share their podcast challenge stories

Jul 20, 2017 01:01:35


We are having our first live event tonight, Thursday, July 20th, at 6pm at the Central Library in Downtown Los Angeles. It’s first come first serve with limited seating so try to be there by 5:30pm! This episode marks our one-year anniversary for the podcast! We created this podcast to honor and celebrate Bruce Lee's philosophy and share it with the world. Thank your for listening and going on this journey with us. We wanted to celebrate the one-year anniversary and recognize the 44th anniversary of Bruce Lee’s passing by completing the Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge for two weeks. When we shared the challenge, we worried that people might not participate, but so many of you completed it. We got such an overwhelming response to the challenge that it’s taking us much longer to go through all the entries, and we won’t be able to pick just one winner. Your accomplishments, roadblocks, and leveling up have truly astounded and moved us; you blew us out of the water. We applaud you Bruce Lee Podcast Community! Since we can’t pick just one winner, over the coming weeks we will pick several winners. Each winner will receive the prize, a conversation with us, and a chance to be on the podcast. Even if you don’t win the prize, we read so many wonderful Bruce Lee moments you should stay tuned into future episodes because you might hear your name on the podcast as our Bruce Lee moment. Shannon and Sharon both did the Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge, and shared their experiences on this episode. Shannon’s Affirmations: 1.“Be”: Rather than striving for some perfect expression, or impression, in each moment I will simply be. I can fill the space with my energy by radiating my being-ness because I am enough as I am. 2.“Natural Action”: Knowing that I am easily tired by forceful actions, when I do act I will take the most organic and natural route for my soul, so that I may flow with rather than against my own stream. 3.“Intention”: Knowing that my soul is fed when I am purposeful, I will imbue my actions and plans with meaningful intentions, so that no matter what I am doing, whether resting or working etc., I am doing so with deliberate awareness. These three affirmations work together. Shannon used all of the action items together, the “I’d feel better in my body if…” and “Letting others be,” and they became affirmations as well. Shannon’s second action item was “I’ll feel better in my body if I meditate everyday.” She also had a second one: “I’ll feel better in my body if I were to slow down and eat more thoughtfully, and chew my food more thoroughly.” Sharon’s Affirmations: 1.“I love my body! It’s the source of creativity, connection and outrageous pleasure!” 2.“I am so blessed. I am so loved by the love of my life. My children are healthy, happy and flourishing. I am free to create anything I want. Thank you, thank you, thank you!” 3.“Today will be a day of abundance, magic and joy. All green lights and delights!” Sharon’s second action item of “I would feel better in my body if…” was based off a quote by Michael Pollan: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” Sharon adjusted the quote to be personal to her: “Eat delicious food, mostly plants. Taste each bite and enjoy!” Her other action item was “Move my body once a day in a joyous way!” Harmony action item: “Letting others be.” The last action item of “Letting others be,” was challenging and illuminating. You expend energy when you judge, rant and rave, so when you minimize those thoughts, you actually conserve energy. When you get anxious and stressed about other people’s choices you amp yourself up into a frenzy of negative energy. If you just turn the volume down and let them be, you can save energy and feel better. Just meditating on the simple idea of letting others be provides you with great relief and freedom. We’re honored that you are listening, participating and growing with Bruce Lee’s wisdom. Thank you for co-creating this show with us. Much love, Shannon & Sharon

#54 Gentleness

Jul 13, 2017 42:12


Gentleness was key to Bruce Lee’s philosophy of life and practice as an artist. Bruce equated gentleness with his idea of emptiness, non-resistance internally, the place in which the moment can happen and where spontaneous action springs from. Gentleness equals life. Gentleness is strength. “The essential unity of the universe, the leveling of all differences, the relativity of all standards, and the return of all to divine intelligence and the source of all things – from all this naturally arises the absence of desire for strife and contention and fighting for advantage. A peaceable temper is bred in man that emphasizes nonresistance and the importance of gentleness.” Gentleness is the coming together, not the coming a part of things. “The assimilation of the tao has its foundation in tenderness and quietness.” Bruce Lee personally struggled with having a temper, but he researched his own experience. He was able to be neutral about examining himself and recognized that he needed to cultivate his gentleness. “Because a man can yield, he can survive.” Yielding is an action. “Act spontaneously without prearrangement, ensure the spirit of harmony with nature, see no violence done and have the result of peace and freedom from disturbance. Nourish the spirit so it can find stability.” “True stillness, is stillness in movement.” There’s always action, always things happening, but if we can remember our gentleness then we can be more content. “You cannot hurt that which is formless. Nothingness cannot be confined; the softest thing cannot be snapped.” “Patience is concentrated strength.” To have discipline is to have patience, is to have endurance, and is to keep moving one step at a time. “I must give up my desire to force, direct, strangle the world outside of me and within me in order to be completely open, responsible, aware, alive.” Take Action: How can you re-envision gentleness as strength? Where can you “allow" instead of force? Practice hitting the pause button this week instead of reacting with anger, impatience or negativity. #AAHA This week our #AAHA is from a listener nomination: The awesome Asian/Hapa that I'd like to share with you and the world is my cousin Arus Ubeque Manning. Arus is Blasian (half black half Asian) and was raised in Oakland California but now lives in Dallas TX with is beautiful wife and 3 children. He works for NBC as a video/graphics art designer for our local channel 5. When my cousin Arus was about 6 I remember hanging out with him as a young adolescent myself and Arus being so inquisitive about EVERYTHING! "Why this and why that?" A torrent of questions and discovery was always in flow with him. Two years ago his dad passed away after a bout with lung cancer and I looked at the man he has become and could see so many quiet, satisfactory inaudible answers emanating from that same curious kid! He is the embodiment of peace, happiness and 'cool.' I wish the world knew the man that I admire and love... My Hapa, Arus Ubeque Manning.” #BruceLeeMoment This week’s moment comes from Richard B.: “In 2000 I was an officer in an Air Force cybersecurity unit. A top-tier book publisher saw me speak at a conference and asked if I would write a book on detecting and stopping hackers. I considered this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but I declined. I did not feel that I was prepared to authentically express myself in written form. I spent several years refining my thoughts, and in 2003 I sent a detailed outline to the publisher. They accepted it, and in 2004 "The Tao of Network Security Monitoring" arrived in bookstores. I named it after Bruce Lee's most famous book because I felt that I was expressing myself through my philosophy and practice of network defense.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#53 Meaning Of Life

Jul 6, 2017 41:15


What is the meaning of life? “The meaning of life is that is to be lived.” What he means by this is that life is meant to be engaged with, present in, taking action toward; it is not to be conceptualized or only thought about, but actually participated in. Water was Bruce’s metaphor for life, always moving, always changing, always flowing, and you want to be right in the flow of it. “You can never step in the same water twice, my friend. Like flowing water, life is perpetual movement. There is nothing fixed.” “Realize the fact that you simply live and not live for.” “Living exists when life through us- unhampered in its flow, for he who is living is not conscious of living, and in this is the life he lives.” It’s important to fully feel the bad or difficult experiences so that you can let it flow through you and you can let go the negative energy. If you don’t let it flow through you then you end up holding on to and internalizing that pain. “Be pliable, when a man is living he is soft and pliable, when he is dead he becomes rigid. Pliability is life, rigidity is death, whether one is speaking of one’s body, mind, or spirit.” When you are rigid about something it actually becomes easier to be hurt. “Since life is an ever flowing process one should flow in this process and discover how to actualize and expand oneself.” There is freedom when it is ok to take risks, when it’s ok to fail, when it’s ok to have unlimited joy. Have the attitude “Well, let’s see what happens,” because when you’re pliable whatever happens you can bend and recover. “Remember, my friend, to enjoy your planning as well as your accomplishment. For life is too short for negative energy.” Success is not a destination; it’s in the journey. You can have your plan and your goals, but you must engage in the process and be open to change. Don’t engage in negative energy or feelings because they can trap you along the way to your goal. “We realize that manipulation and control are not the ultimate joy of life – to become real, to learn to take a stand, to develop one’s center, to the support of our total personality, a release to spontaneity – yes, yes, yes!” “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 that we can either spend or waste, and it is our decision what to do with it, but once it has passed it is gone.” Take Action: How can you let go of negativity? How can you be more present? Try not to trap life in a box, but live it moment to moment. How can you flow? “The primary reality is not what I think, but that I live.” #AAHA This week our #AAHA is Californian Filipino Victor Diaz Zapanta. Victor has worked in tech, politics, and political activism. He’s an advocate for Asians getting represented properly in media. Victor has used his skills as a digital producer, researcher, news media, and user experience designer, for a number of government organizations such as He organized Google Hangouts in Asian languages, it was the first hangout aimed at educating Korean Americans how to purchase insurance through the Affordable Care Act, and other topics aimed at Asians making sure they have proper access to different government programs. Victor has great style and is skilled at writing haikus. Victor, we think that you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment "I was water. I flowed in the stream of life, carving my own path. Sometimes I crashed, but I continued to flow. As I became older, I began to make choices that froze me. I became a piece of ice, drifting in the stream. Gone are my choices and freedom. Now I am frozen with debt and restriction, only flowing where the stream takes me. Paths I wish to take pass by as I am no longer able to flow where I wish. When I pay debts I melt, ever so slightly." Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#52 Hack Away the Unessentials

Jun 29, 2017 46:53


What does it mean to “hack away the unessentials”? “It is not daily increase but daily decrease, hack away the unessential. The closer to the source, the less wastage there is.” Bruce Lee applied this primarily to his martial art, but also in life, heading towards simplicity of movement, thought, and being. “Avoid the superficial, penetrate the complex, go to the heart of the problem, and pinpoint the key factors.” “Do not beat around the bush. Do not take winding detours. Follow a straight line to the objective; simplicity is the shortest distance between two points.” This doesn’t mean take the shortest route, but ask in real life what is unnecessary. “Scratch away all the dirt your being has accumulated and reveal reality in its nakedness.” We accumulate this dirt as protection and security, and it’s not easily shed. There are so many distractions clothed as things to make your life easier, but they distract and clutter instead. “It is not difficult to trim and hack off the nonessentials in outward, physical structure. However, to minimize inwardly, is another matter.” Practice minimizing inwardly by clearing your physical space and then taking that practice inward and clearing your mind of negative thoughts. “To obtain enlightenment means the extinction of everything which obscures the “real life.” At the same time it implies boundless expansion.” “The spirit is by nature, formless, and no “objects” are to be harbored in it. When anything is harbored there, psychic energy loses its balance, its native activity becomes cramped, and it no longer flows with the stream. Where the energy is tipped, there is too much of it in one direction and a shortage of it in another direction. But when the spirit harbors nothing in it, nor is it tipped in one direction, it transcends.” Take Action: Examine your life and ask, “Am I living the life I want to live? Where are areas where could I have more joy?” What can you let go of? How can you be more direct? How can you un-clutter your environment? #BruceLeePodcastChallenge The challenge ended Monday, and we are now accepting your entries until Friday evening, June 30th, 2017. Enter here: #AAHA Sumi Jo is a Grammy Award-winning South Korean lyric coloratura soprano. In 1983, Jo decided to leave SNU in order to study music in Italy at the Academia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. In August 1986, she was unanimously awarded first prize in the Carlo Alberto Cappelli International Competition in Verona, one of the most important contests, open only to first-prize winners of other major competitions. In 1986, Jo made her European operatic debut as Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto at the Teatro Comunale Giuseppe Verdi in Trieste. Simple Song Number 3, written by David Lang, performed by Jo, and featured in Paolo Sorrentino’s 2015 film Youth, was nominated for an Academy Award in 2016 in the Best Song category. Jo was invited to the ceremony and attended, but she was not invited to perform the song. Jo and Lang voiced their disappointment with the producers’ decision to exclude the song, indirectly referencing the controversy relate to that year’s Academy Awards lack of racial diversity. Thank you for sharing your talent Sumi Jo, we think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment From listener Francisco: “My Bruce Lee moment was when I got tattooed "Be like water" in my arm. It was a time when I was going through a lot of things in my job, my relationships and my vision of the world that is very vicious and dangerous…This quote helped me to be flexible, adapt and not react but understand other’s people intentions and where they come from and build confidence and mindfulness in my relationships with the world that I used to see as harsh, but now I see it as an adventure and daily challenge that makes me better.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#51 Three Stages of learning, technique & cultivation

Jun 22, 2017 53:51


The three stages are of learning, technique, and cultivation, have all been touched upon in previous episodes, but this week we dive deeper into each one. The three stages of learning: 1. A punch is just a punch 2. A punch is no longer a punch 3. A punch is just a punch Three Stages of Technique 1. Synchronization of self 2. Synchronization with opponent 3. Under fighting condition “Within all the training thrown to the wind, with the mind perfectly unaware of its own working, with the self-vanishing nowhere, anybody knows where, your art attains perfection.” Three Stages of Cultivation 1. Partiality 2. Fluidity 3. Emptiness “All technique is to be forgotten and the unconscious to be left alone to handle the situation. Technique will assert its wonders automatically or spontaneously. To float in totality, to have no technique, is to have all technique.” “Pride is a sense of worth derived from something that is not organically part of us. While self-esteem is derived from the potentialities and achievements of self.” Bruce Lee used martial arts to learn about himself as a human being. When we learn something new, then we learn more about ourselves. “A fateful process is set in motion when the individual is released “to the freedom of his own impotence” and left to justify his existence by his own efforts. The individual on his own, striving to realize himself has created all that is great in literature, art, music, science, and technology. This autonomous individual is a breeding ground of frustration and the seed of the convulsion that shakes our world to its foundations.” Take Action: Try an experiment: Go out and decide what you want to learn. Have these stages in mind to use as a vehicle to learn, but also to know oneself. If you’re looking to break through from stage 2 to stage 3, look for your points of frustration to find the things that you need to work on. #BruceLeePodcastChallenge We are in the 2nd and final week of the Bruce Lee Podcast Challenge! We’ve been making a daily practice of three action items from previous episodes and we’ve invited all of you (our listeners!) to participate. We’re really looking forward to sharing our experiences and hearing from you. It’s not too late to join us for the last few days. Entries aren’t due until June 30th and you can find more info at #AAHA This week our #AAHA shout out goes to Nellie Wong, poet activist for feminist and socialist causes. Wong was born in Oakland, California in 1934, to Chinese immigrants. The interment of her Japanese American neighbors left a profound impact on her intellectual development, sensitizing her to issues to racism and concerns of Asian Americans. While in her mid 30s, Wong began studying creative writing at San Francisco State University (SFSU) and began to write and publish her poetry. In the 70s, Wong co-founded the Asian American feminist literary and performance group Unbound Feet. She has recited her poetry globally. She has received awards from the Women’s Foundation, and University of California. We love and celebrate you, Nellie, for releasing your passion out into the world and thank you for being such a brave and great role model for other Asian women! You’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment From Luke K.: “I had a workout regimen I did for about 3 years, and it made a huge improvement on my body. However, after doing this for so many years it has become a bit tedious and boring to a point that it was hard to work out. I started to ask myself why I want to workout. What is it that I want to improve on my body and why. Like Bruce I was starting to more at a function body than just having a ripped one. Now I’m doing a variety of workouts to improve my punching capability, gain a higher kick, and over all have more energy and stamina.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#50 Intuition

Jun 15, 2017 47:04


Intuition is often described as your “gut feeling,” but Bruce Lee defined intuition in many different ways--as body feel, the root, the creative tide in us, natural instinct, guidance, and free movement of spirit. “What we are after is the root and not the branches. The root is real knowledge; the branches are surface knowledge. Real knowledge breeds “body feel” and personal expression; surface knowledge breeds mechanical conditioning and imposing limitation and squelches creativity.” “The superior man lets himself be guided.” “Don’t think – feel. Feeling exists here and now when not interrupted and dissected by ideas or concepts. The moment we stop analyzing and let go, we can start really seeing, feeling – as one whole.” A truly awake person is using their mind, body, and heart all at once. “Here is natural instinct and here is control. You are to combine the two in harmony. If you have one to the extreme, you will be very unscientific; if you have another to the extreme, you become a mechanical man and no longer a human being.” “Trust the life-giving force within.” Bruce wrote a letter to his friend Pearl when he was 21 where he discusses this feeling and he writes about all the things he wanted out of life and wanted to do with his life. “I feel I have this great creative and spiritual force within me, that is greater than faith, that is greater than ambition, greater than confidence, greater than determination, greater than vision, it is all these combined. And my brain becomes magnetized with this dominating force which I hold in my hand.” At this young age, Bruce is becoming in touch with this inner energy and recognizing that if he can combine it with his dreams and what his mind wants, he can accomplish anything. “Sharpen the psychic power of seeing in order to act immediately in accordance with what it sees.” Often we can be too analytical about a situation letting our minds decide everything for us. Bruce was able to accomplish so much in his short life because he sharpened this ability to see the truth and then to act immediately in accordance with that. “Freedom lies in understanding yourself from moment to moment. If you look within yourself and know you have done right, what do you have to fear?” Take Action: Listen to your whole body and follow your gut. Journal about it and create an awareness of repeated themes. Try a test of following your gut and see how it works out for you. Does following your gut work out to be the right choice for you? #BruceLeePodcastChallenge We started the Podcast Challenge on Monday, we’re doing it and you should do it too! It’s for two weeks and it’s not too late to join us. We’re excited to have our friend actor Osric Chau participating in the challenge too! Find the rules at #AAHA This week our #AAHA is Indian director Shekhar Kapur. He’s known for directing “Elizabeth” which was nominated for 7 Oscars. In 1975, Kapur started his career in film as an actor in the movie “Jaan Hazir Hai” and later moved to directing with the movie “Massom” in 1983. In 1994 he directed the acclaimed “Bandit Queen,” and in 1998 he received international recognition for the Academy Award winning film “Elizabeth”. Shekhar Kapur, we respect your true artistry and think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s moment comes from listener Grant: “I realized that I had allowed myself to enter the pattern and I was punching the water repeatedly and allowing my frustration to build because the results were always the same and that I needed to find a different way. I realized that the place I wanted to be was simply enjoying what time I have with my family and that I was choosing to step aside from that to focus on a sideshow aimed at making me unhappy.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#49 Meditation

