Though the world lost him far too soon, Bruce Lee was and still is the most influential martial artist of all time. He introduced the western world to many martial arts they’d never before seen, and he paved the way for Asian film stars after him for how they were perceived on film. Allow these amazing Bruce Lee quotes to help you achieve personal growth in your own life.
Bruce Lee, born as Lee Jun Fan on November 27, 1940 in San Francisco, California in the hour and the year of the Dragon, is a well-known actor and martial artist.
Although he was an actor from the age of three months onward, his initially gained popularity for his role in The Green Hornet, a show that aired from 1966-67.
After a major back injury and upset at the lack of decent acting roles coming his way, Lee moved back to Hong Kong in the summer of ’71. In Hong Kong, Lee signed a contract for two films – Fists of Fury and The Chinese Connection.
Both of these films received bad reviews from US critics but broke major box office records in Hong Kong. By 1972, Bruce Lee was a huge celebrity in Asia despite not being very popular in the states. He began a Hollywood project, Enter the Dragon, but died a month before its release at the age of 32.
When Enter the Dragon was released posthumously, Lee became officially recognized as a film icon. Enter the Dragon earned more than $200 million, but Bruce Lee’s legacy didn’t end there.
Despite Lee’s early and mysterious death, his legacy as a martial artist and an actor lives on with the likes of Jackie Chan and Chuck Norris.
Even today Bruce Lee lives on and is revered as an actor and a premier martial artist, because he didn’t let Hollywood being unready for a major Asian actor stop him from achieving his dreams.
In his honor, below is our collection of inspirational, wise, and powerful Bruce Lee quotes and Bruce Lee sayings, collected from a variety of sources over the years.
Also check out these ferocious Genghis Khan quotes to bring out the warrior in you.
Bruce Lee Quotes About Training The Warrior Within
1. “If you truly love life, don’t waste time because time is what life is made of.” – Bruce Lee
2. “Don’t fear failure. — Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.” – Bruce Lee
3. “The great mistake is to anticipate the outcome of the engagement; you ought not to be thinking of whether it ends in victory or defeat. Let nature take its course, and your tools will strike at the right moment.”- Bruce Lee
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of engagement quotes about the power of commitment and love.
Motivating Bruce Lee Quotes About Training
4. “Defeat is a state of mind; no one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.” – Bruce Lee
5. “It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.” – Bruce Lee
6. “Do not allow negative thoughts to enter your mind for they are the weeds that strangle confidence.” – Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee Quotes About Life and Expectations
7. “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” – Bruce Lee
8. “The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” – Bruce Lee
9. “In order to control myself I must first accept myself by going with and not against my nature.” – Bruce Lee
10. “Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” – Bruce Lee
11. “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one” – Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee Quotes About Flowing Like Water
12. “In the middle of chaos lies opportunity” – Bruce Lee
13. “I wish neither to possess nor to be possessed. I no longer covet ‘paradise’. More important, I no longer fear ‘hell’.” – Bruce Lee
14. “Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” – Bruce Lee
15. “Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man. But sooner or later the man who wins is the man who thinks he can.” – Bruce Lee
More Bruce Lee quotes about life and pain
16. “The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, but I did not observe it, until this moment.
Now I see that I will never find the light unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, consuming myself.”
– Bruce Lee
17. “…good technique includes quick changes, great variety, and speed. It may be a system of reversals much like a concept of God and the Devil.
In the speed of events, which one is really in charge?…to put the heart of martial arts in your own heart and have it be a part of you means total comprehension and the use of a freestyle. When you have that you will know that there are no limits.” – Bruce Lee
18. “For it is easy to criticize and break down the spirit of others, but to know yourself takes a lifetime.” – Bruce Lee
19. “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” – Bruce Lee
20. “Remember no man is really defeated unless he is discouraged.” – Bruce Lee
21. “As you think, so shall you become”. – Bruce Lee
22. “Mistakes are always forgivable if one has the courage to admit them.” – Bruce Lee
23. “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” – Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee Quotes About Reality and Life
24. “Real living is living for others.” – Bruce Lee
25. A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough.” – Bruce Lee
26. “There is “what is” only when there is no comparing and to live with “what is” is to be peaceful.” – Bruce Lee
27. “Be happy, but never satisfied.” – Bruce Lee
28. “To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities”. – Bruce Lee
29. “I’m moving and not moving at all. I’m like the moon underneath the waves that ever go on rolling and rocking. It is not, “I am doing this,” but rather, an inner realization that “this is happening through me,” or “it is doing this for me.” The consciousness of self is the greatest hindrance to the proper execution of all physical action.” – Bruce Lee
30. “…we have more faith in what we imitate than in what we originate. We cannot derive a sense of absolute certitude from anything which has its roots in us.
