In his film career, Bruce Lee threw henchman through walls, took down 7’2″ NBA player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and executed a hairy-chested Chuck Norris. The actual martial arts behind these scenes were, however, carefully crafted and almost super-human.
And not only was Lee one of the greatest martial artists ever, he was also a thoughtful man who developed a unique philosophy intertwined with a mixed fighting style known as Jeet Kune Do. Its main tenants are valuable for anyone determining where to take their personal and professional lives.
When asked what the most important aspect of Lee’s philosophy, Shannon responded by saying that it was his theory of self-actualization.
In the collection of his writings “Striking Thoughts: Bruce Lee’s Wisdom for Daily Living,” Lee explains that there is a difference between the fulfillment of one’s desires and the fulfillment of how one desires to appear to the world:
Most people only live for their image, that is why some have a void, because they are so busy projecting themselves as this or that, dedicating their lives to actualize a concept of what they should be like rather than to actualize their ever-growing potentiality as a human being. Wasting, dissipating all their energy in projection and conjuring up of facade, rather than centering their energy on expanding and broadening their potential or expressing and relaying this unified energy for efficient communication, etc.
The path to self-actualization requires accepting your nature and living for yourself rather than how others want you to live.
It’s a concept related to Shannon’s favourite quote from her father: “The medicine for my suffering I had within me all along.”
If you feel stuck or trapped in your professional or personal life, take a moment to focus on who your ideal self is, not influenced by anyone else’s opinion. And then decide how to start becoming that person.