Jun 8, 2017 45:38


Meditation has been around for thousands of years, but it’s recently become popular with a broad audience. Modern people need it to create peace from a frenzied world with unrelenting distractions and demands. Typically, mediation is thought of as the practice of sitting still in the crossed leg position, for an extended period of time to quiet the mind. Bruce Lee practiced meditation through movement, such as running, practicing punching, on his exercise bike, or just walking around his backyard in quiet contemplation. He used natural movement as a way to meditate and connect to himself. “It is not a technique of introversion by which one seeks to exclude matter and the external world, to eliminate distracting thoughts, to sit in silence emptying the mind of images, and to concentrate on the purity of one’s own spiritual essence. Meditation is not a mysticism of “introversion” and “withdrawal.” It is not “acquired contemplation.” To think that this insight is a subjective experience “attainable” by some kind of process of mental purification is to doom oneself to error and absurdity.” “We do not arrive, we are. Don’t strive to become, but be.” “Do not separate meditation as a means from enlightenment as an end.” When we’re in our normal, everyday headspace, we are often in “list” mode, thinking about all the things we have to do or fix. In the moment of meditation you don’t need to be goal or purpose oriented. “Any effort the mind makes will further limit the mind.” When we are meditating we are the unattached observer, existing without concentrating on any particular thing. In meditation, just letting something ”be” is the practice of being non-judgmental for a short time. “A simple mind is one that functions, that thinks and feels without motive. Where there is a motive, there must be a way, a method, a system of discipline. The motive is brought about by the desire for an end, for a goal, to achieve that goal there must be a way, etc. Meditation is a freeing of the mind from all motives.” Take Action: Try meditating for a week, five minutes a day or longer if you want. Try different types of mediation to figure out what works for you—sitting, walking, bathing, dancing—whatever connects you to this effortless space where your mind is free of motives. Notice how it feels in your body to connect to this calmness. Podcast Challenge: Starting this Monday June 12th, 2017, join Shannon and Sharon in a 2-week Action Challenge to practice Bruce Lee’s philosophies. One winner will be picked to be a guest on the Bruce Lee Podcast and receive a Bruce Lee gift bag! Find the rules and challenges at #AAHA Our shout-out goes to English actress Jessica Henwick. She’s the daughter of a Singaporean Chinese mother and a Zambian-English father. In 2009, she was the first actress of East Asian descent to play a role in a British TV series when she was cast in the lead role of Bo for the BBC show Spirit Warriors. She went on to be in Game of Thrones, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Iron Fist. Her acting chops continue to be praised and she’s become a fan favorite. Jessica, you’re doing great work and we think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week our moment is from listener Thom: “I wind up with a philosophy degree plan after some soul-searching, but before I could complete my final year, I suffered a stroke. I don't remember what or how it came about that I landed on "Just Remember to Breathe, " but when I say that to myself I recognize my thoughts are just that, thoughts. All the possible outcomes of my day boil down to one, my emotions are reined back, my mind clears a bit and I recognize the past can't be undone, the future is unwritten, so what's left? Now. It's all we got. Time to act.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#48 Art of Soul

Jun 1, 2017 53:56


The Art of Soul is about living the artist’s life and mastering the art of living as a whole human being. “The ultimate aim of the artist is to lay hold of the art of living. Be a master of living for the soul creates everything.” Bruce had a clear vision about what it took to be an artist of life: “Requirement to be an artist – purity of heart.” “The aim of art is to state in aesthetic creation the deepest psychic and personal experiences of a human being.” “An artist’s expression is his soul made apparent. Behind every motion, the music of his soul is made visible.” Bruce Lee believed that we are each artists of our own lives. We don’t have to create creative artifacts or achieve the status of an artist in society in order to be an artist. “Art is the way 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.” This is about co-creating your life with the world and revealing your soul. Everyone has their own expression of artistic activity, whether it’s in your relationships or actually an artistic creation. This is the personality as a reflection of our soul, not our social persona we put on for show. “The artless art is the art of the soul at peace.” When you start to cultivate what makes your heart sing and you start to flow with that, that brings a sense of centeredness and peace which is fully self-generated. “All vague notions must fall before a pupil can call himself a master.” These vague notions hold you back and cause you to drift in a place of uncertainty. “The true artist has no public. He works for the sheer joy of it, with and element of playfulness, of casualness. Art reaches its greatest peak when devoid of self-consciousness. Freedom discovers man the moment he loses concern over what impression he is making or about to make.” There is true freedom in being yourself. Be as weird as you want to be. “Simplicity is the last step of art and the beginning of nature.” When we simply and honestly express our soul, we become more natural—closer to nature. Take Action: What makes your heart sing? How could you share that? How could you unfold your personality and make who you are more visible? If you’re just starting this, it doesn’t have to be the world, it can just be one trusted co-conspirator who won’t judge you who you can be honest with. #BruceLeePodcastChallenge: June 12, 2017 - June 26, 2017 A 2 week action challenge to integrate Bruce Lee’s philosophy into your daily life. One winner will be picked to be a guest on the Bruce Lee Podcast! Go to for more details! #AAHA Our shout-out goes to Korean American actor and musician John Cho. He’s best known in his role in the Harold and Kumar movies, and plays Hikaru Sulu in the Star Trek reboot film series. Cho is open about experiencing racism in his career in Hollywood and purposely pursues roles that break Asian stereotypes. He has said that one of his biggest frustrations is how Hollywood seeks to follow trends and acts like followers of culture rather than starting and leading social trends or artistic movements. We think you’re awesome John Cho! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s moment is from listener Thomas N.: “Long days of study were overshadowed by frantic thoughts of whether I could be approaching the task in a more efficient or intelligent way. Bruce says: "Like everyone else you want to learn the way to win, but never to accept the way to lose. To accept defeat—to learn to die—is to be liberated from it! So when tomorrow comes, you must free your ambitious mind and learn the art of dying." That was it. I had to accept the possibility of failure, stop trying to find ways to weasel myself into success, and simply do.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#47 The Six Diseases

May 25, 2017 45:20


The six diseases of the mind are obstacles that you will confront on your path to wholeness and fluidity. The Six Diseases: The desire for victory The desire to resort to technical cunning The desire to display all that has been learned The desire to awe the enemy The desire to play the passive role The desire to get rid of whatever disease one is affected by All of these diseases occur when we seek outside validation. The desire for victory is the desire to win at all costs, usually at the cost of someone else. Wanting to win is not a bad thing, but when it overtakes you and blinds you to everything else is when it becomes a problem. It becomes not about the victory itself, but about coveting and becoming attached to that outcome. The desire to resort to technical cunning is the desire to outsmart, to be overly clever, to the exclusion of other tools of success. This is being showy, flamboyant and attached to form. The desire to display all that has been learned this is the desire to appear super knowledgeable and “wow” people with your knowledge. Essentially, this is a desire to be a know-it-all and be better than everyone else in the room. This creates no space for anyone else’s opinion. The desire to awe the enemy this is the desire to have your enemy to look at you with fear and wonder. This is an intimidation through show of force. The desire to play the passive role this is the desire to be unaccountable or to be the martyr. This is a desire to appear easy going, but it can be used as a weapon of guilt. The desire to get rid of whatever disease one is affected by. It is good to want to get rid of your disease, but you don’t get rid of it by denying the disease, you get rid of it by being with it. By integrating it you see that you are participating in this disease; the desire to get rid of the disease is a fantasy of being perfect without working through it. “Any technique, however worthy and desirable, becomes a disease when the mind is obsessed with it.” Desire can quickly lead to obsession and can keep away from your real life. “The deluded mind is the mind affectively burdened by intellect. Thus, it cannot move without stopping and reflecting on itself. This obstructs its native fluidity.” “We should not seek knowledge, but discover the cause of our ignorance.” Take Action: Any tool becomes a problem if you rely too much on it. How much do you rely on outside validation? What changes are you resisting? Are your moods based on outside validation? Create a list of the times where you experienced each of the Six Diseases. #AAHA This week our #AAHA shout out goes to Chinese contemporary classical composer, Tan Dun. He’s known for doing the scores for “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, ” and “Hero” and composing music for the 2008 Beijing Olympics medal ceremonies. A lot Dun’s music incorporates organic materials such as paper, water, and stone and is often inspired by traditional Chinese theatrical and ritual performance. Tan Dun won an Academy Award for his score of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” Dun continues to create audio-visual masterpieces, experimenting with theater, film, and opera. Tan Dun, thank you for your work and we think you’re awesome. #BruceLeeMoment This week our moment comes from listener Tony P.: “For Christmas several years ago, my wife bought me The Artist of Life. I could not put it down. For someone who could not finish even a short book before, I completed this book in record time. I also began to love Bruce for the philosophy and wisdom that he had. I have worked on putting his passion and commitment to excellence to work in all areas of my life. I now pick a couple of things I want to work on and I put my all into it. As Bruce would say, "I make mind up to do and I am going to do it, man!" Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Read full version of our show notes at

#46 The Mind is a Fertile Garden

May 18, 2017 45:45


“The mind is a fertile garden – it will grow anything you wish to plant – beautiful flowers or weeds. And it is with successful, healthy thoughts or negative ones that will, like weeds, strangle and crowd the others. Do not allow negative thoughts to enter your mind, for they are the weeds that strangle confidence.” Bruce Lee had a really strong practice of planting seeds of beautiful flowers in the fertile mind. Often we have people come into the office to look through Bruce’s journals and they wonder where his writings on his doubts and struggles are, and Shannon tells them that these don’t exist. Bruce had a regimented practice of keeping his mind on the things that he wanted instead of the things he didn’t. Bruce would turn anything that did not feel like success into a learning moment, converting it into something that would lead towards success. He would keep focused on the things that he wanted saying: “You will never get anymore out of life that you expect.” Optimism takes effort, it is a practice, especially in the face of difficulties. “If you think a thing is impossible, you’ll make it impossible. Pessimism blunts the tools you need to succeed.” If you’re constantly worrying about all the possible bad scenarios, it takes you out of the moment. These “what if” scenarios might never happen, but they can distract and worry us. “Suffering is mostly self-manufactured.” “Suffering itself does less to afflict the senses than the anticipation of suffering.“ The mind is neutral but it will grow anything you plant, including negative or positive thoughts. “One who is possessed by worry not only lacks the poise to solve his own problems, but by his nervousness and irritability creates additional problems for himself and those around him.” Every time we retell our problem stories to others, we are putting that negativity on that person too. “Defeat is a state of mind; no one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.” “Every man is what he is because of the dominating thoughts which he permits to occupy his mind.” Take Action: Become aware of your negative thoughts. Know what they are, think about any place in your life where you are struggling. Take anything you are having negative thoughts about and make a list on a piece of paper. Then on the other side of the paper take the time to write the negative thoughts as positive ones. Example: Change “I don’t have enough money” to “I am in the process of finding a way to make more money.” You can return to this list to affirm what you want. #AAHA This week our #AAHA shout-out goes to Chinese American Steven Ho, martial artist, stunt coordinator, stuntman, director, writer, co-founder of interior design firm, and member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He has followed his passions with a positive attitude, and he came to prominence in martial arts as one of the first martial arts tricksters in open martial art competitions. He is well regarded for his stunt work as Donatello in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He and his wife founded Plush home, a successful interior and furniture design firm. Steven, we admire your positive, Bruce-like energy, and we want to say you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week we our moment is from listener Anthony S.: “I've recently graduated college at the untraditional age of 28 and sometimes it's difficult to stay motivated, often feeling like "my time is running out" I have many ambitions and I only seem to get to the "dream phase" of what my life could be. These messages you share give me hope in a way to say to myself "it's never too late," and I am grateful for that…I firmly believe if I engrain or instill your father's message over and over my subconscious will take over and I will follow my own path to happiness and peace of mind.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#45 Dissolving Our Attitude

May 11, 2017 48:51


Bruce Lee often carried notes to himself or affirmations on notecards in his wallet. One of these read: “Be aware of our conditioning. Drop and dissolve inner blockage.” “Inner to outer – we start by dissolving our attitude not by altering outer conditions.” We are all raised in a culture, whether it is a family, community, or national culture. We all have a way we view the world depending on how we entered or experienced it as a child. When Bruce says, “Be aware of our conditioning,” he is saying that it is good to acknowledge and be aware that we are not bias free. Drop and dissolve inner blockage by freeing yourself from things having to be a certain way. This returns to the concept: “Using no way as way, having no limitation as limitation.” We start by dissolving our inner attitude, not by altering our outer conditions. “Do not have an attitude; Open yourself and focus yourself and express yourself. Reject external form that fails to reject internal reality.” One of our current dominant cultures is the workplace and we let it seep into our personal life more and more. “One should get rid of the obtruding self and apply himself to the work to be done as if nothing particular were taking place at the moment.” You don’t have to have a rigid framework around everything, take off the rigidity and just do what you need to do. “The mind itself is endowed with infinite mobilities that know no hindrances. “ It’s clear that these philosophies were helpful to Bruce Lee, especially because during the time Bruce was alive and working towards his goals, other people were constantly putting limitations on him. “Discard all thoughts of reward, all hopes of praise and fears of blame, all awareness of one’s bodily self. And, finally closing the avenues of sense perception, let the spirit out as it will.” Bruce was in a whole practice of Mind, Body, and Spirit. His gateway into this mental and spiritual experience was through martial arts and teaching. “Man’s mind and his behavior are one, his inner thought and outer expression cannot contradict each other.” Many of us have personas or masks for every situation and it can be exhausting. Dissolve your attitude and judgment; take off the masks to let your true spirit out. Take Action: Ask this: Can I take off the masks? Can I be myself no matter where I am? Take a step back and ask what your heart really wants. Try being truthful with your spirit and dissolving your attitudes. #AAHA This week our #AAHA shout-out goes to Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani activist for female education and youngest Nobel Prize Laureate. She’s best known for her human rights advocacy for the education of women in Northwest Pakistan where the local Taliban had banned girls from attending in school. In 2009, when she was 11, Malala wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC detailing her life during the Taliban occupation. In 2012, the Taliban made an attempt on her life. That murder attempt sparked an international outpouring of support for her. She has since started the nonprofit the Malala Fund, has co-authored a book “I am Malala”, been the subject of numerous documentaries, and been on Time magazine. The most important thing is that Malala has become a voice against the suppression of children and women and for education as a right. Malala, as everyone already knows, you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week our moment comes from Darrel M.: In my spare time I run RPGs (D&D) well I run a Star Wars version. We are having great fun, and this campaign I have introduced a character based on Bruce Lee. It has been fun to try and translate his philosophy into the game. In fact we had a rather long debate (in my gaming group) about the Dark Side, evil, morality, and the like. This made me stop and consider what I had learned from your Bruce Lee podcast…” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#44 Charles Russo: Author of Striking Distance: Bruce Lee and the Dawn of Martial Arts

May 4, 2017 01:08:51


This week we sit down with journalist Charles Russo, author of “Striking Distance: Bruce Lee & the Dawn of Martial Arts in America.” His book covers Bruce Lee’s early years as a young martial artist in San Francisco and his polarizing effect as a brash upstart in the Bay Area martial arts scene of the 1960’s. Charles Russo’s interest in Bruce Lee started with his fascination of the history of the Bay Area (San Francisco, CA.) Russo was sitting in his photojournalist class and another student was sharing images of Chinatown, including a picture of the Chinese Hospital stating that that was the hospital where Bruce Lee was born. Russo says, “It blew my mind…how come no one had every told me that Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco?” It instantly made San Francisco that much cooler and interesting, but he was indignant that no one was celebrating that fact. So he decided to look into that story. Once Charles started looking into the story of Bruce Lee and San Francisco, he found a treasure trove of forgotten history. Bruce’s Bay Area years in the 60’s mark the origins of martial arts culture in America. And the small group of young martial artists he collaborated with would collectively create the modern martial arts movement. Striking Distance chronicles the old guard of the San Francisco martial arts masters as well as Bruce’s influential friendship with James Lee and the young bucks of Oakland trying to modernize the old styles. Russo also tells the dramatic story of the friction Bruce had with the established Chinatown martial arts community resulting in that famous showdown fight in Oakland that inspired Bruce Lee to create his own martial way called Jeet Kune Do. We also discuss who actually won that famous fight between Bruce Lee and Wong Jack Man--Bruce’s scientific street fighting versus traditional flamboyant style. Charles also tells us why Bruce Lee is one of the philosophical godfathers of MMA. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) Charles Russo had two #AAHA shout-outs for us. His first shout-out goes to his friend and colleague Sara Hayden, a young hapa journalist who helped Russo with editing his book. Sara is currently working on a project called The Silk Knots Project, which documents and preserves the stories of Asian Americans and Hapas in the American West. Russo’s second #AAHA shout-out goes to his childhood friend Korean American Brian Leo, a visual artist in NYC. Leo’s work is “garage-pop surrealism” and you can view his work at Sara and Brian—you’re awesome, keep up the amazing work! #BruceLeeMoment Russo shares that since working on his book, he has had many #BruceLeeMoments. Specifically, when he was watching the Netflix show “The Get Down” and seeing the character Shaolin Fantastic who wears a Bruce Lee belt buckle, how Bruce Lee is viewed as the badass cool in the early hip-hop community. Russo thinks of the Bruce Lee quote, “Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless, make something uniquely your own,” as he’s watching the early DJs discuss isolating the break beat parts of records and making something uniquely their own. Russo realizes this embodies exactly what Bruce Lee was talking about. He now recognizes so many of Bruce’s ideas influencing culture and that we are just now understanding the ideas he was talking about over 50 years ago. You can purchase Charles Russo’s book here: “Striking Distance: Bruce Lee and the Dawn of Martial Arts in America” Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#43 Be a Nobody