The most poignant sense of insecurity comes from standing alone and we are not alone when we imitate. It is thus with most of us; we are what other people say we are. We know ourselves chiefly by hearsay.” – Bruce Lee
31. “To me, the extraordinary aspect of martial arts lies in its simplicity. The easy way is also the right way, and martial arts is nothing at all special; the closer to the true way of martial arts, the less wastage of expression there is.” – Bruce Lee
32. “Showing off is the fool’s idea of glory.” – Bruce Lee
33. “Everything you do, if not in a relaxed state will be done at a lesser level than you are proficient. Thus the tensed expert marksman will aim at a level less than his/her student.” – Bruce Lee
34. “Self-knowledge involves relationship. To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person. Relationship is a process of self-evaluation and self-revelation. Relationship is the mirror in which you discover yourself – to be is to be related.” – Bruce Lee
35. “Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. – Bruce Lee
Inspirational Bruce Lee quotes
36. “To spend time is to pass it in a specified manner. To waste time is to expend it thoughtlessly or carelessly. We all have time to either spend or waste and it is our decision what to do with it. But once passed, it is gone forever.” – Bruce Lee
37. “Time means a lot to me because you see I am also a learner and am often lost in the joy of forever developing.” – Bruce Lee
38. “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”– Bruce Lee
39. “Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one’s potential.” – Bruce Lee
40. “Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water.” – Bruce Lee
41. “A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.” – Bruce Lee
42. “Those who are unaware they are walking in darkness will never seek the light.” – Bruce Lee
43. “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” – Bruce Lee
44. “If you don’t want to slip up tomorrow, speak the truth today.” – Bruce Lee
45. “The more we value things, the less we value ourselves” – Bruce Lee
46. “A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.” – Bruce Lee
47. “The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.” – Bruce Lee
48. “Only the self-sufficient stand alone – most people follow the crowd and imitate.” – Bruce Lee
49. “Take things as they are. Punch when you have to punch. Kick when you have to kick.” – Bruce Lee
50. “Empty your cup so that it may be filled; become devoid to gain totality.”– Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee quotes for personal growth
51. “Take no thought of who is right or wrong, or who is better than. Be not for or against.”– Bruce Lee
52. “Reality is apparent when one ceases to compare. There is “what is” only when there is no comparison at all, and to live with what is, is to be peaceful.”– Bruce Lee
53. “All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability. The truth is outside of all fixed patterns.”– Bruce Lee
54. “You just wait. I’m going to be the biggest Chinese Star in the world.”– Bruce Lee
55. “Choose the positive. You have choice, you are master of your attitude, choose the positive, the constructive. Optimism is a faith that leads to success”– Bruce Lee
56. “If you want to learn to swim jump into the water. On dry land no frame of mind is ever going to help you”– Bruce Lee
57. “Life is wide, limitless. There is no border, no frontier.”– Bruce Lee
58. “Life itself is your teacher, and you are in a state of constant learning.”– Bruce Lee
59. “Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is unique your own.”– Bruce Lee
60. “Fear comes from uncertainty; we can eliminate the fear within us when we know ourselves better.”– Bruce Lee
Powerful Bruce Lee quotes everyone needs to know
61. “Life is never stagnation. It is constant movement, un-rhythmic movement, as we as constant change. Things live by moving and gain strength as they go.”– Bruce Lee
62. “What you habitually think largely determines what you will ultimately become.”– Bruce Lee
63. “A fight is not won by one punch or kick. Either learn to endure or hire a bodyguard.”– Bruce Lee
64. “I am not teaching you anything. I just help you to explore yourself.”– Bruce Lee
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of explore quotes about the power of travel and adventure.
65. “Simplicity is the key to brilliance.”– Bruce Lee
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of simplicity quotes to encourage a positive mindset.
