101 Bruce Lee Quotes to Motivate You at Any Time in Your Life

Bruce Lee is known worldwide for accomplishing many feats throughout his life. He was a talented actor, a strong personality, an entrepreneur, a film director, and the greatest martial artist of all time.

But he was also frequently recognized for his wisdom and philosophies. His knowledge and experience in life make quotes by Bruce Lee some of those striking and unique you’ll ever hear.

Whether these thoughts and ideas were shared in movies, interviews, martial arts training sessions, or other points of his life, Bruce Lee quotes have the ability to make an impact on anyone who hears them.

Best Bruce Lee Quotes of All Time

1. “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 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.”

2. “It’s like a finger pointing away to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.”

3. “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.”

4. “As you think, so shall you become.”

5. “You just wait. I’m going to be the biggest Chinese Star in the world.”

6. “Never waste energy on worries or negative thoughts, all problems are brought into existence– drop them.”

7. “Do not deny the classical approach, simply as a reaction, or you will have created another pattern and trapped yourself there.”

8. “Empty your cup so that it may be filled; become devoid to gain totality.”

9. “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”

10. “Art calls for complete mastery of techniques, developed by reflection within the soul.”

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

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12. “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done. Make at least one definite move daily toward your goal.”

13. “What you habitually think largely determines what you will ultimately become.”

14. “Don’t fear failure. Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts, it is glorious even to fail.”

15. “Boards don’t hit back.”

16. “A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough.”

17. “To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”

18. “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”

19. “If you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.”

20. “The doubters said, ‘Man can not fly,’ The doers said, ‘Maybe, but we’ll try,’ And finally soared In the morning glow While non-believers Watched from below.”

21. “Absorb what is useful. Discard what is not. Add what is uniquely your own.”

22. “A fight is not won by one punch or kick. Either learn to endure or hire a bodyguard.”

23. “If you want to learn to swim, jump into the water. On dry land, no frame of mind is ever going to help you.”

24. “The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”

25. “Showing off is the fool's idea of glory.”

26. “The moment is freedom. I couldn’t live by a rigid schedule. I try to live freely from moment to moment, letting things happen and adjusting to them.”

27. “Defeat is a state of mind; No one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.”

28. “Defeat is not defeat unless accepted as a reality in your own mind.”

29. “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 kung fu man, who rejects all forms of self-assertiveness and competition.”

30. “Know the difference between a catastrophe and an inconvenience. To realize that it’s just an inconvenience, that it is not a catastrophe, but just an unpleasantness, is part of coming into your own, part of waking up.”

31. “All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability. The truth is outside of all fixed patterns.”

32. “Showing off is the fool’s idea of glory.”

33. “Fear comes from uncertainty; we can eliminate the fear within us when we know ourselves better. As the great Sun Tzu said: “When you know yourself and your opponent, you will win every time. When you know yourself but not your opponent, you will win one and lose one. However, when you do not know yourself or your opponent, you will be imperiled every time.”

34. “If there is a God, he is within. You don’t ask God to give you things, you depend on God for your inner theme.”

35. “After all, all knowledge simply means self-knowledge.”

36. “For it is easy to criticize and break down the spirit of others, but to know yourself takes a lifetime.”

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37. “I am learning to understand rather than immediately judge or to be judged. I cannot blindly follow the crowd and accept their approach. I will not allow myself to indulge in the usual manipulating game of role creation. Fortunately for me, my self-knowledge has transcended that and I have come to understand that life is best to be lived and not to be conceptualized. I am happy because I am growing daily and I am honestly not knowing where the limit lies. To be certain, every day there can be a revelation or a new discovery. I treasure the memory of the past misfortunes. It has added more to my bank of fortitude.”

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

39. “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”

40. “Take no thought of who is right or wrong, or who is better than. Be not for or against.”

41. “Simplicity is the key to brilliance.”

42. “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, and unquenchable.”

43. “The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.”

44. “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.”

45. “The word ‘superstar’ is an illusion.”

46. “The stillness in stillness is not the real stillness; only when there is stillness in movement does the universal rhythm manifest.”

47. “Those who are unaware they are walking in darkness will never seek the light.”

48. “Mistakes are always forgivable if one has the courage to admit them.”