Apr 27, 2017 45:28


Bruce Lee often carried around philosophical ideas written on small index cards as reminders throughout his day. One of these was: “Inwardly, psychologically, be a nobody.” To him, this meant, get the ego out of the way, have some detachment, and be a blank slate--a human being first. That way you can approach each situation anew with fresh eyes. Be as neutral as you can be. “Establish nothing in regard to oneself. Let things be what they are. Move like water, rest like a mirror, respond like and echo, pass quickly like the nonexistent, and be quiet as purity.” As an active person with big goals, Bruce often encountered obstacles throughout his day and quotes like this helped center him and maintain his flow. “I must give up my desire to force, direct, strangle the world outside of me and the world within me in order to be completely open, responsible, aware, alive.” This is not to say you should not exercise your willpower, it’s to say that your willpower should be connected to your essence and your heart. “It is to see things as they are and not to become attached to anything – to be unconscious means to be innocent of the working of a relative mind – when there is no abiding of thought anywhere on anything – this is being unbound. This not abiding anywhere is the root of our life.” Be in response to everything in the moment. Be free of masks and identities. If we get too attached to any identity, it takes us into a direction away from our essential humanity. “My only sure reward is “in” my actions and not “from” them.” “You cannot hurt that which is formless. The softest thing cannot be snapped and emptiness be confined.” “To be consciously unconscious or to be unconsciously conscious is the secret of nirvana. The act is so direct and immediate that intellect finds no room here to insert itself and cut it to pieces.” Take Action: Be a nobody and go on a social media diet. What does it feel like to go on a break from their outward projection of identity? Another step is to write down this quote, “Inwardly, psychologically, be a nobody.” and carry it around for a week and use it to help you navigate situations without ego. #AAHA This week our #AAHA shout-out goes to Chinese contemporary artist and activist Ai Weiwei. He was the artistic consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics. From 1981 to 1993 he lived in the U.S. and studied briefly at Parsons School of Design in NYC. He began experimenting with art by altering ready-made objects. In 1993, Ai returned to China after his father became ill. This is when he started doing his first architecture projects. In 2008, there was an 8.0-magnitude earthquake in the Sichuan province and Ai led a team to survey and film the post-quake conditions. Ai felt that the government lacked transparency in revealing the names of the students who perished in the earthquake and so he launched a “Citizens’ Investigation” to compile the names of the victims. He has been viewed very harshly by he Chinese government because of his activism and was held for 81 days without any official charges being filed. We just want to applaud Ai Weiwei for his courage and for being a real artist in the world. We think you’re awesome Ai Weiwei! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s moment comes from listener Carrie L. M.: “I think what moves me most, is the commitment to not just present Bruce Lee's material accurately, but that you both are very congruent and committed to your personal growth not only in the process of presenting this legacy, but in yourselves. This adds an element of integrity to the cast which makes it even more of a powerful force in passing forward the wisdom Bruce honed and mastered over the years.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#42 The Underdog & The Top Dog

Apr 20, 2017 43:52


Bruce Lee played many characters that were unassuming and didn’t want to get into fights, but then could kick everyone’s butt in 10 seconds when he needed to. As a small Asian man, no one expected that sort of power from him. Because of the characters he played, many people think of Bruce Lee as an Underdog who became a Top Dog through dedicated training. He gave everyone who felt underestimated or undervalued hope and strength. In this episode, we talk about Bruce Lee’s broader philosophical ideas of The Underdog and the Top Dog. An Underdog is a person thought to have little chance of winning a fight or a contest; a person who has little status in society. And the Top Dog is usually an aggressive Alpha-type person. Bruce called the Top Dog and the Underdog the "two clowns" of our personality. “The Top Dog usually is righteous and authoritarian; he knows best. He is sometimes right, but always righteous. The top dog is bully and works with “you should’ and “you shouldn’t.” The top dog manipulates with demands and threats of catastrophe, such as – “I you don’t, then…you won’t be loved, you won’t get to heaven, you will die…” and so on.” “The Under Dog manipulates with being defensive, apologetic, wheedling, playing the crybaby, and such. The underdog has no power. The underdog works like this, “I tried my best; I can’t help it if I fail. I have good intentions.” So you see the underdog is cunning, and he usually gets the better of the top dog because the underdog is not as primitive.” “So the top dog and the underdog strive for control. They strive for each other for control. The person is fragmented into controlled and controller. The inner conflict is never complete because both the top dog and the underdog fight for their life.” People often view Bruce Lee as a perfectionist, but he was actually against perfectionism as the ideal. “The ideal is a yardstick which gives you the opportunity to brow beat yourself, to berate yourself and others. Since this ideal is an impossibility, you can never live up to it. You are merely in love with this ideal and there is no end to the self-torture, the self-nagging, self-castigating. It hides under the mask of “self-improvement.” It never works.” At the bottom of his essay on the Underdog and the Top Dog, Bruce writes: NOW = EXPERIENCE = AWARENESS = REALITY Take Action: Do you identify more strongly with Underdog or Top Dog? Can you identify the two sides within yourself? Once you notice where you let the Top Dog out or the Underdog out, try in that moment to reel it back to create more space and resist the habitual reaction. #AAHA This week our #AAHA shout out goes to Tony Award Winning playwright, screenwriter, and theater professor David Henry Hwang. His early plays dealt with the role of the Chinese American and Asian American in the modern world. David has won many awards including the Obie Award for FOB (Fresh Off the Boat) and was the first Asian American playwright to win a Tony Award for his play M. Butterfly. After that he became a frequent collaborator as a librettist with world-renowned composer Philip Glass. In 2014, David premiered his play Kung Fu about the life of Bruce Lee at the Signature Theater Off-Broadway. David has done a lot of amazing work and is excellent at shining a light on the depictions of Asians and Chinese in America. We think you’re awesome David Hwang! #BruceLeeMoment This week our moment comes from listener Tommy N.: “Listening to the podcasts and stretching, meditating, cooking organic food, going to the market, creating new recipes, really going with the flow and bettering myself, I realize that Bruce Lee was able to realize the 'Buddha' potential and was able to work daily on cleansing the mind, body, spirit, of uncleanliness that pervades our 'toxic' 'ecosystem environments.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#41 Unity

Apr 13, 2017 46:55


Bruce Lee lived his life as a human being who was connected to all of humankind—one unified family on this planet. He said, “You know how I like to think of myself? As a human being. Because under then sky, under the heavens, there is but one family.” What we need, especially in these divided times, is a message of unity and connection. Bruce Lee has a way of uniting people, and his fans are global. We continue to hear stories of how Bruce has affected so many different people from all around the world. One such story is about the town of Mostar in Bosnia, After years of enduring a violent civil war, they finally reached peace and wanted to build a monument that symbolized this new peace. They decided to construct a statue of Bruce Lee as a “symbol the whole community could rally behind” and a “monument to the idea of universal justice, one idea having that justice, knowledge, honesty, good intentions can fight against corruption, evil, ignorance.” To many people around the world, Bruce Lee symbolizes an energy of universal justice because he lived with integrity, advocated for the underdog and dedicated his life to self actualization and being in harmony with his fellow man, his community and the planet. No matter where Bruce was in his life, his close friends said he always treated people the same and authentically—no matter who they were. His wife Linda would say that Bruce looked at everyone evenly. “Wisdom does not consist in trying to wrest the good from the evil but in learning to “ride” them as a cork adapts itself to the crests and troughs of the waves.” “The world is to be seen as an inseparable, interrelated field, no part of which can actually be separated from the other. Oppositions are mutually dependent instead of mutually dependent instead of mutually exclusive, and there is no longer any conflict between the individual man and nature. That is, there can be no bright stars without dim stars, and, without the surrounding darkness, no stars at all.” Take Action: Think of something you can do to create unity energy in your life and try to take action towards it. Think of a person who you would normally have judgment for, and try to have compassion for them instead. #AAHA Allen Joe is credited with giving Bruce Lee his first set of weights and inspiring Bruce to build up his body. Allen trained under Ed Yarick with such luminaries as the four Mr. America Body Building Championships: Clancy Ross, Jack Delinger, Roy Hilligenn, and Hercules-actor Steve Reeves. In fact, Allen was the first Asian to win the Mr. Northern California Bodybuilding Championship in 1946. He is also a World War II veteran, Allen currently 94 years old says, “you can never forget Bruce, once you have met him” and indeed, he still carries a picture of Bruce in his wallet. #BruceLeeMoment This week’s moment comes from Khnum “Stic” Ibomu (dead prez): “I am a hip hop artist and producer (dead prez), and Bruce Lee's legacy and philosophy has been one of my greatest inspirations. I am writing this letter to express my sincere gratitude for the impactful work you are doing to continue sharing the legacy of your father in a way that is tremendously helpful for others. I can't put into words how much of an inspiration and personal contribution he has made and continues to make in my life. I truly appreciate the podcast and how much love goes into sharing his philosophy and making the concepts tangible and actionable. Bruce's wisdom is immeasurably valuable and your eloquent unpacking has given me new layers of perspective and invigoration. Thanks to Bruce's inspiration, I realized that I am not limited to fit in any one box and I've been able to explore and develop many aspects of my self from the "no way as the way" Philosophy I have adopted from His teachings.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#40 Real Truth

Apr 6, 2017 42:15


Truth was an important concept to Bruce Lee and it shows up often in his journal entries. But the way he used the word “truth” was not to describe a fact or to be the opposite of a lie. He wrote about a deeper, more of a philosophical, spiritual definition of truth—a concept close to the Tao. It’s why we’re calling it The Real Truth. “The word Tao has no exact equivalent in the English language, to render it into way, principle, or law, is to give it too narrow of an interpretation. Although no one word can substitute for its meaning, I have used the word truth for it.” Bruce understood Truth to be the Tao or the way of the universe. Truth is nowhere and everywhere at the same time, and there a little bits of Truth in all things. This is the way of nature. “Truth is a pathless road, a road that is not a road. It is total expression that has no before or after. How can there be methods and systems by which to arrive at something that is living? To that which is static, fixed, dead, there can be a way, a definite path but not to that which is living.” The Real Truth is something that’s alive, something that we are in relationship with, and happening in the present moment. “Truth comes when your mind and heart are purged of all sense of striving and you are no longer trying to become somebody. It is there when the mind is very quiet, listening timelessly to everything.” “I’ve said before truth is nowhere to be found on a map, your truth is different than that of mine. At first you might think that this is truth, but later you discover another truth and the former truth is denied, but you are, in fact, closer to truth. Perhaps when we have found more about what is not the truth we will be that much closer to the truth.” A core tenet of Bruce Lee’s philosophy is independent inquiry. “We shall find the truth when we examine the problem. The problem is never apart from the answer; the problem is the answer.” If you are moved to this path of Truth, you will come up against established ways and you’ll have to confront your own biases. It’s ok to hold on to your truths, but you should check in regularly with yourself to see if they remain true. “I’m a changing as well as ever-growing man.” Take Action: Are you a seeker? Do you want to be a seeker? Acknowledge that you’re a seeker and on this path to truth and freedom. Tackle one judgment or cultural context that you were raised in and be in inquiry with it. Are you happy in your everyday life? What shifts can you make to amplify your joy? #AAHA This week our #AAHA is Japanese artist and writer Yayoi Kusama. She has worked in a wide variety of media: painting, sculpture, collage, performance art, and environmental installations. She was a part of the pop art movement and influenced Andy Warhol, and exhibited alongside them but did not receive very much recognition during the 1960s. Kusama is now recognized as one of the most important living artists to come out of Japan. In 2008, Christies’s New York sold a work for her for $5.1 million, then a record for a living female artist. Major retrospectives of her work have been held at the MOMA, the Whitney Museum, the Tate Modern, and the Hirshhorn Museum. Her Infinity Room exhibit is currently on display at the Broad in Los Angeles. Yayoi Kusama, you are so awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s moment comes from listener Bruce P.: “I just wanted to say thank you for the great podcasts. I am a hospice chaplain and I obviously deal with grief all day long on a daily basis. Shannon's frequent laughter as she discusses Bruce's philosophy and daily life certainly helps me break out of the oppressive spiraling memory of what I have just witnessed at the bedside of a patient. Thank you for the refreshing dialogue and thought provoking discussions presented in such an entertaining way.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#39 Experience and Imagination

Mar 30, 2017 51:35


Taky Kimura once wrote Bruce Lee a letter saying that the students at Bruce’s Gung Fu studio were asking for more techniques. Bruce wrote back that they didn’t need “more” but to go deeper into the practice and expand the students’ imagination: “First and foremost I would like to impress a most important rule of teaching in your mind and that is the economy of form. Follow this rule and you will never feel like you have to add more and more so-called sizzling techniques to keep your students interested.” “I hope I have impressed in your mind a most important rule of our style. Stick to the program I have given you, use variety, and do not worry too much that your student need more and more to stay with you. True only if they can do perfectly all that you’ve taught them. Remember, the idea that one has to come in thousands of times in order to perfect one judo throw. And of course, use your own experience and imagination, and you will do well. I have faith in you, Bruce.” Bruce was trying to communicate the difference between experience and imagination or another way he expressed this ideas was knowledge and knowing. “Knowledge is from a source, from an accumulation, from a conclusion, while knowing is a movement, is a constant movement. Therefore there’s no static state, no fixed point from which to act. Knowledge is binding but the movement of knowing is not binding.” When you’re stuck in a set pattern, this is where imagination comes in and asks: What if this is not true? Where can this lead instead? Imagination expands the experience to infinite possibilities. Imagination can feel really big or fantastical, but just by questioning something you are using your imagination and seeing something that wasn’t there before. “If you learn concepts, if you work for information, then you don’t understand, you only explain. When a man is thinking, he stands off from what he is trying to understand.” Go ahead and learn the knowledge—even master the knowledge, but also apply it to the real world, test it out and see how you can modify it to fit your own needs. Cut away all that is not essential until it fits you perfectly. Bruce Lee always customized ideas or practices to fit his own mind body and spirit. “Remember, I am no teacher. I can merely be a signpost for a traveler who is lost; it is up to you to decide on the direction. All I can offer is an experience, but never a conclusion. So even what I have said needs to be thoroughly examined by you.” Take Action: Test a formula or conclusion that you have. How can you customize it? Where are you finding yourself bored? Inquire as to why you’re bored. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week our #AAHA is Inbee Park who is a South Korean professional golfer who plays on the LPGA Tour and the LPGA of Japan Tour. In 2013 and 2014 she was ranked #1 in the world and has won seven major championships in her career. She is the youngest player to win the Women’s US Open and the second player to win the Women’s PGA Championship three years in a row. In 2016, she won the first Olympic gold medal since 1900 in the women’s individual tournament. Inbee you’re killing it, and we think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BruceLeeMoment comes from Ven: “After hearing your podcast on Bruce's Lee poetry I simply had to write to you both. I remember you both mentioning the importance of expressing yourself to the ones you love. Whether that be through writing a poem about that person or just generally breathing life into the feelings you have inside about them in some way. Well for me, I wrote a song about my long-time girlfriend of four years, LeCreshia. I released the song on my social music sites in honor of my true and genuine appreciation for her for sticking with me all these years.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#38 Confidence

Mar 23, 2017 52:13


Bruce Lee embodied so much confidence both onscreen and off that you might have assumed that he was born that way. But in fact, self-confidence was a trait he practiced and cultivated with clear intention and a daily ritual. “I know, through the principle of auto-suggestion that any desire I persistently hold in my mind will eventually seek expression through some practical means of attaining the object. Therefore, I will devote ten minutes daily to demanding of myself the development of self-confidence. I have clearly written down a description of my definite chief aim in life, and I will never stop trying until I shall have developed sufficient self-confidence for its attainment.” In these 10 min, Bruce would reference his daily affirmations and visualize succeeding, and then he would take action. Another part of his confidence practice was not being dependent on the approval of others or letting their criticism hold him back. “The spiritual power of man’s will removes all obstacles.” “Action is a high road to self-confidence and esteem. Where it is open all energies toward it and its rewards are tangible.” “Remember my friend, it’s not what happens that counts but how you react to it. Your mental attitude depends on whether you make it a stepping stone or a stumbling block.” “Suffering itself does less to afflict the senses than the anticipation of suffering.” “Never waste energy on worries or negative thoughts all problems are brought into existence, drop them.” If you have faith in yourself, then all of these worries and anxieties will dissipate. “Persistence, persistence, persistence. Just don’t give up. The power can be created and maintained through daily practice, through continuous effort.” “Because one’s self-consciousness is too conspicuously present over the entire range of ones attention, one should get rid of the intruding self and apply himself to the work to be done, as if nothing in particular were taking place at the moment.” “What does self-willed mean? Hell, isn’t it knowing that one is the captain of ones soul, the master of one’s life? Accept responsibility for yourself.” “Success means, doing something sincerely and wholeheartedly." Take Action: Make a 10 min. daily practice of putting your thoughts towards your goals, saying your affirmations aloud, honestly praising yourself, and willing yourself to take action. Turn this into a journal entry and pick one action item that will help you towards your goal. #AAHA This week’s #AAHA comes as a recommendation from listener Jeronimo, thank you Jeronimo for telling us about Mark! Mark Bustos is a Fillipino American who is a hairstylist for an elite salon in NYC with a celebrity client list and provides free haircuts to the homeless. His idea is simply to give back. Mark says, “Whether I’m giving one at work or on the street, I think we can all relate to the haircut and how it makes us feel. We all know what it feels like to get a good haircut.” We want to say thank you for gifting your talents, you’re awesome Mark! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BruceLeeMoment comes from Thomas: “The big, intimidating problem, high on speed and blocking the door, walking toward me demanding money, also indicating he has a gun. As terrified as I am I realize that this is what I have been training for all my life. a moment of crisis; a possible injury or death. I remember my lessons which I take as don't define this moment, be free of my ideas of this being bad or good, of facing death or the threat of dying with dignity. Be a lesson in how you care for this moment. Because he is too high, he is in danger of harming all of us, me, my girlfriend and her father who may return any moment, and himself. His actions show me he is not able to take care of us, so it is my responsibility to care for us all.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us at Find the full version of our show notes at

#37 On Being Human

Mar 16, 2017 55:06


“Being a real human being” is a concept that comes up often in Bruce’s writings, he didn’t want to be considered just an actor or a martial artist, but as a human being who was growing, evolving and creating. “The function and duty of a quality human being, is the sincere and honest development of potential and self-actualization.” “Do you know how I like to think of myself? As a human being. Because under the heavens, under the sky, there is but one family.” There is a unifying quality to Bruce Lee that connects us on a human level. This unifying philosophy is needed now because of the divisiveness among people in the world. “The simple truth is that these opinions on such things as racism, are traditions which are nothing more than a formula that was laid down by elder peoples experience. As we progress and time changes, it is necessary to reform this formula. I, Bruce Lee, am a man who never follows these formulas of the fear mongers. So no matter if your color is black, or white, red or blue, I can still make friends with you without any barrier.” “If I say that everyone under the sun is a member of a universal family, you may think that I’m bluffing and idealistic. But if anyone still believes in racial difference, I think he is too backward and narrow. Perhaps he does not understand man’s equality and love.” “I’m not one of those guys who can just brush people off. If I can take a second to make someone happy why not do it? A person cannot forget someone who is good to them.” Most of our anxiety and pain comes from feeling disconnected and just little moments of empathetic human interaction can make us happier and feel like a human being. “Sensitivity is not possible if you are afraid.” “The point to be made about ego is that man should use his ego and not be used by ego or blinded by it.” “Don’t have an attitude, open yourself, focus yourself, express yourself, and in doing that connect with people so that they can share in the expression of who you are.” Take Action: How do you move through the world? Are you open to growth and change? Do you think of people as the “other”? If you find yourself feeling fearful about human connection and vulnerability, why is that? Try to just smile at another person. Find small ways to open the door a little. Pick someone who you already like and share with them something you appreciate about them. If you go out into the world with the view that we are all one family, how does that change how you interact with the world? #AAHA This week we have an #AAHA nomination of Tyrus Wong from listener Lauren L.: “I would like to nominate the late Tyrus Wong for the #AAHA segment of your podcast. In his 106 years of life, he was an incredible artist; of paintings, murals, and kites. He comes from rough beginnings where, at the age of nine, he immigrated with his father from China. His career as a designer, illustrator, and storyboard artist for Hollywood was most certainly no cake walk; especially as an Asian man in his profession during the 1930's-1960's. The number of times he had faced discrimination and being called "chink" is hard to keep track of. Despite the struggles, Tyrus did succeed in his field. He was the storyboard artist for a number of notable live-action films like "Rebel Without a Cause" and he was the head artist on the Disney animated film, "Bambi." #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BruceLeeMoment comes from Thinh L.: “The episode "Medicine for my suffering" thoroughly resonates with me. Early 2012 I developed a spinal condition known as spondylolisthesis, in which one vertebra in my lower back becomes disjointed from the other. Like the quote says, "the ailment came from within myself". I was my own worse enemy in this instance. But I also realized that I was my own best medicine.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #Take Action progress with at The full version of the show notes is at