66. “If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”– Bruce Lee
67. “The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”– Bruce Lee
68. “Preparation for tomorrow is hard work today.” – Bruce Lee
69. “You will never get any more out of life than you expect.”– Bruce Lee
70. “The world is full of people who are determined to be somebody or to give trouble. They want to get ahead, to stand out. Such ambition has no use for a gung fu man, who rejects all forms of self-assertiveness and competition” – Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee quotes that will broaden your thoughts
71. “It is not a shame to be knocked down by other people. The important thing is to ask when you’re being knocked down, ‘Why am I being knocked down?’ If a person can reflect in this way, then there is hope for this person.”– Bruce Lee
72. “The best techniques are the simple ones executed right.”– Bruce Lee
73. “Its like a finger pointing away to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.”– Bruce Lee
74. “The more we understand, the greater and deeper will be our contact with all that is around us.”– Bruce Lee
75. “But neither can you condemn nor justify and yet be extraordinarily alive as you walk on. You can never invite the wind but you must leave the window open.”– Bruce Lee
76. “Long-term consistency trumps short-term intensity.” – Bruce Lee
77. “Because one does not want to be disturbed, to be made uncertain, he establishes a pattern of conduct, of thought, a pattern of relationship to man etc. Then he becomes a slave to the pattern and takes the pattern to be the real thing.”– Bruce Lee
78. “In order to taste my cup of water you must first empty your cup. My friend, drop all of your preconceived fixed ideas and be neutral. Do you know why this cup is so useful? Because it is empty.”– Bruce Lee
79. “The spirit of the individual is determined by his dominating thought habits.”– Bruce Lee
80. “The possession of anything begins in the mind.”– Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee quotes to elevate your mind
81. “One should be in harmony with, not in opposition to, the strength and force of the opposition. This means that one should do nothing that is not natural or spontaneous; the important thing is not to strain in any way.”– Bruce Lee
82. At this moment stop inwardly – when you do stop inwardly, psychologically, your mind becomes very peaceful, very clear. Then you can really look at “this.”– Bruce Lee
83. “Learning is never cumulative, it is a movement of knowing which has no beginning and no end.”– Bruce Lee
84. “There is no weapon more deadly than the will.”– Bruce Lee
85. “Do not deny the classical approach, simply as a reaction, or you will have created another pattern and trapped yourself there.”– Bruce Lee
86. “I don’t know what is the meaning of death, but I am not afraid to die – and I go on, non-stop, going forward.”– Bruce Lee
87. “Be self aware, rather than a repetitious robot.”– Bruce Lee
88. “It is not how much you have learned, but how much you have absorbed in what you have learned.”– Bruce Lee
89. “Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.”– Bruce Lee
90. “If anyone still believes in racial differences, I think he is too backward and narrow. Perhaps he still does not understand man’s equality and love.”– Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee quotes about knowledge and character
91. “Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.” – Bruce Lee
92. “If you want to be immortal live a life worth remembering.”― Bruce Lee
93. “It’s not what you give, it’s the way you give it.” – Bruce Lee
94. “The most dangerous person is the one who listens, thinks and observes.”― Bruce Lee
95. “The idea is that flowing water never goes stale, so just keep on flowing.”
― Bruce Lee
96. “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing you will never get it done.”― Bruce Lee
97. “If you think a thing is impossible, you’ll only make it impossible.”― Bruce Lee
98. “Masters in all branches of art must first be masters in living, for the soul creates everything.”― Bruce Lee
99. “If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow — you are not understanding yourself.”― Bruce Lee
100. “The enemy of development is this pain phobia – the unwillingness to do a tiny bit of suffering.”― Bruce Lee
Other inspirational Bruce Lee quotes
101. “Dedication, absolute dedication, is what keeps one ahead!” –
102. “I’ve come to understand that life is best lived, not conceptualized.” –
103. “Since life is an ever-evolving process, one should flow in this process and discover how to actualize and expand oneself.” – Bruce Lee
104. “Take inventory of everyone with whom you have contact.” – Bruce Lee
105. “Forget about winning and losing, forget about pride and pain.” – Bruce Lee
106. “Let nature take its course and your tools will strike at the right moment.” – Bruce Lee
107. “One must be truthful and honest in his approach; a constant independent inquiry and not blindly following a certain blueprint laid down by others.” – Bruce Lee
108. “Get maximum effect from minimum effort.” – Bruce Lee
109. “Do not be tense, just be ready, not thinking but not dreaming, not being set but being flexible.” – Bruce Lee
110. “To be what I term a ‘quality’ human being one has to be transparently real and have the courage to be what he is.” – Bruce Lee
Which Bruce Lee quotes are your favorite?
Although Bruce Lee lived a relatively short life, he left a big impact. He will always be remembered for popularizing kung fu around the world, and for the life-changing wisdom he shared.
We hope that these Bruce Lee quotes will inspire you to always stay positive and keep pushing yourself. Be true to yourself and always believe that you can do more than you thought you could.
Did you enjoy these Bruce Lee quotes? Which of the quotes was your favorite? Share your voice in the comment section below!
October 30, 2020 6:00 AM EST