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Bruce Lee Quotes Be Like Water

For this blog post i gathered all the quotes i can find on Bruce Lee quotes be like water. I listed any Bruce Lee quote that suggest being adaptive or shapeless.

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.” – Bruce Lee


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

“When my acute self-consciousness grew to what the psychologists refer to as the “double-bind” type, my instructor would again approach me and say, “Loong, preserve yourself by following the natural bends of things and don’t interfere. Remember never to assert yourself against nature; never be in frontal opposition to any problems, but control it by swinging with it. Don’t practice this week: Go home and think about it.” – Bruce Lee


“After spending many hours meditating and practicing, I gave up and went sailing alone in a junk. On the sea I thought of all my past training and got mad at myself and punched the water! Right then — at that moment — a thought suddenly struck me; was not this water the very essence of gung fu? Hadn’t this water just now illustrated to me the principle of gung fu? I struck it but it did not suffer hurt. Again I struck it with all of my might — yet it was not wounded! I then tried to grasp a handful of it but this proved impossible. This water, the softest substance in the world, which could be contained in the smallest jar, only seemed weak. In reality, it could penetrate the hardest substance in the world. That was it! I wanted to be like the nature of water.

Suddenly a bird flew by and cast its reflection on the water. Right then I was absorbing myself with the lesson of the water, another mystic sense of hidden meaning revealed itself to me; should not the thoughts and emotions I had when in front of an opponent pass like the reflection of the birds flying over the water? This was exactly what Professor Yip meant by being detached — not being without emotion or feeling, but being one in whom feeling was not sticky or blocked. Therefore in order to control myself I must first accept myself by going with and not against my nature.” – Bruce Lee


The natural phenomenon which the gung fu man sees as being the closest resemblance to wu wei [the principle of spontaneous action governed by the mind and not the senses] is water:

Nothing is weaker than water,
But when it attacks something hard
Or resistant, then nothing withstands it,
And nothing will alter its way. – Lao Tzu

 

The above passages from the Tao Te Ching illustrate to us the nature of water: Water is so fine that it is impossible to grasp a handful of it; strike it, yet it does not suffer hurt; stab it, and it is not wounded; sever it, yet it is not divided. It has no shape of its own but molds itself to the receptacle that contains it. When heated to the state of steam it is invisible but has enough power to split the earth itself. When frozen it crystallizes into a mighty rock. First it is turbulent like Niagara Falls, and then calm like a still pond, fearful like a torrent, and refreshing like a spring on a hot summer’s day. So is the principle of wu wei:

The rivers and seas are lords of a hundred valleys. This is because their strength is in lowliness; they are kings of them all. So it is that the perfect master wishing to lead them, he follows. Thus, though he is above them, he follows. Thus, though he is above them, men do not feel him to be an injury. And since he will not strive, none strive with him.

Be Like Water: The Philosophy and Origin of Bruce Lee’s Famous Metaphor for Resilience

“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”
― Bruce Lee


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


“If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”
― Bruce Lee


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


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


“Not being tense but ready.
Not thinking but not dreaming.
Not being set but flexible.
Liberation from the uneasy sense of confinement.
It is being wholly and quietly alive, aware and alert, ready for whatever may come.”
― Bruce Lee


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


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


“Using no way as a way, having no limitation as limitation.”
― Bruce Lee


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


“The idea is that flowing water never goes stale, so just keep on flowing.”
― Bruce Lee


“If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Moving, be like water. Still, be like a mirror. Respond like an echo. ”
― Bruce Lee


“Obey the principles without being bound by them.”
― Bruce Lee


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


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


“Set patterns, incapable of adaptability, of pliability, only offer a better cage. Truth is outside of all patterns.”
― Bruce Lee


“If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow — you are not understanding yourself.”
― Bruce Lee,


“Bring the mind into sharp focus and make it alert so that it can immediately intuit truth, which is everywhere. The mind must be emancipated from old habits, prejudices, restrictive thought processes and even ordinary thought itself.”
― Bruce Lee


“In the middle of chaos lies opportunity–Bruce Lee”
― Bruce Lee


“Emotion can be the enemy, if you give into your emotion, you lose yourself. You must be at one with your emotions, because the body always follows the mind.”
― Bruce Lee

Resources:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/32579.Bruce_Lee
https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/56367
https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/b/bruce_lee.html
https://motivationgrid.com/11-powerful-bruce-lee-quotes-need-know/
http://www.bruceleequotes.org/
Bruce Lee Images & Quotes
Bruce Lee Jeet Kune Do: 5 Ways Of Attack

Bruce Lee Quotes Be Like Water

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