#36 Gung Fu

Mar 9, 2017 53:10


Gung fu translated means: discipline and training toward the mastery of some skill. It is applied to martial arts but it can be applied to anything. Ultimately, Gung fu is a pathway toward mastery and a deeper understanding of yourself and life. Yin Yang is the basic structure of Gung fu. This is expressed with the Law of Harmony: “One should be in harmony within and not rebellion against the strength and force of opposition.” “The law of harmony thus fits in with the law of non-interference with nature, which teaches a Gung fu man to forget himself and follow his opponent. He does not move ahead but responds. So the basic idea is to defeat the opponent by yielding to him and using his own strength against him.” “No-mindedness is not a blank mind that excludes emotions, nor is it simply a calm or quiet mind. It is the “non-graspiness” of the mind that constitutes the principle of no-mindedness. A Gung fu man employs his mind as a mirror, it grasps nothing, it refuses nothing, it receives but does not keep.” “Concentration in Gung fu does not have the usual sense of restricting the attention to a single sense object. It is simply a quiet awareness of whatever happens to be here and now. The mind is present everywhere because it is nowhere attached to any particular object and it can remain present because even when relating to this or that it does not cling to it.” If you have such artistry and mastery then in you are in the flow. The attainment of self-mastery or connectedness is grown through the daily practice of life. We can all be artists of our own lives, through our discipline, practice, and training at being a human being, you can gain freedom and transformation. “There are three stages in the cultivation of Gung fu: the primitive stage, the stage of art, and the stage of artlessness.” “Remember that man created method and method did not create man. You yourself are expressing the technique, you’re not doing or following the technique.” Gung fu is anything you practice with effort, discipline, harmony, and humility, towards mastery. “True mastery stems from mastery of oneself. The ability developed through self-discipline, to be calm, fully aware, and completely in tune with oneself and the surroundings. Then, and only then, can a person know himself.” Take Action: What is your Gung fu? What is it that you are actively working on mastering? It doesn’t have to be a physical skill, it’s a skill that is natural to you and should excite you and bring you joy. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week our #AAHA is Korean-American filmmaker and actor Justin Chon. He just premiered his film “Gook” at Sundance. It’s a film about living through the LA riots in the 90’s and his family’s experience owning a market that was looted. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the riots and Justin wanted to create a film about the Korean American experience during that time. About half of all the damage caused by the LA riots were to Korean businesses. The police weren’t coming to help them so the shop owners had to defend the stores themselves. Justin raised money through Kickstarter, and actually raised double what he asked, which showed him that people really wanted this story told. We think it’s great that you’re creating your own projects, Justin--you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BruceLeeMoment excerpt comes from Matthew R.: “I suffer from PTSD, OCD, & Social Anxiety from the trauma of hearing of [my father’s] death and other traumas I experienced in my life. I have always been a fan of your dad and his outlook on life. I recently started listening to the podcast and love it. It is very therapeutic for me. A quote, and the story behind it, of his that has recently made a big impact on my life is, "When life gives you obstacles you must summon the courage and walk on!" Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #Take Action progress with at Full version of our show notes at

#35 Personal Liberation

Mar 2, 2017 48:15


The idea of Personal Liberation was very important to Bruce Lee. This idea was so important that his wife Linda included the quote “Your inspiration continues to guide us towards our personal liberation,” on Bruce’s headstone in Seattle where he and his son Brandon are buried. Many of Bruce’s writings cover the topic of personal liberation and its connection with flow and freedom. “Freedom is something that cannot be preconceived. To realize freedom requires an alert mind, a mind that is deep with energy, a mind that is capable of immediate perception without the process of graduation, without the idea of an end to be slowly achieved. Pre-formations simply lack the flexibility to adapt to the ever changing. At this point many would ask, ‘How then do we gain this unlimited freedom?’ I cannot tell you because it will then become an approach. Although I can tell you what it’s not, I cannot tell you what it is. That, my friend, you will have to find out all by yourself, for there is no help, but self-help.” Some patterns that we set-up are good for the moment, but we have to constantly be aware and tweaking so that we live in the moment. Personal liberation relates to being in a process, living and understanding your authentic self. “When our mind is tranquil, there will be an occasional pause to its feverish activities. There will be a letting go and it is only then, in the interval between two thoughts that a flash of understanding, understanding which is not thought, can take place.” “Where there is resistance there is no understanding. A so-called well-disciplined mind is not a free mind. A choice method, however exacting, fixes the mind in a pattern, a crystallization. Fixing forms can never bring freedom. This type of dead drilling is not an adequate response to the ever-changing moment. This ever-changing moment must be met newly, freshly for the moment is always new.” Freedom lies in understanding yourself from moment to moment. “Listen, can you hear the wind? And can you hear the birds singing? You have to hear it. Empty your mind. You know how water fills a cup? It becomes the cup. You have to think about nothing. You have to become nothing.” Take Action: Observe closely what you normally practice without judgment. Where are you feeling stuck or trapped? Where are you striving and straining to do something? Document where you feel peace of mind, what is happening when you feel that freedom from patterns. If that can be captured and repeated, make time for that on your calendar and dedicate weekly time to create more moments of peace of mind. #AAHA This week’s #AAHA shout-out goes to Vietnamese-American actor Ian Alexander. Ian’s debuts his talents on Netflix’s show The OA. His character is Buck Vu, an Asian transgender teen, just like Ian himself. At only 15, the OA is Ian's first acting project, but his performance is outstanding. He got the part because he responded to an online open casting call. Ian’s family has lived in Japan, Hawaii, and D.C., and he’s always had an interest in the arts and is an advocate for trans rights. We know that especially in the Asian community, it can be challenging to be anything but the “norm,” so we want you to know you’re awesome Ian! Check out The OA on Netflix, it’s great and we love the diverse cast. #BruceLeeMoment This week’s excerpt comes from Jeddy A. read more at My “Bruce Lee Moment” occurs every morning during my dawn meditation and movement practice. Every 15 minute bike ride to work. Every window of opportunity - however brief - to tap into your father’s message and decide how that fits into my own experience. Of all the layers and textures of Bruce that I relate to, the most resonant is his journey of holding and living a massive vision while relishing in the magnificence of my wife and 1 year old son. Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and #TakeAction progress with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#34 Living the Oneness of Things

Feb 23, 2017 50:55


“Life is wide, limitless, there is no border, no frontier.” Bruce Lee believed that there were no limitations or borders in life, and this is reflected in his core tenet of Jeet Kune Do: “Using no way as way, having no limitation as limitation.” When you encounter boundaries or walls in life, then it’s time to step back and see if there is another way. These blocks mean the way you are going is not working, not that you can’t do it. The baseline for living in oneness with life is embracing the limitless condition of life. You may face plateaus in life but there are no limits to how much more you can learn, grow, enjoy life, be happy and become conscious. “The oneness of all life is a truth that can be realized only when false notions of a separate self, whose destiny can be considered apart from the whole, are forever annihilated.” Living in oneness is living in a connected state with your environment, nature, and those around you. The pain a lot of people experience is when they have feelings of isolation from their environment or other people. “We are always in a process of becoming and nothing is fixed have no rigid system in you and you will be flexible to change with the ever changing. Open yourself and flow my friend. Flow in the total openness of the living moment. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Moving, be like water. Still, be like a mirror. Respond, like an echo.” “The western approach to reality is mostly through theory and theory begins by denying reality. You talk about reality, you go around reality, to catch anything that attracts our sense, intellect and abstract it away from reality.” In Taoism: “The world is seen as an inseparable, interrelated field, no part of which can actually be separated from the other. That is, there would be no bright stars without dim stars and without the surrounding darkness no stars at all. There is no conflict between individual man and nature.” “Life is a living now. Completeness, the now, is absence of the conscious mind striving to divide that which is indivisible. For once the completeness of things is taken apart, it is no longer complete.” Take Action: What are some of the things keeping you isolated from others and your environment? What changes can you make? Take a survey of your activities, behavior, and space because sometimes you form habits that keep you separated. When you are feeling connected, how does that make you feel? How can you expand on that? #AAHA This week’s #AAHA shout-out is a group since recently at the US Ice Skating Championships Asian Americans dominated taking home gold in three of the four events. Karen Chen won the women’s title, Nathan Chen won the men’s title, and Maia and Alex Shibutani nabbed their second consecutive title in ice dancing. Karen Chen, age 17, had a record breaking program which she choreographed herself. She is one of the big hopes for Olympic Gold. Nathan Chen, also 17, is the youngest men’s champion in 51 years. He is the first skater to land five quads in a single performance. He is also America’s hope for the Olympics. Maia and Alex Shibutani are a brother and sister ice dancing duo who returned as reigning champs and they held onto their title winning gold again. They are also considered favorites to win gold in the Olympics. You guys are killing it and we can’t wait to see you in the Olympics! We think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This #BruceLeeMoment comes from Geovany C. read more at “I’m looking for a new kung fu studio. May I ask, is there a school in this world close to his teachings, and if there is one, please may your share this location? No matter where it is I will save up to go there. That’s how much I believe it will better myself. I’m looking to really study and change my life into Bruce Lee’s philosophy.” Share your #AAHAs, #BruceLeeMoments, and your #ActionItem progress with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#33 Bruce Lee Superfan: Daniele Bolelli

Feb 16, 2017 50:34


This week we talk with Bruce Lee superfan Daniele Bolelli. Shannon first met Bolelli when he was interviewed for the documentary “I Am Bruce Lee” and later she was a guest on his podcast “The Drunken Taoist.” Bolelli is an Italian born author, college professor, martial artist, and has two podcasts, “The Drunken Taoist” and “History on Fire.” Bruce Lee came into Bolelli’s life when he was a 7 year old kid growing up in Italy. Daniele and his dad watched a Bruce Lee movie together and he was hooked. Bruce’s energy and personality as a movie star captivated the young Bolelli, but he built a life-long relationship with him by reading Bruce’s writings and philosophies. Bolelli is also a martial artist who starting his training at 15. He finds that Bruce Lee’s philosophies are helpful in studying martial arts and life. Like Bruce, he studied several styles of martial arts including Chinese kung fu, Brazilian jiu jitsu, boxing, wrestling and MMA. He currently prefers Judo because of the aesthetics of the big throws and the “ground game” where he gets to put Taoism in action. He says the ground game is like playing high level chess with your body and that it’s not just about brute strength. “If you dedicate yourself to one thing and one thing only all the time, then it’s not about life anymore, it’s about that one field…Anything you do in life should be at the service of enriching you as an individual. It shouldn’t be the other way around that you sacrifice your individuality in the name of this one field or this one idea. That’s missing the point.” - Bolelli The Bruce Lee philosophies that are most relevant to Bolelli are: “Research your own experience” and "Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is specifically your own.” These concepts have influenced Bolelli's whole life, and also inspired one of his books called “Create Your Own Religion.” Similar to Bruce Lee, Bolelli writes down what he wants out of his life and his goals. He takes time throughout the week to write down ideas or thoughts, and this helps with his mental clarity. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) Daniele Bolelli’s #AAHA shout-out goes to his 7-yr-old daughter, Isabella who is half Chinese. He is so inspired by her wise thoughts and ideas that he often writes them down and occasionally features them on his podcast The Drunken Taoist. He has been documenting her thoughtful ideas since she could speak so it’s becoming a collection of her own wisdom that he will eventually give to her when she’s older. She even has a Bruce Lee postcard by her bed. Thank you Isabella—we think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BruceLeeMoment excerpt comes from listener Phil C. read the full moment online at “I was listening to your Steve Aoki podcast and his mention of the racism he experienced growing up reminded me of one of the two Bruce Lee moments I had: The first one was in junior high. I was sometimes bullied there. One tormentor was about to beat me but before he did, he asked if I knew kung fu. I didn't answer. He backed off, probably because my not answering meant maybe I knew some (and that I'm of Chinese ethnicity, probably helped, the stereotype working in my favour). The art of fighting without fighting.” Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#32 Finger Pointing Away to the Moon

Feb 9, 2017 48:32


"Don't think. FEEEEEEEEL! It's like a finger pointing away to the moon. Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss all of the heavenly glory!" In this scene from Enter the Dragon, Bruce is teaching his student about the importance of staying fully present in the moment. If you just concentrate on the finger, you’ll miss the glorious experience of the moon. We often take ourselves out of a moment we are experiencing for many reasons—to analyze it, to think about it, or document it. Even when we pause to take a picture of a beautiful sunset, we have to leave the moment of experiencing that sunset to take the picture. When we do this, we lose the feeling of the moment. “There’s too much tendency to look inward at one’s moods and to try and evaluate them, to stand on the outside and try to look inside is futile. It’s like turning on a light to look at darkness. Analyze it and it’s gone.” “Feeling exists here and now when not interrupted and dissected by ideas or concepts. The moment we stop analyzing and let go we can start really seeing, feeling as one whole." An important part of the lesson Bruce is giving in this scene is about the process of relating, being in relationship with the whole thing, not isolated. “To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person, relationship is a process of self-revelation, relationship is the mirror in which you discover yourself. To be is to be related.” “To live is a constant process of relating, so come out of that shell of isolation and conclusion, and relate directly to what is being said." So many of us are hungering for a connection, even if we don’t know to articulate it. What’s driving a lot of the pain in the world is viewing people or the planet as separate from us or as the “other.” “The primary reality is not what I think, but what I live.” “I do not experience, I am experience, I am awareness.” Bruce Lee was living in the present moment all the time. Take Action: Take note when you pull away from an experience to analyze it or try to hold onto it. When you feel the connectedness or excitement of the moment, instead of pulling away just be with it. Compare this feeling to when you pull away and document or think about the moment. Another practice is to have a moment of silence when you feel that connected experience to stay in the moment. #AAHA This week our #AAHA shout-out goes to Sammy Lee, the first Asian American man to win Olympic gold and the first American man to win two consecutive golds in platform diving. Sammy Lee was named to US Olympic Hall of Fame in 1990. Lee was also a physician and served in the US Army Medical Corps in South Korea and coached several Olympian divers. He learned to dive at a public pool in Pasadena, but was only allowed to go on Wednesdays, the only day Latinos, Asians, and African Americans were allowed to use the pool. Then the pool was drained and refilled with clean water. Even after becoming an Olympian, Lee continued to face discrimination, including being told he could not buy a house in a certain neighborhood. Sammy Lee Square is named after him in Koreatown, he has a spot on the Anaheim Walk of Stars, and an elementary school named after him. Sammy Lee, we honor you and think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week our #BruceLeeMoment comes from Kristy, read more at “Being keen to journal, I previously wrote down my bigger 'why' or purpose and steps to achieving what I most desired. However, I noticed, there it was again…that striver giving me plans, actions, strategies to be better - to become perfect! So, instead after your podcast I decided to revisit my why, and come up with my own affirmations and anchors back to stillness when my mind becomes noisy, not to become perfect, but instead to simply acknowledge and celebrate who I am.” Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations or your #ActionItem progress with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#31 The Root

Feb 2, 2017 48:24


The Root was an important concept to Bruce Lee. The Root is where real knowledge and real personal expression can spring from, the starting point and essence of “Who am I?” “What we are after is the root and not the branches. The root is the real knowledge and the branches are surface knowledge. Real knowledge breeds “body feel” and personal expression, and surface knowledge breeds mechanical conditioning, and imposing limitation and it squelches creativity.” “The Root is the fulcrum on which will rest the expression of your soul. The Root is the starting point of all natural manifestation. It cannot be when the root is neglected that what should spring from it will be well ordered.” Your body is the vehicle through which you manifest everything, even your thoughts. When we neglect the vehicle that holds our vital energy then we can get ungrounded. Bruce Lee was integrated with mind, body, spirit and his body was in service to his greater Purpose in this world. Even if your path in life is not of an athlete or martial artist like Bruce Lee, you still need your body to carry out your plans, dreams, and to move through the world. “The Root is the foundation and the Root is the knowing, it’s the inner wisdom that you have.” Your body is sending you signals all the time, and gives you a definite feeling about questions you ask yourself. You can use your body as a divining rod to gauge your true feelings about a situation or a decision. Bruce was directed by his heart--his love, passion, and joy were all strengthening his Root. “When I look around I always learn something, and that is, to be always yourself and to express yourself, to have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it, but start from the very root of your being which is: How can I be me?” “This achieving the center, being grounded in oneself is about the highest state a human being can achieve.” “We realize that manipulation and control are not the ultimate joy in life, to become real, to learn to take a stand, to develop one’s center to the support of our total personality, a release to spontaneity, yes, yes, yes.” Take Action: If you’re feeling unrooted, think of the last time that you felt in tune with your body--when was that? Write down the memories, you’ll likely see a pattern. Identify discomfort in your body, aches or anxiety, where and when do you feel this way? Another exercise: write down the answer to “How can I be me?” Keep asking yourself this over time as it is answered differently as you grow. If you’d like to share how you’re doing with this action item you can email us at #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week our #AAHA is Aziz Ansari, American actor and comedian. Aziz is known for Masters of None, Parks and Recreation, and his stand-up comedy. Ansari was born in South Carolina, and graduated from NYU as a marketing major. He started doing stand-up while at NYU and in 2008 joined Parks and Rec. Ansari offers intelligent, thoughtful comedy and continues to do stand-up throughout his acting commitments. After the Boston Marathon bombings, Ansari performed a benefit at the Wilbur Theater in Boston and all ticket proceeds went to The One Fund and The Officer Richard Donohue Fund. Aziz, we love your work and think you’re awesome, thank you for making us laugh! #BruceLeeMoment This week our #BruceLeeMoment comes from listener Gerry, read more online: As a long distance trail runner: “The miles in between are so tough but to arrive at an aid station, where there is water and food and just such beautiful powerful good energy, is so uplifting and strengthening that it renews ones life force to move through the race. So the phrase "aid station to aid station" came to represent the ideas both of reducing a larger challenge into smaller ones, and also that we can't do this alone.” Share your #AAHAs and #BruceLeeMoments with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#30 Purpose

