Bruce Lee on Self-Actualization and the Crucial Difference Between Pride and Self-Esteem - Brain Pickings
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Bruce Lee, the legendary martial artist whose brief existence on planet earth spawned a cult following due to a hidden aspect of his personality: A Zen Master in disguise. His insights on the nature of life made him stand out as a unique philosopher and an integrated individual.
Bruce Lee’s private letters, notes, poems and essays provide an inside view of his mind, and are available in the book Bruce Lee: Artist For Life. He wrote about self-awareness, self-esteem, and provides original insights on the oft-heard term: Resilience.
“The less promise and potency in the self, the more imperative is the need for pride. The core of pride is self-rejection.”
Bruce Lee explains that we need to be like water and shape-shift to be able to grow in an obstacle-filled world.
We also lack self-awareness and have to rely on others to tell us who we are. Our impulse towards conformity and rigidness is our greatest mistake.
"We have more faith in what we imitate than in what we originate. We cannot derive a sense of absolute certitude from anything that has its roots in us. The most poignant sense of insecurity comes from standing alone; we are not alone when we imitate. It is thus with most of us! We are what other people say we are. We know ourselves chiefly by hearsay."
According to Bruce Lee, our misguided grasping at our self-worth is a confusion due to us mistaking pride for self-esteem. Pride is feeling worthy for an external object, position, or accomplishment, but self-esteem is derived from our own achievements.
Pride forms due to self-rejection, and we can acquire self-worth by examining ourselves and attaining self-awareness.
“Action is a high road to self-confidence and self-esteem. Where it is open, all energies flow toward it. It comes readily to most people and its rewards are tangible.”
“The maintenance of self-esteem is a continuous task that taxes all of the individual’s power and inner resources. We have to prove our worth and justify our existence anew each day.”
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