555 Days Towards Level 9000: Day 48.
Time Awake: 10:27 a.m.
I have spoken before about limiting the amount of input that goes into my brain. I carefully choose the media I encounter, the books I read and the music I hear. Today, I share some words by Bruce Lee, whom I refer to as “sifu.” Sifu is a Cantonese word that means a skillful person or master.
In many ways, Bruce Lee was a master of Life, understanding how to best go with the Flow and Live to the fullest. I have a few books containing his words, which I peruse from time to time. One such book is called “Striking Thoughts,” which literally contains his thoughts on various topics.
I am reading from a book that collects letters he wrote to various people throughout his Life. The letter I read from was composed when Lee was 21 years old.
“This letter is hard to understand. It contains my dreams and my ways of thinking, as a whole, you can call it my way of life. It will be rather confusing as it is difficult to write down exactly how I feel. Yet I want to write and let you know about it. I’ll do my best to write it clearly and I hope that you, too, will keep an open mind in this letter, and don’t arrive at any conclusions till you are finished.
There are two ways of making a good living, one is the result of hard working, and the other, the result of the imagination (requires work, too, of course). It is a fact that labour and thrift produce a competence, but fortune, in the sense of wealth, is the reward of the man who can think of something that hasn’t been thought of before. In every industry, in every profession, ideas are what America is looking for. Ideas have made America what she is, and one good idea will make a man what he wants to be.
…My aim, therefore, is to establish a first Gung Fu Institute that will later spread out all over the U.S. (I have set up a time limit of 10 to 15 years to complete the whole project). My reason in doing this is not the sole objective of making money. The motives are many and among them are: I like to let the world know about the greatness of this Chinese art; I enjoy teaching and helping people; I like to have a well-to-do home for my family; I like to originate something; and the last but yet one of the important is because gung fu is part of myself.
I know my idea is right, and therefore the results would be satisfactory. I don’t really worry about the reward, but to set in motion the machinery to achieve it. My contribution will be the measure of my reward and success.
…When a man comes to a conscious vital realisation of those great spiritual forces within himself and begins to use those forces in science, in business and in life, his progress in the future will be unparalleled.
I feel I have this great creative and spiritual force within me that is greater than faith, greater than ambition, greater than confidence, greater than determination, greater than vision. It is all these combined. My brain becomes magnetized with this domination force which I hold in my hand.
When you drop a pebble into a pool of water, the pebble starts a series of ripples that expand until they encompass the whole pool. This is exactly what will happen when I give my ideas a definite plan of action. Right now, I can project my thoughts into the future, I can see ahead of me. I dream (remember that practical dreamers never quit). I may now own nothing but a little place down in basement, but once my imagination has got up to a full head of steam, I can see painted on a canvas of my mind a picture of a fine, big five or six story Gung Fu Institute with branches all over the States. I am not easily discouraged, readily visualize myself as overcoming obstacles, winning out over setbacks, achieving “impossible” objectives.
Whether it is the God-head or not, I feel this great force, this unstopped power, this dynamic something within me. This feeling defies description, and no experience with which this feeling may be compared. It is something like a strong emotion mixed with faith, but a lot stronger.
All in all, the goal of my planning and doing is to find the true meaning in life — peace of mind. I know that the sum of all the possessions I mentioned does not necessarily add up to peace of mind; however, it can be if I devote [my energy] to real accomplishment of self…
Probably, people will say I’m too conscious of success. Well, I am not. You see, my will to do springs from the knowledge that I CAN DO. I’m only being natural, for there is no fear or doubt inside my mind.
[S]uccess comes to those who become success-conscious. If you don’t aim at an object, how the heck on earth do you think you can get it?”
While Sifu Lee’s words pertained to his own Life, there is so much that can be applied from this letter alone to our own personal Lives. Do we know what we want from Life? We do. It’s a matter of believing in ourselves fully and making the effort to achieve whatever it is we are setting our sights on.
It’s all possible. As long as we DO.