Jan 26, 2017 50:28


Bruce Lee was driven by his own Purpose in life: “All in all, the goal of my planning and doing is to find the true meaning in life: peace of mind.” Bruce’s Purpose was “peace of mind,” rather than his specific goals of becoming a big movie star or financial success. His big Purpose was self-actualization. “Completeness, the now, is an absence of the conscious mind to strive to divide that which is indivisible. For once the completeness of things is taken a part, it is no longer complete. All the pieces of a car that has been taken a part may be there, but it is no longer a car in its original nature which is its function or life.” If your goals are infused with purpose, then it never feels like you’re striving, it feels like it’s a pursuit of becoming. You feel like you’re becoming more of yourself in the accomplishment of your goals rather than needing to accomplish goals for outside accolades and prestige. So much of our culture is built on the pursuit of things, prestige and status—these do not make us happier and often cause anxiety. “I don’t really worry about the reward but to set into motion the machinery to achieve it.” “A purpose is the eternal condition of success.” It’s hard to find your purpose if you are struggling with simple tasks, but if you can imbue your daily tasks with purpose, then they can be easier to accomplish and less overwhelming. “Come to some sort of realization as to whatever your pursuit might be. In my case, it has been the pursuit of becoming moment to moment, and constantly questioning myself: What is this Bruce? Is it true or not true? Do you really mean it or not mean it? Once I’ve found that out, that’s it.” For everyone asking what your purpose is, your main purpose is to become your true self. You don’t have to have your purpose figured out, but put yourself on a path to find it. Do you feel like you’re in the flow, or stagnant? Take Action: Ask this: Can I create purpose around whatever task that I have to do? Take a mundane task and infuse it with purpose. A larger research project would be to ask 10 people close to you how they experience your essence and the moments when they see you come alive and express joy. Ask: when do you see me light up or become joyful? People close to us can sometimes see us more clearly than we can see ourselves. AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week we highlight Lulu Wang, an American filmmaker and writer. Shannon knows Lulu because they worked together several years ago when Lulu was first starting out. Born in Beijing and classically trained in piano, Lulu graduated from Boston College with a double major in Literature and Music. In 2016, Lulu released her first feature length film “Posthumous” and earlier in 2014 she was awarded the Chaz and Roger Ebert Directing Fellowship. Her short film “Touch” premiered at the 2015 Palm Springs International ShortsFest and won Best Drama at the Asians on Film Festival. In May 2016, Lulu wrote a story for NPR’s “This American Life” that is being developed into a feature film. Lulu you’re successfully pursuing and we think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BruceLeeMoment is from Gakuji Tobiyama, read the full version at “When I first heard him talk about his water analogy, that was my first Bruce Lee Moment, because right then, I knew I had not been living my life like water but rather a block of ice. Drop me and I smash into pieces, clench me long enough and I'll give the beholder a mild frostbite…I'd been brittle solid ice for a long time, and Bruce Lee taught me to let my "mental molecules" change state to allow myself to flow smart or "crash" through mental barriers with intent and intensity.” Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#29 In My Own Process

Jan 19, 2017 52:37


During one of the busiest times in his life, Bruce Lee wrote a letter to himself titled “In My Own Process”. When Bruce wrote this, he had just halted production on Game of Death was in mid-prep for Enter the Dragon which included re-writing script pages, creating fight choreography, and being a producer. He was moved to pause and write several drafts of this letter to himself—each version was an evolution of the ideas he began pondering. Through the different versions, you can witness his thinking and creative process—adding, building and refining with each iteration. He wrote: “At the moment I’m wondering for whom am I writing this organized mess? I have to say I am writing whatever wants to be written.” “I have come to the realization that sooner or later what it really amounts to is the bare fact that even an attempt to really write something about ones self demands, first of all, an honesty towards oneself to be able to take responsibility to be what we actually are.” “What it boils down to is my sincere and honest revelation of a man called Bruce Lee. Just who is Bruce Lee? Where is he heading? What does he hope to discover? To do this a person has to stand on his own two feet and find out the cause of ignorance. For the lazy and hopeless, they can forget it and do what they like best.” Most of us spend our lives avoiding these questions or distracting ourselves, Bruce confronted these questions directly. “The truth is that life is an ever going process ever renewing and it just meant to be lived but not lived for. It is something that cannot be squeezed into a self-constructed security pattern, a game of rigid control and clever manipulation. Instead, to be what I term “a quality human being” one has to be transparently real and have the courage to be what he is.” Take Action: When you feel compelled to express something meaningful to yourself, write it down. Keep track of all the different versions to research your own life and mark your progression. If you’d like to share how you’re doing with this action item you can email us at or on social @BruceLee #BruceLeePodcast. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week our #AAHA shout-out goes to a close family friend of Shannon’s, Taky Kimura, a Japanese America, martial artist, and one of Bruce Lee’s best friends. Taky was one of Bruce Lee’s top students, closest friends, best man at Bruce’s wedding, first person Bruce certified to teach Jeet Kune Do, one of Bruce’s first assistant instructors, and was pallbearer at Bruce’s funeral. Taky is in his 90’s and still teaching in Seattle, WA. Taky’s family was interred in WWII with his family and experienced a lot of the prejudice and racism that followed the war. Taky met Bruce when he was in his 30’s and credits Bruce with renewing his spirit. Taky has lived a quiet life and has trained people in his family’s grocery store basement for free. Taky, you have been a wonderful friend to Bruce and Shannon’s family, and you’re awesome, thank you! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BruceLeeMoment comes from Felix Sinn in Hamburg, Germany, read the full version in our show notes online: “I moved away from my family and friends south Germany up north to Hamburg, where I am going my own way and where I founded my company. And I am not only working on the company but also on myself and on being myself which seems to be a lifetime challenge. I am 28 years old now and there is nobody who I could copy, nobody who tells me what to do, and no mentor. And although I did not know too much about Bruce´s person I felt his philosophy. It felt like some of his spirit lives in me all the time and now as I hear all the information about him and his philosophy in the podcast, it is like you would tell me all these things that I already had in my heart but couldn´t express it in words like Bruce did.” Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#28 Day in the Life of Bruce Lee

Jan 12, 2017 48:02


This week we discuss a typical day in the life of Bruce Lee, his habits and activities on an average day when he wasn’t filming. The Wing Luke Museum in Seattle has an exhibit called “A Day in the Life of Bruce Lee” and you can make your own “Day in the Life” infographic here. Bruce Lee believed in the restorative powers of sleep, typically getting about 8hrs a night. He went to sleep around 11pm and got up at 7am. In the mornings he would stretch and go for a jog. Bruce liked to use jogging as a form of meditation. Following his morning workout, Bruce had breakfast then played with the kids. Then he would usually teach a private lesson in his students’ backyard or in his own backyard. Between the hours of noon and 4pm he would have lunch and then either teach or work on his writing. Then, he would have an hour and a half for his own personal training (his second workout of the day!) Bruce spent his early evening hanging out with the family and playing with the kids. For the rest of the evening, Bruce would have dinner and extra training with his students and friends. He had a Wednesday Night group, mainly students from his classes, who would come over for extra instruction and philosophical conversations that would turn into a communal dinner. Bruce didn’t have a regular 9-5 job, but his workday consisted of a few hours of concentrated effort, a break, and then a couple more hours of concentrated effort and so on rather than one long 8 hour stretch. This Day in the Life of Bruce Lee shows what productivity and harmony is possible for anyone. What's obviously missing from his daily routine is any TV or computer time. Bruce dedicated time for physical, mental and spiritual development in his daily life—creating a harmonious day filled with training, learning, teaching and connecting with family and community. Take Action: Document your every day for a week or month to see how you spend your time. Technology makes it easy to record your day, find the app you like. Are there any changes you’d like to make or things you’d like to add to your life? You can also create your own day here. If you’d like to share how you’re doing with this action item you can email us at or on social @BruceLee #BruceLeePodcast. Listener letters: We’ve been receiving lots of emails from our listeners updating us on their #ActionItems and their #DefiniteChiefAims so we’d like to share a few of them with you in our shownotes online. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week’s #AAHA is Maya Lin, an American designer and artist known for her sculpture and land art. She first came to fame at 21 as the designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Maya won a public design competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and it was a controversial design since it was non-traditional, she was an Asian female, and she lacked professional experience. Maya actually had to go before Congress to get them to approve her design. She has said that had it not been a blind selection process then she wouldn’t have been selected. Now she owns and operates the Maya Lin Studio in NYC and in 2016 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Maya we love your work and think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BruceLeeMoment comes from Eric Colby, who wrote us before about a leadership opportunity at his work and now he’s writing to tell us how it went, read the full version at “The thoughts that I ultimately decided to share came from your episode on Goals, Mistakes, and Success…from aiming high in your goals in order to broaden your horizons and see what is possible, to listening to your mistakes in order to grow, to recognizing that defeat is a state of mind and only has power over you if you accept it, to defining success as "doing something sincerely and wholeheartedly."” Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#27 Energy: Vital Life Force

Jan 5, 2017 48:04


When Bruce Lee was 21 he wrote: “I feel I have this great creative and spiritual force within me that is greater than faith, greater than ambition, greater than confidence, greater than determination, greater than vision, it is all these combined. My brain becomes magnetized with this dominating force which I hold in my hand. Whether it is the godhead or not, I feel this great force, this untapped power, this dynamic something within me. This feeling defies description and no experience with which this feeling may be compared. It is something like a strong emotion mixed with faith, but a lot stronger.” This energy is something that Bruce Lee talked about a lot, and energy is also often how we talk about Bruce Lee. Bruce would talk about energy in relation to his willpower, vital life-force to create, to move, to accomplish, and to motivate. He talked about it as a creative and spiritual force within himself and also talked about not wasting this force but using it for good. “A creation uncontaminated by thought. The creative tide in us that flows outward.” Bruce also recognized that this energy is infinite and connected to the spiritual force of the universe. Like Bruce Lee, we all have this vital life-force within our bodies and it’s ours to cultivate. “The function and duty of a human being, a quality human being that is, is the sincere and honest development of potential and self-actualization. One additional comment, the energy from within and the physical strength from your body, can guide you toward accomplishing your purpose in life and to actually act on actualizing your duty to yourself.” Your energy can be really hampered by your mind when it gets into these worry-filled loops. This preoccupation with negative thoughts and worries will drain your energy. Be aware of where you’re wasting your energy. Take Action: Run an experiment where you limit your exposure to draining people or activities, and increase your exposure to energizing people or activities that make you feel great. Reframe your negative thoughts into positive or neutral thoughts. See how you feel at the end of the day. Then you’ll start to have all your energy to create and manifest your truest self. If you’d like to share how you’re doing with this action item you can email us at or on social @BruceLee #BruceLeePodcast. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week we want to recognize I. M. Pei, renowned Chinese-American architect. He was recruited in 1948 by New York real estate magnate William Zeckendorf and went on to establish his own independent design firm. I. M. Pei went on to design buildings around the world including the glass and steel pyramid for the Musee de Louvre in Paris. He came from a family known for selling medicinal herbs, but felt the call to pursue architecture and design. On April 26th, 2017 I. M. Pei will turn 100 years old! I. M. Pei, we find your work and life inspirational and think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BruceLeeMoment comes from Emil Monajemzadeh, here's an excerpt and read the full version at "In January 2016 I found a school in Copenhagen where I could learn Kung Fu and Yoga. I remember talking to my shifu after my first training session, and our conversation went exactly like follows: "What do you do besides this?" "I study Philosophy." "Then you have come to the right place." " Yes I know." I think university students sometimes can be quite full of themselves thinking they are better than others. Because of this I felt like I couldn't use much of my knowledge for anything, also because of the pressure that is on all the subjects in the humanities right now. But in realising that all knowledge is self-knowledge I found a whole new way of studying - mainly to not study others through reading but rather myself." Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#26 Bruce Lee Superfan: W. Kamau Bell

Dec 29, 2016 01:05:57


This week we sit down with Bruce Lee superfan, and self-professed Bruce Lee geek, W. Kamau Bell! He’s a comedian and TV host. He hosts CNN's United Shades of America, and podcasts Denzel Washington is the Greatest Actor of All Time Period and Politically Reactive. Kamau Bell became a Bruce Lee fan as a kid watching 70s martial arts films on TV. He thought Bruce Lee was in tons of movies because of all the knock-off Bruce Lees on TV. It wasn’t until he was 13 when he went to the video store and found “Enter the Dragon” that he realized that the real Bruce Lee was the real deal. He watched the VHS tapes over and over and sought out Bruce’s other film. That’s when Kamau became a superfan. He bought all his movies, got Bruce Lee posters, made his own iron-on T-shirt of Bruce and converted his friends to fans. He even created a petition at his high school to get Bruce Lee a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He studied Wing Chun because Bruce Lee studied Wing Chun and took a bus all the way across Chicago to study it. As a young man, he thought a career in martial arts was more feasible than a career in comedy, but Kamau always wanted to be a comedian. Trusting his inner voice is something that Kamau got from Bruce Lee, following his own path in his career and doing it his own way is something he saw Bruce do. As the son of a single mom, Bruce Lee’s philosophy helped guide Kamau while he was growing up, showing him how to be a man and how to gain a secure sense of self and know his limitations. The Bruce Lee philosophy that had the biggest impact on Kamau was: “Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is essentially your own.” Following Bruce Lee’s example, Kamau invents his own path in Hollywood, seeking and creating projects that honestly express his true essence. He also trusts his intuition to avoid what doesn’t feel right for him and his family—sometimes that means turning down gigs that are lucrative. But he is confident that his own eclectic path is the right one for him. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week’s #AAHA is recommended by Kamau Bell. Irene Tu is an up and coming San Francisco based stand-up comedian, writer, and actor. In 2016, she was named one of the “Bay Area’s 11 Best Stand Up Comedians” by the SFist. Thanks Kamau for supporting your local SF talent and introducing us to Irene. Irene—you are awesome! #BruceLeeMoment The #BruceLeeMoment that Kamau returns to often is the moment in Chinese Connection when Bruce Lee comes into the enemy's martial arts studio and fights everyone and wins. Bruce says at the end of the fight: “Now you listen to me. I'll only say this once. We are not sick men.” This statement resonated with Kamau as a young black man trying to claim his own space in a racist society. He was moved by Bruce Lee's confidant statement of resistance against oppressors and taking pride in his people. Over the years this scene about claiming space for your people continues to grow in meaning for Kamau and it’s something he continually addresses in his work and life. Watch the scene: Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#25 The Art of Dying

Dec 22, 2016 47:39


When Bruce Lee spoke about the Art of Dying, he did not mean dying in the literal sense, but as a metaphor for letting go of the past and things that limit you, so you can be a fluid human in the present moment. “Like everyone else, you want to learn the way to win, but never to learn the way to lose. To accept defeat, to learn to die, is to be liberated from it. Once you accept this you are free to flow and to harmonize. Fluidity is the way to an empty mind. You must free your ambitious mind and learn the art of dying.” Bruce was constantly practicing this idea of dying because to him it meant returning to beginners mind and neutrality. He even had an art piece tombstone created which stated, “In memory of a once fluid man crammed and distorted by the classical mess.” This was a physical reminder to let go of anything that keeps you rigid or limits growth. “To understand and live now, there must be a dying to everything of yesterday, die continually to every newly gained experience be in a state in choiceless awareness of what is.” Dying in this instance is more about living in the moment, and being able to continue to be the student and learn. “Drop and dissolve inner blockage, a conditioned mind is never a free mind. Wipe away and dissolve all its experience and be born afresh.” “We live in clichés in patterned behavior, we play the same role over and over again. To raise our potential is to live and review every second refreshed.” “People try to hold on to sameness, this holding on prevents growth.” “To desire is an attachment. to desire not to desire is also an attachment. To be unattached then means to be free at once from both statements. In other words it is to be simultaneously both yes and no, which is intellectually absurd.” “If when you’re being knocked down, you can stop and say ‘Why am I being knocked down?’ then if you can examine that in that way then there’s hope for your growth.” Take Action: Practice being in the present moment and letting go. Where are you being rigid in your life? Where can you bend more? Where do you have a firm attachment to an idea or position? If you can identify the attachment and create a little bit of space between you and the attachment then you are on your way to freeing yourself from that attachment. If you’d like to share how you’re doing with this action item you can email us at or on social @BruceLee #BruceLeePodcast. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week our #AAHA is Ang Lee, Tawainese born director, screenwriter, and producer, known for many iconic films like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Life of Pi, Hulk, and Brokeback Mountain. Ang brings both East and West to his films, exploring the fantastic and the dramatic. He has two Oscars, both for Best Achievement in Directing, a testament to his incredible storytelling and cinematic talent. He’s always pushing the boundaries of film technology—but only in service to the story and emotional experience of the film. Ang Lee completely devotes himself to his work and only works on one project at a time. He’s also a longtime Bruce Lee fan. Thank you Ang for your incredible artistry, we think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BruceLeeMoment is from Daniel from Australia, below is an excerpt, read the full moment in our show notes on our website: “I remembered the ‘Don’t think, Feel’ statement again, but it was not ironically until I heard about the Bruce Lee podcast. I was concentrating on listening to the intro to the podcast when I realised I had applied this philosophy unknowingly for the longest time and had actually became ‘water’ myself, adapting it to mean that even though your hurt with a loss, to stop and think about the life you had together and remember the love that came from that is what's important!” Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#24 Poetry

