The Journal of BRUCE LEE – 4 Principles That He Used to Strengthen his Mind & Spirit

“Do not pray for an easy life – pray for
the strength to endure a difficult one.” Words uttered by the one and only Bruce
Lee. It’s over 30 years since his death in 1973 but still he continues to inspire us with his outlook on life. He was far more than an actor and martial
artist. He had a reputation of being a great philosopher
as well. His training and his thoughts on development
and strength had a great impact on how he viewed life and what he thought was of utmost
importance to grow stronger and become happier. Now he always carried a notebook along with
him to write down all his thoughts whenever he felt like it and this very notebook reveals
4 very important principles Bruce Lee used to strengthen both his body and his mind. Let’s see. Number One. On Willpower and Emotions. Quoting here: “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.” We’re off to a powerful start here. The power of will determines not only who we are but more importantly who we want to become and how we perceive ourselves. What kind of person would you like to become? Whatever vision you have for yourself, your
personality, your future – the use of your willpower shall decide if you can ultimately
reach that goal. The body follows the mind and therefore that
mind must be very clear and aware. The words you speak, your actions – they are
results of your mind and your thoughts. It all starts with your mind. To exercise it he says, he will develop habits
according to his intentions. And in this way, train his mind. On emotions he writes: “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.” There is no pure and pristine human being. We all have emotions which makes us very happy
and serene and peaceful but also depending on the circumstances we experience anger and
hate and resent towards others. But what he says or at least implies in our
opinion is. Don’t judge yourself. You’re not perfect and you don’t have
to be. In Fact, you’re not meant to be. Negative emotions are a part of us. What he says is you should cultivate the positive emotions in your life but not ignore or discard the negative ones. Especially the negativity that sometimes inhabits
us can be a very powerful tool to develop our strength of mind. Hate in its purest form is only destructive. It disturbs your thoughts, takes away your
peace and ultimately steals your time. Now don’t judge hate! What can we do with it? We can learn about where it comes from in
our mind. We have a very rare opportunity here! We can learn about the things or people we
hate, understand why we feel this way and realize that hate doesn’t get us very far. Whatever the cause for our torment is right
now, we can keep it in mind for the next time it happens to us and not be disturbed as much. The least we can do is take all the energy
hate provides us with and transform it into physical training of our body. And that’s powerful, too! Number Two. On reason and imagination. On reason he writes: “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.” Following up on the topic of emotions – he
says emotions can be very dangerous if you let them lead you astray. Desirable ends he says. Again, you can and should use your emotions
to guide you to your goal. Reason is a very important tool for him. It sort of says “Are you sure, sir, this
is the right thing to do? Remember what you said you were going to do
and who you were going to be. Do you think this is beneficial?” Then on 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.” What he’s being talking about sounds very
serious so far and very exhausting doesn’t it? Paying close attention to your mind, training
it to form habits and so on. Sounds like hard work and discipline and it
is! But now imagination and a bit of creativity
comes into play. We can only guess but we think he’s pointing
out there is something to be learned from everything that happens. Be creative and learn to recognize even bad
things that happen to you can benefit you in your endeavor to grow stronger. If you can find meaning in everything that
happens, everything will be a stepping stone for you. But it depends on your view on things entirely! And your creativity to find meaning in things. Number Three. On the subconscious mind and one’s conscience. On the subconscious mind he writes: “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.” This sounds a bit vague at first. Power of will is very often something that
arises because we choose to awaken it, right? It is us using our mind actively to focus
on something particular. And that’s all fine so far but we can’t
focus on every single thing all the time. To actually change on a deeper level the habits we form need to be carried over to our subconscious mind. Once they manifest there we are getting closer
to transform into someone stronger. And by constantly repeating your purpose and
your goals to yourself you can achieve that. On the conscience he writes: “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.” This probably means you need to balance out
your conscience and your emotions. Both are necessary to find your way through
life and make the correct choices. Emotions are often over-enthusiastic in their
nature so it’s important to pay attention to them but be mindful enough to not judge
too quickly. Listen to your conscience as well before you
act but in the end – act! But in the end – ACT! Number Four. Finally, on understanding life. He writes: “You will never get more from
life than you expect. Concentrate your thoughts on what you want
and what you don’t want. Calmly observe what is happening inside yourself. No one can hurt you unless you allow them
to. Inside yourself, at the psychological level,
be no one.” Now to wrap it all up. You will never get more from life than you
expect. You set the bar yourself. Define a goal and be crystal clear about where you want to get and how strong you want to become. Use your mind as described and observe it
closely. See if you can work with your mind to ultimately
become stronger and develop yourself. Everything you perceive is your mind and that means if you are strong enough, no one can hurt you. Dare to change your life.

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