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

50. “In order to taste my cup of water, you must first empty your cup.”

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

52. “A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.”

53. “In the middle of chaos lies opportunity.”

54. “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”

55. “Do not be tense, just be ready, not thinking but not dreaming, not being set but being flexible. It is being “wholly” and quietly alive, aware and alert, ready for whatever may come.”

56. “Life is better lived than conceptualized. This writing can be less demanding should I allow myself to indulge in the usual manipulating game of role creation. Fortunately for me, my self-knowledge has transcended that and I’ve come to understand that life is best to be lived — not to be conceptualized. If you have to think, you still do not understand.”

57. “The possession of anything begins in the mind.”

58. “It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”

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

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60. “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.”

61. “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.”

62. “To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person.”

63. “Using no way as a way, having no limitation as limitation.”

64. “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.”

65. “Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.”

66. “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.”

67. “Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”

68. “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”

69. “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.”

70. “To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”

71. “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.”

72. “Real living is living for others.”

73. “A good teacher protects his pupils from his own influence.”

74. “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.”

75. “Life is wide, limitless. There is no border, no frontier.”

76. “The meaning of life is that it is to be lived, and it is not to be traded and conceptualized and squeezed into a pattern of systems.”

77. “Life is never stagnation. It is constant movement, un-rhythmic movement, as we have constant change. Things live by moving and gain strength as they go.”

78. “The knowledge and skills you have achieved are meant to be forgotten so you can float comfortably in emptiness, without obstruction.”

79. “If you think a thing is impossible, you’ll only make it impossible.”

80. “I am not teaching you anything. I just help you to explore yourself.”

81. “Choose the positive. You have a choice. You are master of your attitude, choose the positive, the constructive. Optimism is a faith that leads to success.”

82. “Forget about winning and losing; forget about pride and pain. Let your opponent graze your skin and you smash into his flesh; let him smash into your flesh and you fracture his bones; let him fracture your bones and you take his life! Do not be concerned with escaping safely – lay your life before him!!”

83. “I wish neither to possess nor to be possessed. I no longer covet ‘paradise’. More important, I no longer fear ‘hell’. 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.”

84. “The spirit of the individual is determined by his dominating thought habits.”

85. “Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.”

86. ”It’s not what you give, it’s the way you give it.”

87. “If you don’t want to slip up tomorrow, speak the truth today.”

88. “When one has reached maturity in the art, one will have a formless form. It is like ice dissolving in water. When one has no form, one can be all forms; when one has no style, he can fit in with any style.”

89. “The more we value things, the less we value ourselves.”

90. “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.”

91. “Many people dedicate their lives to actualizing a concept of what they should be like, rather than actualizing themselves. This difference between self-actualization and self-image actualization is very important. Most people live only for their image.”

92. “A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”

93. “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.”

94. “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.”

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95. ”Obey the principles without being bound by them.”

96. “The athlete who is building muscles through weight training should be very sure to work adequately on speed and flexibility at the same time. In combat, without the prior attributes, a strong man will be like the bull with its colossal strength futilely pursuing the matador or like a low-geared truck chasing a rabbit.”

97. “A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.”

98. “Life itself is your teacher, and you are in a state of constant learning.”

99. “Be happy, but never satisfied.”

100. “If you love life, don't waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”

101. “Do not allow negative thoughts to enter your mind for they are the weeds that strangle confidence.”

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The art of Jeet Kune Do created by Bruce Lee integrates all facets of combat. Various styles are borrowed from boxing, fencing, and other types of fighting. But one of the things that makes it truly unique is Jeet Kune Do footwork. If you...

The 5 Most Effective Types of Takedown Defense

If you want to achieve success as a martial artist, you need to improve your takedown defense as a way to avoid being brought to the ground during a fight. When mixed martial arts (MMA) first started, skilled grapplers won many of the first...

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There’s a saying in the martial world that says, “Either you move your head or he’s gonna move it for you.” Effective head movement is used to avoid oncoming attacks and also to set up strong counter moves. It can...

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It is widely accepted by fighters and other people around the world that Bruce Lee was the most influential martial artist of all time. From his famous action movies to his unique martial art of Jeet Kune Do, the legend of Bruce Lee has held...

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