Dec 15, 2016 43:56


Bruce Lee started writing poetry when he moved from Hong Kong to the U.S. at age 18. He wrote poetry to express his feelings of contemplativeness, love, melancholy, and oneness with nature. The poetry was a way to process and understand his own feelings. Bruce also wrote poems and letters to his wife Linda expressing love and gratefulness for her. Linda says that she can still feel the warmth of his love through his writing. Bruce Lee was a masculine man of action who also had a very integrated feminine side. He was always cultivating both Yin and Yang. The Dying Sun The dying sun lies sadly in the far horizon, The autumn wind blows mercilessly. The yellow leaves fall From the mountain peak two streams parted unwillingly. One to the west one to the east. The sun will rise again in the morning, the leaves will be green again in the spring but must we be like the mountain stream never to meet again? Love is like a friendship caught on fire 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 Walking along the bank of lake Washington The breeze on the bank already blows cool and mild The distant merging of lake and sky is but a red trace of sunset The deep silence of the lake cuts off all tumult from me Along the lonely bank I move with slow footsteps Alone, the disturbed frogs scurry off Here and there, are houses, cool beads of light spring out from them A dazzling moon shines down from the lonely depths of the sky In the moonlight I move slowly to a gung fu form Body and soul are fused into one. Take Action: Write a poem, and either keep it for yourself, or share it with someone. Or find a poem you like and read it aloud. Take a moment and write down how much you love and are grateful for someone in your life, date it, and give that note or letter to that person. You can also share those sentiments in person. Here are good resources for poetry and poetry recordings: If you’d like to share how you’re doing with this action item you can email us at or on social @BruceLee. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week’s #AAHA is a recommendation from Marcus Wang, read the full version on our website: I think it’s wonderful that you take the time to recognize Asian-Americans and Hapas who are making a difference in our world, and I’d like to introduce you to Derrick Wang, a charismatic young composer and attorney with degrees from Harvard, Yale and Maryland Law who has achieved renown in the world of opera - a rarity for an Asian-American. Your podcast on harmony brought him to mind - Derrick’s recent acclaimed opera, “Scalia/Ginsburg,” focuses on the unlikely but genuine friendship between Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the late Antonin Scalia. #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BLM comes from Sarah in London, read the full version on our website: “The quote of 'be water my friend' has really stayed with me since I heard that first episode. At work I have been challenged by several senior leaders due to a project I am leading, and at times those challenges felt very personal. I held your fathers words in my mind during those moments and at first I tried to be still and calm like water - however that made me feel stagnant and immobile, and a little like a punching bag, but then I remembered your father's words about water crashing and flowing, and have since focused on not seeing people or things as obstacles but simply detours or interesting bends in the road. They are not obstacles to me and I will not batter myself against them but will flow around or over them. This has given me a sense of calm and strength.” Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#23 Yin Yang

Dec 8, 2016 55:02


The Yin Yang symbol is circle with two interlocking teardrop shapes in complimentary colors with a dot on each side. It’s used in popular culture, but it is a core Chinese philosophy. The Yang side represents positivity, firmness, masculinity, substantiality, brightness, day, and heat. The Yin side represents negativity, softness, femininity, insubstantiality, darkness, and coldness. Excerpt from Book 1 Chapter 28 of the Tao Te Ching: “Know the masculine, but keep to the feminine. And be a valley to the realm….If you are a valley to the realm then constant virtue will be complete and you will return to the uncarved block. The uncarved block is cut into vessels wise men use them as rulers of vessels, the great cutter does not cut away.” Read the full version here Bruce Lee could take heady philosophy and physicalize it, giving it a purpose in a human context, and illustrating it in an entertaining way. Instead of viewing the Yin and Yang as opposites, Bruce would say that they are complimentary to each other. He said that the basic theory in Yin Yang is that “nothing is so permanent as to never change.” Bruce’s core symbol for Jeet Kune Do is a modified Yin Yang symbol that he added to. He added two arrows around the Yin Yang to represent the continuous interplay of the two parts and a Chinese phrase around the arrows that says: “Using no way as way, Having no limitation as limitation.” Bruce had his friend George Lee create 4 plaques that showed the stages of a man's cultivation: Partiality, Fluidity, Emptiness, and the core symbol for Jeet Kune Do. Bruce incorporated his version of the Yin Yang into his martial arts practice by not only learning hardness and toughness, but gentleness and softness, as sometimes you need to flow with your opponent’s energy as opposed to always stopping or hitting. Yin and Yang are in harmonious relationship with one another. “Taoism is a philosophy of the essential unity of the universe, of the leveling of all difference, the relativity of all standards, and the return of all to the one. The divine intelligence, the source of all things. From this naturally arise the absence of desire for strife, contention, and the fighting for advantage. It emphasizes non-resistance and the importance of gentleness.” “Fluidity leads to interchangeability, self knowledge leads to awareness, totality leads to ultimate freedom.” Take Action: What extremes are you holding on to? When you’re in conflict, can you to hold on to your point of view, yet soften to hear the other person? Whatever your position is, it is half of the Yin Yang symbol, try and soften to see the other side. If you’d like to share how you’re doing with this action item on Yin Yang, email us at or on social @BruceLee. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week’s #AAHA is Cary Fukunaga, an American film director, writer, and cinematographer, and his recommendation comes to us from his childhood friend. Cary is known for directing Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre, HBO’s season 1 of True Detective, and Netflix’s Beasts of No Nation. On Beasts of No Nation he was the writer, director, cinematographer, and producer, which reminds us how Bruce Lee would write, produce, and direct his own work. Cary, we admire your mastery, artistry, storytelling, and hard work, keep being awesome! Read his friend’s wonderful email recommendation in our show notes on our website. #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BLM is from Tory Elena, here’s an excerpt, read her full moment in our show notes online: “I grew up practicing martial arts with my family and my father and I shared a love for Bruce Lee’s films…I’ve rekindled my passion for martial arts and studying the philosophy and words Bruce left behind for the world….As a professional creative I use the JKD motto as a mantra in my life, “Using no way as way. Having no limitation as limitation.” “ Share your #AAHAs and #BruceLeeMoments with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#22 Linda on Bruce and Brandon

Dec 1, 2016 01:14:13


Bruce’s wife and Shannon’s mom Linda Lee Cadwell joins us again and she shares more stories about Bruce, telling of his spirit of generosity and charity. And for the first time she shares stories about their son Brandon Lee. When Linda first visited Hong Kong in 1965, it was a tough time for many Hong Kong people. There were a lot of very poor people and many would stand on corners asking for donations. Bruce never passed up anyone without giving some coins and saying a kind word. He had great feeling for those who were less fortunate and was always willing to give his possessions and time to those in need. For most of their marriage, Linda and Bruce never had two dimes to rub together, but Bruce was always generous with his money, time and expertise. At a time when the country was still mired in racial tension, Bruce’s studio was filled with people of all races and backgrounds. He taught movie stars and regular people in the same way. Bruce himself faced discrimination again and again, so it was of utmost importance to him to see the humanity in all people. As a child actor, Bruce was surrounded by successful Chinese artists who taught him about the beauty of Chinese culture and how to live gracefully in the face of adversity. This daily immersion with artists influenced his outlook and his identity as an artist. He had many adult mentors in his life including his martial arts teacher Ip Man who taught Bruce much of the philosophy that he later expanded upon. Linda thinks that these early creative and philosophical teachers were critical in helping Bruce stay optimistic and fluid as he faced hardships in his life. One of the main hardships Bruce faced was his massive back injury. He was in bed for many months recovering. But he used that time studying, writing and researching his own rehabilitation program. They couldn’t afford a full time physical therapist so Bruce took charge of his own recovery. He never accepted the doctors’ diagnosis that he would never walk normally or practice Kung Fu again. During this recovery time Bruce developed his philosophies and his writings. Brandon shared many similar traits with his dad. He was rebellious, passionate, and his charismatic energy came through the screen. When his father died, Brandon was 8, and it was then that he decided to be an actor. Linda shares that he never wavered in that passion. Brandon was a free spirit, and didn’t always follow the straight and narrow, especially in school, but he was an avid reader and writer. Like his father, Brandon was an artist who did things his own way. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week our #AAHA is Yuja Wang, a Chinese concert pianist and child prodigy from Beijing. She started studying piano at 6 and studied at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, later studying at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. She is known for wearing very interesting clothing when she performs, often changing her outfits to reflect the music she is playing. She has become someone who is known for heightening the musical experience through the visual aspect of her performance. Yuja tours the world performing and is doing things her own way. Yuja Wang, we think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment Today we have an excerpt of an email from Sam Litvan, read the full version on our website: “I remember how I learned that he wrote, produced and directed his films, this made me realize that there is no one role for any of us. He cleared that idea that being macho doesn't preclude one from being intelligent or funny…I've had many influences over the course of my life, but what Bruce Lee achieved in his short time motivates me to accomplish as much as I can because what his short life taught me is that none of us know just how much time we have and so we must value every second.” Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#21 Bruce’s Bday Wish: Be Water, My Friend

Nov 28, 2016 49:08


11/27/16 is Bruce Lee’s birthday and he would have been 76 years old today. In honor of his birthday we are reposting the Be Water, My Friend episode (#2) with a special birthday message from Shannon Lee. To honor Bruce, take a moment for yourself today to listen or re-listen to this episode. It’s filled with great tips on how to center yourself, clear your head and move around obstacles you have in your life. "Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, 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.”

#20 Nutrition and Fitness

Nov 24, 2016 45:38


At the request of fans, this week we discuss Bruce Lee’s approach to nutrition and fitness! Nutrition and fitness were ongoing obsessions for Bruce during his life, and we can’t cover everything, so we’ll discuss the big ideas on this episode not specific regimens. Bruce Lee was constantly experimenting on himself and seeing what worked for his body. There was cardio, weight training, martial techniques, teaching as training, nutrition from diet to supplements, meditation, and reading books. Often Bruce would be found doing several things at once, such as stretching and reading, using his time efficiently. Bruce’s diet varied, but he consistently drank protein shakes and juices from their commercial grade juicer, an unusual household appliance in the 60’s. Bruce Lee explored many diets, including one with organ meats because of their high mineral content. He drank tea every day and put supplements into his tea such as ginseng and royal jelly. He was also a big proponent of getting enough sleep, getting 8hrs a night. Bruce enjoyed all kinds of food, but he didn’t smoke, drink alcohol, or drink coffee. It was after Bruce’s big fight in Oakland that he started to explore fitness and nutrition in more detail. He started weight lifting, but disliked being bulky. Bruce began training for function over form to make his body strong, fast, and nimble. Bruce created and modified his own exercise equipment to target specific parts of his body. Bruce kept detailed daily planners where he wrote how many kicks, punches, crunches, or miles run he did each day. Stretching and meditation were also important parts of his fitness routine. “Jogging is not only a form of exercise to me, it is also a form of relaxation. It’s my own hour, every morning, when I can be alone with my thoughts.” Bruce’s philosophy about food is one we can all follow: “Eat what your body requires, and don’t get carried away with foods that don’t benefit you.” He was not extreme or rigid about food. He also did not believe in depriving yourself. “Health is an appropriate balance of the coordination of all of what we are.” While Bruce was experimenting with nutrition and fitness, he made sure he was in harmony with his body. Health is inline with the philosophy of self-actualization since you can listen to, cultivate, and balance your body. If you’re interested in learning more about Bruce’s fitness and nutrition routines check out Bruce Lee: The Art of Expressing the Human Body. Take Action: To focus on your nutrition and fitness is to ask yourself this: “I would feel better in my body if I did _____” and fill in the blank with one action you can take. #AAHA This week’s #AAHA shout-out goes to Jeremy Lin, American NBA basketball player for the Brooklyn Nets. He’s known for unexpectedly leading a winning turnaround for the New York Knicks in 2012, gaining a huge following called “Linsanity.” Lin had a rough start to his NBA career, receiving no drafts and getting put in the D-league, and finally joined the Knicks in the 2011-2012 season. Jeremy Lin is the first American of Taiwanese descent and one of few Asian American NBA players. Jeremy, we applaud your hard work, how you’ve overcome prejudice and obstacles, and your love of basketball. Keep being awesome! #BruceLeeMoment Below we have an excerpt from a #BruceLeeMoment email from Lecroy “Lee” Rhyanes, Jr. Read the full version in the shownotes at “There have been many #BruceLeeMoments throughout my life …One that I'd like to share is in response to the 'Walk On' episode #11 topic about phrases that we use to help us. The phrase I use is Bruce Lee's quote "Life itself is your teacher, and you are in a state of constant learning." There is no quote that I've applied in my experience as a student and educator more than this one.” Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#19 Bruce Lee Superfan: Steve Aoki

Nov 17, 2016 57:22


This week we talk with Bruce Lee Superfan Steve Aoki. Steve is a Grammy nominated Electro house musician, DJ and record producer. Steve’s unique musical life is the subject of a new Netflix documentary called “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead," Steve has been a die-hard Bruce Lee devotee since he was a kid. When he was taking karate classes, and he emulated all of Bruce Lee’s moves and became obsessed with watching every Bruce Lee movie repeatedly on VHS. Aoki looked up to Bruce Lee as an Asian man who “made it” when there weren’t any strong Asian role models. Having a strong, kick-ass Asian man like Bruce Lee as a role model helped Aoki build confidence even though he experienced racism growing up in Newport Beach. As a teen, Aoki and his friends studied Bruce’s interviews and read the Tao of Jeet Kune Do together. This practice became the basis for his lifelong love for Bruce Lee’s philosophy. The Bruce Lee quote that Aoki always uses is “Be like water” and he adds “ any means necessary.” He also uses: “Sometimes a goal is just something to aim at.” He applies these philosophies in his life by being fluid in his journey towards his goals and following his own creative path. "To live like Bruce Lee, is to be fluid like water and make your own journey." Aoki on Bruce Lee’s influence: “Talking about the human side of things, there are a few people that have really changed the world by their words…Bruce Lee is one of them. There are only a few people that can really talk to people in a way that really touches you to the soul. And you know how genuine and authentic and human it is. It’s not about the martial art really, the martial art is an extension of his philosophy and the human side of everything. So when you get there, then you’re a devout fan for life, you’re changed forever.” Bruce Lee’s philosophy also informs Steve Aoki’s creative process and how he thinks about making music--putting his whole heart into his work. “Music isn’t just something that you listen to, and especially at shows, you’re experiencing all your senses.” #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) Steve Aoki does this week’s #AHAA’s shout-out to his friend Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park. Shinoda is a Japanese American musician, rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, graphic designer, manager, and film composer. He co-founded Linkin Park in 1996 and Machine Shop Recordings in 2004, and his artwork has been featured in the Japanese American National Museum. Keep on being awesome Mike! #BruceLeeMoment Even though Steve Aoki can claim his whole life as one big #BruceLeeMoment, he shares a specific #BruceLeeMoment: “Game of Death was an incredible film. It’s like a video game but he was fighting all these different characters. And the fight he did with Kareem Abdul Jabbar, I stood in front of the framed poster of him fighting Kareem Abdul Jabbar, it’s just so epic, him in his yellow jumpsuit and Kareem being 90 ft tall. I just remember that moment right now, it just popped in my head, it always pops in my head. He’s just a badass, what can I say? But like what I was saying throughout this whole podcast, all the different ways that I’ve been able to survive and thrive and build these many successes, and really think about my life, it’s always from a Bruce Lee quote. Whether it’s “Be like water,” or “The journey is more important than the destination.” You have to be able to speak to people where you’re not excluding them too. That’s what he did, he spoke to everybody. It wasn’t like he was a human rights leader, but he was in the way in that he didn’t exclude anyone…and that’s one thing that really made me love this guy so much.” Thank you Steve Aoki for sharing how Bruce Lee has shaped your life and career. We support you and think you’re awesome! Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#18 The Individual Over Any Established System

Nov 10, 2016 39:00


“Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system.” From a very young age Bruce Lee was a rebellious thinker with a keen awareness that established systems could restrict the full development of a human being. One event that sparked this questioning was the discrimination he faced at his Kung Fu school in Hong Kong. He was ultimately kicked out of that school because he wasn’t 100% Chinese. He learned that the institution favored an arbitrary rule over his passionate devotion to study martial arts. This made no sense to him--even as a young man. Bruce Lee eventually called classical martial arts styles “organized despair” because he felt that the rigidity of the styles limited people from discovering themselves and their personal style of martial arts. “Why do you as an individual depend on thousands of years of propaganda? Ideals, principles, the ‘what should be’ leads to hypocrisy.” He said “you do not have to become a robot,” in any system. In the beginning stages, it is okay to figure out who you are, what you’re into. While doing so it is important to be your best self and be in harmony. Only then you begin to listen and become in tune to what truly speaks to your heart (not the system). “Man is constantly growing, and when he is bound by a set pattern of ideas or ‘Way’ of doing things, that’s when he stops growing.” After years of classical study, Bruce Lee developed his own martial way called Jeet Kune Do. Though Bruce enjoyed teaching others the discoveries he had made, he recognized that as soon as he defined the style to others, it was in danger of becoming dogma. Bruce Lee wanted every student of martial arts to discover what works for them and to develop their own styles. This approach requires one to spend a lot of time studying one's own thoughts, body and energy. “In solitude you are least alone. Make good use of it.” When you’re alone, you are with yourself and with your own thoughts. It’s when you’re alone that you can truly assess yourself. Take Action: Try an exercise of being alone with yourself without distraction. Identify what systems you’re a part of right now, and are they serving you? What ideas, values, and interests come up for you when you’re alone? Write down the thoughts that come to you when you’re alone. Are your thoughts and values in sync with any institution you’re a part of? If you’d like to share your experiences trying our exercise in being alone, please reach out via or via social media @BruceLee. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week our #AAHA shout-out goes out to Yo-Yo Ma, the prodigious Chinese American cellist. He has won 18 Grammys in his career. Aside from classical music, he is interested in Blue Grass, traditional Chinese music, and tango Brazilian music. He has collaborated with many artists including Bobby McFerrin, and Quincy Jones, and movement artists such as Charles Lubbock Riley. Beyond music, Yo-Yo Ma is a United Nations Messenger of Peace and has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. So also he uses music as a way to cross cultures and bring people together. He has a film coming out soon called The Music of Strangers. Thank you Yo-Yo Ma! We appreciate your awesomeness and all the levels of your artistry. #BruceLeeMoment This week's #BruceLeeMoment comes from Youssef E. and he tells us about how Bruce Lee's philosophy has always been a part of his life and how he is excited to pass it along in his family for generations to come. Read the full #BruceLeeMoment in our show notes at Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#17 Affirmations Part 3: Willpower

Nov 3, 2016 38:40


In this week’s episode we are finishing up our 3-part discussion of Bruce Lee’s affirmations with the 7th and final affirmation: Willpower. Affirmation 7: “Recognizing that the power of will is the supreme court over all other departments of my mind, I will exercise it daily when I need the urge to act for any purpose, and I will form habits designed to bring the power of my will into action at least once daily.” Bruce believed that, “A self-willed man has no other aim than his own growth. He values only one thing – the mysterious power in himself, which bids him live and helps him grow. His only living destiny is the silent, ungainsayable law in his own heart, which comfortable habits make it so hard to obey but which to the self-willed man is destiny and godhead.” Bruce Lee didn’t view willpower as the voice in your head forcing you into action, but more as the energy of mastery over one’s soul.Being a self-willed man is about tapping into your heart, your life force, that power within you, that thing that is tugging at you to live, and go for the things that speak to you and speak to your heart. Which in return, serve as a catalyst for action or willpower. “The enemy of development is pain phobia: the unwillingness to do a tiny bit of suffering. As you feel unpleasant you interrupt the continuum of awareness and you become phobic and this weakens the heart of the will.” “A self-willed man obeys a different law, the one law I too hold absolutely sacred – the human law in himself, his own individual will.” The other 6 affirmations lead up to this final affirmation, willpower, which is the culmination of Memory, Subconscious Mind, Imagination, Reason, Emotion, and Conscience. “[Willpower] the mysterious power in himself which bids him live and helps him grow.” Take Action: Identify something in you that makes you feel alive, that is something that you want to grow. Continue to develop your own affirmations, or you can use Bruce Lee’s, and write them down and carry them around for you to reference daily. And take some small action steps every day inspired by your affirmations We’d love to hear about your affirmations, please reach out via or via social media @BruceLee. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week we give an #AAHA shout-out to Eleanor Mariano, a Filipina American physician and military officer. She is the first Filipina American graduate of the Uniformed Services of Medicine to reach the rank of Rear Admiral in the US Navy. She’s the first woman to be the director of the White House Medical Unit and she’s the first military woman in the history of the US to be appointed as personal physician to the President serving as physician to George Bush Senior, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. Eleanor, we just want to say we think you’re awesome and thank you for your service! #BruceLeeMoment This week we have a #BruceLeeMoment from Russ Grant: As a 55-yr-old English male, I have never felt the need to email best wishes to any company. But I send my heartfelt best wishes in your endeavors to take the Bruce Lee philosophy to a wider audience. I grew up on Bruce Lee films, and there’s not a man in the world who wouldn’t want the skills he had. All the best for the future, Russ Grant Thank you for your best wishes Russ, we really appreciate it! Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#16 Affirmations Part 2: Emotions, Reason, and Conscience

Oct 27, 2016 43:08


This week we continue our discussion of Bruce Lee’s Affirmations with three more concepts: Emotions, Reason, and Conscience. Even though we are discussing each affirmation individually, Bruce Lee used all 7 together to help achieve wellbeing. 4th Affirmation: Emotions “Realizing that my emotions are both positive and negative, I will form daily habits which will encourage the development of the positive emotions and aid me in converting the negative emotions into some form of useful action.” 5th Affirmation: Reason “Recognizing that my positive and negative emotions may be dangerous if they are not guided to desirable ends, I will submit all my desires, aims, and purposes to my faculty of reason, and I will be guided by it in giving expression to these.” 6th Affirmation: Conscience “Recognizing that my emotions often err in their over-enthusiasm, and my faculty of reason often is without the warmth of feeling that is necessary to enable me to combine justice with mercy in my judgments, I will encourage my conscience to guide me as to what is right and wrong, but I will never set aside the verdict it renders, no matter what may be the cost of carrying them out.” Take Action: Continue to develop your own affirmations, or you can use Bruce Lee’s, and write them down and carry them around for you to reference daily. We’d love to hear about your affirmations, please reach out via or via social media @BruceLee. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) Our #AAHA shout-out goes out to Ali Wong, badass actress, comedian, and writer. She graduated from UCLA in Asian American studies, but then decided at 23 to try stand-up for the first time. Since then she’s acted on several TV shows including "Inside Amy Schumer," "Black Box," and "Are you there, Chelsea?" and became a TV comedy writer best known for the series "Fresh Off the Boat." Ali Wong has continued with stand-up comedy and she’s incredible in her most recent comedy special on Netflix called “Baby Cobra.” If you haven’t seen it already, check it out! We couldn’t stop laughing. You keep being you Ali, and stay awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week we have a lovely email from Robyn R. in Connecticut about how Bruce Lee's "Artist of Life" has helped her deal with her relationship with her estranged son. Read the full version in our show notes at Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#15 Affirmations Part 1: Memory, Subconscious Mind, Imagination

Oct 20, 2016 44:17


This week we discuss Bruce Lee’s affirmations. These are 7 ideas he wrote on small note cards and carried with him always: Memory, Subconscious Mind, Imagination, Reason, Emotion, Conscience and Will Power. These 7 ideas are part of a whole system of well being and self-cultivation Bruce developed. And they work together as a harmonious ecosystem. Today we discuss the first three ideas: Memory, Subconscious Mind, and Imagination. 1st Affirmation: Memory “Recognizing the value of an alert mind, and an alert memory, I will encourage mine to become alert by taking care to impress it clearly with all thoughts I wish to recall and by associating those thoughts with related subjects which I may recall to mind frequently.” Bruce Lee on memory: “Not memory for memory’s sake, not accumulation of knowledge, but synthesis and application.” 2nd Affirmation: Subconscious Mind “Reorganizing the influence of my subconscious mind over my power of will, I shall take care to submit to it a clear and definite picture of my major purpose in life and all minor purposes leading to my major purpose and I shall keep this picture constantly before my subconscious mind by repeating it daily.” 3rd Affirmation: Imagination “Recognizing the need for sound plans and ideas for the attainment of my desires. I will develop my imagination by calling upon it daily for help in the formation of my plans.” “Creative intuition opens the wellsprings within man, activates the inner light, and is free and limitless.” Take Action: Create your own affirmations and write them down on a 3x5 card. They can be your own ideas or quotes you find inspiring. Carry them around with you for a week or a month and read them out loud to yourself each day. We would love to hear about your affirmations! Email us at or share via social media @BruceLee. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week we want to give a shout out to Jimmy Chin, a professional climber, mountaineer, skier, photographer, and filmmaker. For a long time he was with the Northface team, taking photos and having awe-inspiring adventures. His documentary film Meru follows the harrowing first ascent of the "Shark's Fin" route on Meru Peak in the Indian Himalayas. Jimmy follows his true heart’s mission and we think that’s awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week our BruceLeeMoment comes from Germany, Martin Priebe: Dear Shannon, Dear team, My name is Martin and I live in Germany. I just want to share my #BruceLeeMoment with you (as you mentioned in your podcast) I´m a huge fan of bruce lee. Not only the films, I like the philosophy as well. And I´m working as a software developer and I´m doing wing chun since a while. So what happened was that I was reading "Tao of JKD" and working for my job simultaneously. Then I was stunned for a few seconds. I recognized that JKD and Bruce Lee´s philosophy matched exactly the style of agile software developing. The next days Í was thinking about it. This idea was like a hammer that was banging my head. And few weeks ago I did a presentation about "Was Bruce Lee the first agile coach? And what can we learn about it for our daily business" on a convention for software development. "Be water, my friend", "sophisticated style stripped to it´s essentials", all the wing chun principles, the way he developed his style, "individuals more important than any style." And what can I say... It was great. It was a lot of fun. And it was not easy to teach nerds :) But I had to do it. Every time I was thinking "oh, should I do that" I remembered the words "Expressing yourself honestly". I want so say thank you. Thanks for the power and energy! Thanks for your words too and keep on going. You are doing a great job! Mit freundlichen Grüßen/best regards, Martin Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#14 Joy & Laughter

Oct 13, 2016 38:03


Bruce Lee, was an extremely joyous person who loved to laugh. It’s an often overlooked part of his personality but he loved to joke and play around, and make other people laugh. He also thought of happiness as a synonym for well-being. Linda Lee Cadwell, Bruce’s wife, tells us about Bruce’s humor and how much she laughed during their years together. Bruce was also quite a prankster on set and with friends, and he loved a good pun. His playful character also created a fun-loving energy in his home. Brandon Lee, Bruce’s son and Shannon’s brother, seemed to have inherited his father’s jokester personality. Shannon shares how Brandon would pull pranks and how their family was filled with a sense of play, lightness, joy, and laughter. For Shannon, laughter is an integral part of who she is and she considers laughter the best medicine. Bruce Lee distinguished “being happy” with “happiness.” Being happy was just about passing moments while achieving happiness over a lifetime involved being productive towards ones goals, being kind to other people, being grateful for what you have, having a social conscience, surmounting obstacles, and making progress in your life. Happiness was action-oriented for Bruce. He also used humor while teaching martial arts and in his writing and acting projects. Laughter and joy were integral parts of Bruce Lee’s philosophy of living and well-being. Take action: Try to incorporate more laughter and joy “medicine" into your life. Seek light and playful moments that make you smile or creates laughter between people. If you have someone in your life who brings you joy and laughter, let them know you appreciate them. Once a week, try to give the next person you meet a big, warm smile. Bring some joy into the room and see how the energy changes for everyone. We’d love to hear about your experiences with taking action, please reach out via or via social media @BruceLee. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week’s #AAHA shout-out goes to Jeanette Lee aka “The Black Widow”, a world class billiards player. She was ranked as the #1 Women’s Billiards player in the 90’s and took home the gold for the US at the 2001 World Games. She has been featured on ESPN and in numerous other sports magazines. Not only is Jeanette a world champion pool player she is an author, public speaker, and philanthropist. She has served as the National Spokesperson for the Scoliosis Association for almost two decades. Keep on killin’ it Jeanette! #BruceLeeMoment Our #BruceLeeMoment this week comes from Ricky St Claire, and he writes: Hi ladies, I love the podcast! I’ve been craving something positive and uplifting to listen to and this has touched the spot. It goes without saying Bruce Lee has transcended everything he touched. He was so ahead of his time and paved the way for so many people in so many genres. My own Bruce Lee Moment was inspired by the narrative in the movie Dragon, where your father was warned not to teach the “gweilo” (the foreigners.) I was in an apparently failed relationship with another religious background that I was warned by everyone I shouldn’t get back with, as Bruce was warned not to teach. Long story short, I defied what I was told by everyone and got back with her and proposed to her. Ten years on and we are still strong and we have two amazing daughters. Watching Jason as Bruce come back from injury, defy the odds, and do everything he did in the movie, inspired me not to be afraid to fight for what I want. Keep inspiring! Regards, Ricky St Claire Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#13 Linda Lee Cadwell on Bruce Lee’s Family Life

Oct 6, 2016 54:48


In this week’s episode we have a special guest Linda Lee Cadwell, Bruce Lee’s wife and Shannon’s mom. Linda shares stories of her life with Bruce, how they first met and what it was like to be married to and in a partnership with him. She said that Bruce considered his greatest accomplishment was being a father. She describes what kind of father he was to Brandon and Shannon, and how his unusual schedule allowed him to spend more time with his kids than other fathers at the time. Every day was different for Bruce with teaching, traveling, training or filming. Linda shares some daily rituals that grounded Bruce—he drank tea with honey and ginseng every morning, and throughout the day to maintain his energy. We also discuss the unique path Bruce decided to take in his film career. After facing discrimination in Hollywood, he chose to go to Hong Kong to create his own production company and make the films he wanted to make. “You need to know yourself, you need to believe in yourself, you have to have faith in yourself.” This was a mantra that Bruce put into action in his career and in his life. Linda shares that Bruce used to say, “All knowledge is self-knowledge.” He was always in the process of learning about himself and becoming himself. Linda and Bruce were married in 1964, 3 years before the US Supreme Court legalized interracial marriage. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week we give a shout out to DJ Qbert, Filipino American turntablist and composer. Suggested to us by a write in from a podcast listener, we want to recognize the awesomeness that is DJ Qbert. He’s been in the DJ game for a long time and started his career with group FM20 with Mix Master Mike and DJ Apollo in 1990. He innovated DJ turntable and scratching products and launched Qbert Skratch University. Keep on innovating DJ Qbert! #BruceLeeMoment We have an email from Michael H.: Hi, I just wanted to drop you a line to say how much I appreciate your podcast. I always knew Bruce was an amazing action star and person, but I didn’t realize until now what a deep thinker he was. In particular, I thought it was really interesting that a guy as manly as Bruce was happy to try hairdressing, I wish more men were that comfortable in their masculinity. My Bruce Lee Moment involved a bully at work. The bully always made me feel small and angry. And I constantly felt like in order to compete at work I would have to get down at the bully’s level and become like them. But then I thought about Bruce saying “Be like water, my friend.” And I realized I could go further by flowing past the bully, and finding more innovative ways to succeed that didn’t put me in the bully’s path. I really really appreciate that now. Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#12 The Medicine For My Suffering

Sep 29, 2016 46:23


“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 I will never find the light unless, like a candle, I am my own fuel.” This quote is very close to Shannon’s heart. When her brother Brandon unexpectedly died in 1993 on the set of the Crow, Shannon was overwhelmed with intense pain and grief. It was on her journey to find healing from her grief that she started to delve into her father’s writings for the first time and she found this quote. Bruce’s words helped his daughter find space to heal and process Brandon’s death. Shannon is motivated to share her father’s writings and quotes because his words personally helped her get through the toughest time of her life. After discovering her father’s writings, Shannon experienced her own #BruceLeeMoment of self-awareness and the call to be on a path of self-actualization. She quit acting and decided to dedicate her life to spreading her father’s wisdom and legacy. We also talk about Kung-fu: the acquisition of skill through hard work. You can have kung-fu in anything, whatever you’ve developed mastery in. We often ask our team and visitors: what is your Kung-fu? Three layers of awareness: - Awareness of self - Awareness of in-between - Awareness of the world Take Action: Start with noticing where you are struggling in your life; it might be something big or small. Decide to move in a positive direction and seek the tools that are out there that will help you have constructive motion. We recommend journaling to help you take action with your struggle. If you would like to share your moment of taking action, we would love to hear from you! Share via social media @BruceLee or by email at #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week’s #AAHA shout out goes to Phil Yu, also known as Angry Asian Man, a Korean American blogger and content creator. He started off with just his blog, highlighting things out in the world that he had issue with or he felt needed more discussion. Now he has won numerous awards, has a podcast and youtube talkshow, and sits on the board of Visual Communications that produces the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival. Phil has given a voice to his own culture and his own identity, and we think that’s awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s #BruceLeeMoment comes to us via email from Justin Lewis: Hello Shannon and Sharon, My #BruceLeeMoment happened to me at 18. My parents were great at making their kids feel comfortable when we were growing up, but I knew for a while that there were some problems with my parents’ relationship. Finally they got divorced and it spun me off into this world I didn’t know and made me very uncomfortable with my surroundings. I was angry for a while and had no problem whatsoever letting my feelings be known. Being a young man, I was faced for the first time to try to cope with something outside my comfort zone. It was here that I rediscovered a documentary. Bruce Lee: A Warrior’s Journey. Now I’ve seen this doc before, but when Bruce was going against the Escrima master with the bamboo stick, something stuck with me. The whole speech about “the willingness to adapt to broken rhythm” spoke to me and from then on, I was able to start to adapt to my surroundings, and try to be more fluid with life. Now I’m moving on to the next #BruceLeeMoment in my life, as I pursue my career in writing for film and comic books. After listening to your podcast about Taking Action, I realize that it is now or never. I learned how it was to be reactive, but now let’s see what happens when I become active. Thanks, and keep up the good work two! Forever flowing, Justin “Lou” Lewis Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#11 Walk On

Sep 22, 2016 35:43


“Walk on.” There’s a story behind this famous quote. In 1969, Bruce severely injured his back during a routine training session because he didn’t warm up properly. He was told he could never practice martial arts again and may never walk normally. Devastated by this news, Bruce became a researcher of his injury, his body and ultimately created his own path to healing. The journey was long and there were many ups and downs. At one point he took one of his business cards and wrote “Walk on” on the back. He put this card where he could see it to remind him every day to move forward with his recovery. No matter what anyone else said, he would always “Walk on." It is from this year-long recovery period that produced much of Bruce Lee’s writing. Since he was confined to his bed, Bruce would read and write constantly to stay active. In one of his writings Bruce says: “Whether I like it or not, circumstances are thrust upon me, and being a fighter at heart, I sort of fight it in the beginning. But soon realize that what I need is not inner resistance and needless conflict, rather by joining forces to readjust, I need to make the best of it.” “Walk on and leave behind all the things that would dam up the inlet or clog the outlet of experience.” Later when writing to a friend about his back injury: “But with every adversity comes a blessing because a shock acts as a reminder to oneself that we must not get stale in routine.” It’s not the situation that’s the problem. It’s how you react to it. Bruce Lee used Buddhism’s Eight-fold path in relation to martial arts, but Shannon believes her father also used this path to design his recovery. “You must see clearly what is wrong. You must decide to be cured. Speak so as to aim at being cured. You must act. Your livelihood must not conflict with your therapy. The therapy must go forward at the staying speed. You must feel it and think about it incessantly. And learn how to contemplate with the deep mind.” “Walk On” is an action phrase. Here’s how you can take action with what we discussed this week: Think: Do you have a phrase that you use that helps you? Or what could be a phrase that you can create that can help you with whatever you are struggling with right now? Please share your phrases with us, we’d love to hear from you. Share via social media with the hashtag #BruceLeeMoment #AHAA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week's #AHAA shout-out goes to actress Constance Wu, currently on the TV show “Fresh Off the Boat. ”Recently, she ignited a Twitter-storm in response to the news of Matt Damon being cast in a movie called “The Great Wall” which is about China’s Great Wall. Constance starts off strong: “We have to stop perpetuating the racist myth that only a white man can save the world. It’s not based in actual fact. Our heroes don’t look like Matt Damon. They look like Malala. Ghandi. Mandela.” Bruce Lee was a huge advocate for casting people of color in leading roles and did not believe that America would only accept White lead characters. Thank you Constance for speaking truth and being awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week we have an email from a fan named Bryon Yu: Hi my name is Byron from San Diego, CA. I've been listing to your podcast for a few days now and it's been very inspirational. It's awesome that you focus on Bruce Lee's philosophies, because there truly is more to him than the martial arts he's known for. As a Chinese-American, I've always struggled with finding the balance between the culture I am born into and the culture I am born from. And hearing how one of the most famous Chinese-Americans thinks definitely helps me puts things into perspective. Perhaps it's not so important to find a defined middle path, but to simply walk the path you believe is good and right. Thank you Shannon, Sharon, and the podcast team for doing this! Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#10 Simplicity, Directness, Freedom

Sep 15, 2016 43:54


In this week’s episode we talk about the three core tenets of Jeet Kune Do: Simplicity, Directness, Freedom. Bruce Lee applied these tenets to martial arts, but also to everyday life. Shannon shares the story of the pivotal fight that led Bruce Lee to develop his own martial arts philosophy and way: Jeet Kune Do. In Bruce Lee’s words: “The art of Jeet Kune Do is simply to simplify. Jeet Kune Do avoids the superficial, penetrates the complex, goes to the heart of the problem and pinpoints the key factors. Jeet Kune Do does not beat around the bush. It does not take winding detours. It follows a straight line to the objective. Simplicity is the shortest distance between two points. Jeet Kune Do favors formlessness so that it can assume all forms and since Jeet Kune Do has no style, it can fit in with all styles. As a result, Jeet Kune Do utilizes all ways and is bound by none and, likewise, uses any techniques or means which serve its end.” Essentially: Taking what is useful and rejecting what is useless. You have to know the rules to rewrite the rules. The problem is never apart from the solution, the solution is within the problem, if you’re willing to confront and face the problem. “To realize freedom, the mind has to learn to look at life without the bondage of time. For freedom lies beyond the field of consciousness, don’t stop and interpret “Hey I’m free” then you’re living in a memory of something that has now gone.” If we, in our own lives, start to hack away at the unnecessary, take out everything we don’t need or that we thought we needed but don’t, that will give us the space to explore what it’s like to be free from ego, free from form, free to express our true selves. The mark of genius is to see and express what is simple, simply. True freedom relies on the balance of structure and formlessness. “Learning Jeet Kune Do is not a matter of seeking knowledge or accumulating stylized pattern, but is discovering the cause of ignorance.” “If you follow the classical pattern, you’re understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow, you are not understanding yourself.” What you can do to practice this philosophy: Look around your own life and ask how can I be more direct? How can I simplify? What can I let go of? What is cluttering up my life right now? Pick a space (physical space or they way we do something) and ask what is the most useful part of this? And strip away the useless. We’d love to hear about your experiences applying this philosophy to your life. Feel free to share with us via social media @BruceLee or at #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week’s #AAHA shout-out goes to Jake Shimabukuro, the talented ukulele musician and composer. He is constantly breaking expectations and exploring his instrument. He’s also a big Bruce Lee fan: “As I got older,” he says, “I realized that I could also learn from guitar players, drummers, violinists, pianists, singers and even dancers. And then I started to observe athletes. Athletes are artists too. I was heavily influenced by people like Bruce Lee and Michael Jordan – applying their philosophy and intense, mental focus to music performance.” #BruceLeeMoment Jake Shimabukuro is also this week’s #BruceLeeMoment! “With Bruce Lee, I was really into his philosophy and the way he approached martial arts. All this mixed martial arts that you see now, that was his concept decades before. I kind of wanted to take that mindset of a mixed martial artist and bring it to music. Like being an MMA musician in a way where you learn to appreciate all different styles of music. And then you take the thing that runs parallel to your taste and expresses who you are. That was, in a nutshell, what Bruce Lee was all about. Martial arts to him was a form of human expression.” Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#9 Harmony

Sep 8, 2016 53:24


“Under the sky, under the heavens, we are but one family.” This week we discuss harmony. Harmony was an important part of Bruce Lee’s philosophy and the way he lived his life. He was always seeking connection over opposition and never needed to compare himself with anyone else. He truly believed that we are one family—black, white, brown, yellow, red—we are all one. Bruce Lee believed in the harmony of totality versus partiality. You need to be aware of your surroundings and relate to your surroundings, and this helps you be in harmony with yourself and the world. It is hard to learn about yourself in complete isolation, you need to live in the world. We also discuss the idea of "Harmonious Individuality." This is one of Bruce Lee’s core principles. It’s a fusion of Eastern and Western ideas. You can be a very unique individual and yet still be connected to and in harmony with the world around you. Being an individual does not have to mean that you are separate from your community or your environment. Separation is a false concept. “The oneness of all life is a truth that can be fully realized only when false notions of a separate self are forever annihilated. “ What can we do to help us live in harmony with our surroundings, our community, and ourselves? Try this test: Letting others be. Practice living in harmony by not saying anything negative about anyone else or yourself for 48hrs. If you try the 48hr test and want to share your experiences with us, tell us about it via social media @BruceLee or email us at #AAHA: Awesome Asians and Hapas This week’s shout out goes to Jenova Chen, videogame designer and founder of videogame company That Game Company. He created the beautiful, meditative indie videogame “Journey.” Unlike most console-based games, the point of Journey is not to gain points, blow up enemies or strategize for victory. Rather, it’s an emotional exploration on birth, death, collaboration and transcendence—the journey of life. It was inspired by Jenova's wish to alleviate loneliness and make meaningful human connections. It’s so heartwarming to know that a creator like Jenova is out in the world making his art. We think you’re awesome! #BruceLeeMoment This week’s Bruce Lee Moment comes from legendary skateboarder Christian Hosoi. Christian says, “I wanted to be like Bruce Lee. I wanted to be a martial artist. I was going to be the best in the world. But I got introduced to skateboarding, and I was like, oh wow, this is something no one has done. I can actually be the Bruce Lee of this sport. I wanted to be the dominator. I wanted to smash people like Bruce Lee did. I wanted to be the best, and that was my goal at 10 years old.” Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#8 Change

Sep 1, 2016 34:13


“To change with change is the changeless state.” Change often brings fear, and many times we resist. But if you can flow and be adaptable, you can move through all of the things that life throws at you, with much ease you will remain in a place where you wont freak out and you will remain in a changeless state. “To understand your fear in change is the beginning of really seeing.” Life is constantly moving and changing and you have to follow that movement like the shadow following the body. Being tense and fearful of change brings despair and destruction of your joy. Being present in the moment for what the moment brings is more important than worrying about something that hasn’t happened. “Wisdom does not lie in trying to wrest the good from the evil but rather lies in learning to ride them as a cork adapts itself to the crest of a wave. Resisting change is resisting life. “The meaning of life is to be lived.” #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week’s shoutout goes to Judy Joo, a chef, writer and TV personality. Judy left a prominent banking job to follow her passion for cooking. She began in a test kitchen and worked her way up to become an iron chef in the UK and opened her own restaurant Jinjuu, in London and Honk Kong. Judy is on the Food Network with “Korean Food Made Simple” and also published a book by the same name. #BruceLeeMoment (Bruce Lee’s philosophy in action IRL) This week’s #BruceLeeMomment come from Isaiah Thomas professional NBA player for the Celtics. Thomas says: “I’ve been studying four great professional including Bruce Lee. I carry a quote from Bruce Lee with me, “be water my friend.” I think it is the best quote that he has, because it can adapt to anything. Bruce’s mentality was just so different from everybody else’s in life. You read his quotes and make so much sense when it comes to just trying to lock in what is at task. I think a lot of his game and mentality is how you carry yourself and how you think of yourself.” Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#7 Emotional Content

Aug 25, 2016 36:13


“What was that? An Exhibition? We need emotional content. Now try again!” What did Bruce Lee mean by “Emotional Content?” He was describing the feeling of being totally present in your body and connected to your own life force. A spiritual life force that is the energy of creation. This force helps you become a human being from moment to moment. When you are creating emotional content, you are creating in awareness, openness and receptivity to everything around you. You are in a state of relating to your surroundings. You are not in isolation—you are connected. “Don’t think, FEEL.” Don’t pull yourself out of a real moment by thinking and intellectualizing. Stay in the moment and be totally present for the total experience. Emotional content is also about the creation of art. Art is the communication of authentic feelings. We are all artists of our own lives. Bruce Lee believed that art is the work of enlightenment. And the origin of enlightenment comes from understating your own heart and living whole-heartedly. Action step for this week: release yourself to spontaneous action when you’re inspired by your own spiritual life force. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week’s shoutout goes to Olympic fencing champion Alexander Massialas. Alexander is part of the US men’s fencing team that won the bronze medal in Rio and he also won an individual silver medal in foil fencing. Alexander is a Hapa, born to a Greek father and Taiwanese mother. Thanks for representing the US with such excellence and athletic mastery. Alexander, you are awesome! #BruceLeeMoment (Bruce Lee’s philosophy in action IRL) This week’s #BruceLeeMoment comes from one of our listeners David Hunt: I wanted to share a Bruce Lee moment that I experienced that actually encouraged me to embed it into my university's graduation speech :) The Story At the time, I resided in Philadelphia and traveled back home to Charlotte, North Carolina for winter vacation. The day was nothing less than relaxing - I caught up with old friends, tried some new food, and walked through the mall all in solitude. A few hours into my excursions and my cell phone died. Uh oh - no calls and more importantly no uber to the family dinner that was fast approaching. The weather was unusually warm so I decided to walk the five miles and take a chance that I'd show up for dinner on time. Along my walk I came across a stream. In some areas the water was swirling around, others it was still, and yet other places the water was moving extremely rapidly over twigs or rocks. I thought to myself if I took an empty glass and collected some of that water, it is the same exact substance although separate. And if I poured it back in, it would merge seamlessly. In a cathartic moment of clarity, I began to question - why can't we do that, why can't us humans interact on such a collaborative level? Placing appropriate attention on our similarities while still acknowledging our differences. Water exists as vapor, liquid, and ice. Humans come in different races, ethnicities, align with different religions and so forth. Yet water always retains its...being of water flowing through vastly different environments adapting itself and always merging with its different forms in some capacity. That's when it hit me - I viewed water as love, this egoless aesthetic of oneness. And not oneness in the sense that we don't have uniqueness but oneness in the sense of how we can interact with each other peacefully. In that moment, it became my mission to be love. When love wakes up in the morning, I want it to say, "I want to be like David." Cheers. Wishing you all a wonderful day and thank you so much for all that you do. I listened to my first Bruce Lee podcast yesterday on Honesty and thought I'd share this moment with you since you all inspired me. With Palpable Vibes, David V. Hunt Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#6 Goals, Mistakes, Success

Aug 18, 2016 44:53


This week we talk about how Bruce Lee documented his goals, valued mistakes and created a personal definition of success. A dedicated journal writer, Lee consistently wrote down his big and small goals. He believed that all goals did not have to be achieved, they were a way to orient yourself towards a big dream with meaning. They were also an opportunity to make mistakes along the way, learn and adapt as necessary—being in flow, using no way as way. He wrote this big goal for himself when he was 28 years old: My Definite Chief Aim I, Bruce Lee, will be the first highest paid Oriental super star in the United States. In return I will give the most exciting performances and render the best of quality in the capacity of an actor. Starting 1970 I will achieve world fame and from then onward till the end of 1980 I will have in my possession $10,000,000. I will live the way I please and achieve inner harmony and happiness. Bruce Lee Jan. 1969 Bruce Lee also valued mistakes and defeat. To him, "defeat is nothing but education. Nothing but the first step to figuring out something better.” Mistakes were learning moments. He also said "success means doing something sincerely and whole-heartedly.” It was a way of being a human being, not a destination or outcome. The success is in the doing and doing it with your whole heart. Action step for this week: try to write your own Definite Chief Aim. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week’s shoutout goes to chef and owner of n/naka Niki Nakayama. Niki was born into a restaurant family and tried her hand at the family business with a normal popular sushi restaurant. But her artist’s heart longed for something more connected to her soul. She traveled throughout Japan for 3 years learning kaiseki style cuisine, a formal presentation of courses that accompany Buddhist tea ceremonies at monasteries. She then transformed this ancient cooking style into a modern interpretation that is uniquely her own. Her journey is beautifully documented in the Netflix series Chef’s Table and it’s worth a watch. #BruceLeeMoment (Bruce Lee’s philosophy in action IRL) This week’s #BruceLeeMoment comes from our team member Richard Grewar who runs the Bruce Lee Foundation Richard has struggled with depression for twenty years. On a particularly tough day when he felt like isolating, shutting down and giving up, this quote from Bruce Lee helped him zoom out and notice the world around him along with some frolicking dolphins: “Its like a finger pointing away to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.” Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#5 Originate and Innovate

Aug 11, 2016 37:24


How did Bruce Lee interpret the ideas of Originating and Innovating? This week we discuss Bruce’s unique take on these ideas. His definition of these words have nothing to do with the buzzwords of business. Originating is the process of self-actualizing and becoming your true self and innovating is what gets created in the world when you are connected to your authentic energy. "We tend to have more faith in what we imitate than what we originate. We feel we cannot derive a sense of absolute certitude from anything which has its root in us. The most poignant sense of insecurity comes from standing alone and we are not alone when we imitate.” Most of us are seeking validation by imitating the path or success of others even if it’s against our true nature. But our mission in life should be to originate by letting our true inner light shine through. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week’s shoutout goes to pioneering comedian, actress, singer and activist Margaret Cho. Margaret was the first Asian American lead actress on a network TV show (All-American Girl, 1994) and paved the road for a generation of Asian comedians and actresses. We want to acknowledge Margaret for being brave enough to be her unique self and resist cultural pressures to be a quiet, obedient, demure and powerless Asian woman. Thank you for shining your true inner light. #BruceLeeMoment (Bruce Lee’s philosophy in action IRL) This week’s #BruceLeeMoment comes from Ian Khouv of London, England who wrote in to share his story. Hi Shannon, Just got done listening to the first episode of your new podcast and can't wait for tomorrow's commute to hear the next one! I can hear the passion, enthusiasm, and fun that shines through. Your father Bruce and your brother Brandon have been lifelong inspirations to me. At first, it was mainly through the 'kick-ass Kung Fu' tapes that my own Dad let me watch but as I grew older, it was indeed the philosophy of Bruce that continues to inspire me to this day. As a Chinese boy growing up in London, England, Bruce showed me that an Asian man could be anything he wanted to be, including the real life superhero that Bruce was. This is a lesson that I will be passing on to my son (also called Brandon). My #bruceleemoment actually is several small moments scattered through time. I've always found that being a 'Bruce Lee fan' was a way to cut through differences between people and has always been a common thread that I can use to unite people. I've used 'being a Bruce Lee fan' to break up arguments; stop from being bullied when I was young; and to start conversations with people around the topic of being Chinese. Today this #bruceleemoment transpires in my life mainly from what Bruce said on the interview on Pierre Burton's show: "You know what I want to think of myself? As a human being. Because, I mean, and I don't wanna sound like 'as Confucius says' but under the sky, under the heaven, man, there is but one family. It just so happens, man, that people are different." I currently work for a secular human rights charity and no truer words have been spoken with regards to equality than what your father spoke. Bruce Lee still plays an active role influencing my day-to-day. I've recently enrolled in a Philosophy degree partly due to your father's writings. I feel like Bruce's philosophy is truly accessible to the common man and can be applied so readily to everyday life. Philosophy can be a daunting subject to dip your toes into when the writings of Hegel, Wittgenstein, and Nietszche loom but Bruce is able to encapsulate in an aphorism what many take chapters to illustrate. Apologies for the long email. The podcast just inspired me to reach out to you and to let you know the impact Bruce had on me and continues to do so. Keep up the good work! Kindest regards, Ian Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#4 Honestly Express Yourself

Aug 4, 2016 44:57


"Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate him.” This week’s show covers Bruce Lee’s thoughts on self actualization vs. "self-image" actualization. He did not look to imitate others, he was committed to going deeply within himself to find the truth about his own unique essence and how to express it honestly in the world. He was constantly working on understanding his true self through active observation, questioning, researching and journaling. "Research your own experience. Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless and add what is essentially your own.” Shannon talks about the pressures of being Bruce Lee’s daughter and how her dad’s philosophy ultimately guided her to discover her own true identity. She also shares a great story about how her dad challenged the producers and studio during the filming of Enter the Dragon to ensure his philosophies stayed in the script. #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week’s shoutout goes to pioneering martial artist, actress, writer and director Diana Lee Inosanto. Diana is also the daughter of Dan Inosanto, student and dear friend of Bruce Lee. Diana is also the writer, producer and director of the award winning movie "The Sensei." #BruceLeeMoment (Bruce Lee’s philosophy in action IRL) We hear a story from one of our team members Evelyn Wilroy about how the "Be water, my friend" episode of the podcast sparked a conversation with her mom about love, loss and the difficulty of expressing true emotions. Share your #AAHA and #BruceLeeMoment recommendations with us via social media@BruceLee or email us at

#3 Take Action!

Jul 28, 2016 54:50


In this episode we discuss one of Bruce Lee's most important philosophies—Take Action! Bruce Lee was known around the world as an action star but his philosophy about taking action goes much deeper. Philosophy was not just an intellectual exercise for Bruce, he believed in applying it in real life through continual action. It was also an emotional process that started in his heart, then energized his body to manifest ideas in the real world. It was a process of becoming more intensely himself. He encouraged his students to experience what it feels like to be fully alive and live the philosophy. “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” #AAHA (Awesome Asians and Hapas) This week’s shoutout goes to pioneering Asian actor and activist George Takei We all know him for his most famous role as Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise in the TV series Star Trek. But George is also an ardent activist working on behalf of LGBTQ+ rights. Thank you George for being a positive role model for us all. #BruceLeeMoment (Bruce Lee’s philosophy in action IRL) We hear a story from Sydnie Wilson, one of our team members about how she researched her own discomfort and took action to create a positive shift in her life. Share your #AAHA recommendations and #BruceLeeMoments with us via social media @BruceLee or email us at

#2 Be water, my friend.

Jul 21, 2016 49:16


We discuss Bruce Lee’s most famous philosophical quote. What does it mean and what inspired him to come up with it? Shannon shares personal stories about her dad and unpacks the quote to help us understand its depth and meaning. We give our first #AAHA (Awesome Asians Hapa) shoutout to Justin Lin and we hear a #BruceLeeMoment from one of our team members who used Bruce’s teachings to get through a harrowing personal challenge.

#1 One Inch Punch: The tiny startup with a giant global fan base

Jul 19, 2016 45:34


One Inch Punch: The tiny startup with a giant global fan base The Bruce Lee family company is a tiny family startup in a very unique situation. Millions of fans around the world but they didn’t control the rights to Bruce Lee’s name and likeness due to a bad deal that left a giant media conglomerate in charge. Learn how Shannon Lee tapped into her dad’s philosophy and wisdom to reclaim the rights and create a new company to serve her dad’s mission of personal freedom. We also introduce our other segments: #AAHA: Awesome Asians and Hapas. We give a shoutout to Asians and Hapa peeps doing awesome things in the world. #BruceLeeMoment: Moments of Bruce Lee’s philosophy taking action in the real world.

Intro from Shannon Lee

Jul 14, 2016 03:32


A brief introduction about the Bruce Lee Podcast from Shannon Lee, daughter of Bruce Lee and CEO of the Bruce Lee Family Company.