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Be Like Water: The Philosophy and Origin of Bruce Lee’s Famous Metaphor for Resilience

Be Water

Be Water

Nothing is weaker than water, and in that weakness, there is immense strength. Water is fine and impossible to grasp. It does not suffer any hurt, and cannot be stabbed, or cut. It has no shape of its own but molds according to where it is placed. It can be hard as a rock and also invisible as vapor.

Being like water, humble, adaptive, resilient and ever-changing, we become masters of our surroundings.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Be Like Water: The Philosophy and Origin of Bruce Lee’s Famous Metaphor for Resilience

Be Like Water: The Philosophy and Origin of Bruce Lee’s Famous Metaphor for Resilience

https://www.brainpickings.org/2013/05/29/like-water-bruce-lee-artist-of-life/

brainpickings.org

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Key Ideas

Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee was famous for being a martial artist and a movie star, but in reality, he was a Zen master. His philosophies are timeless, and his spiritual insights make him a rare cultural icon whose appeal is increasing in each generation.

Artist Of Life

Bruce Lee rivaled many great thinkers and philosophers with his new-age insights on life and his convictions on martial arts, family and love.

A collection of his notes, private letters, and poems are now published in the book **Bruce Lee: Artist Of Life.

Be Water

Nothing is weaker than water, and in that weakness, there is immense strength. Water is fine and impossible to grasp. It does not suffer any hurt, and cannot be stabbed, or cut. It has no shape of its own but molds according to where it is placed. It can be hard as a rock and also invisible as vapor.

Being like water, humble, adaptive, resilient and ever-changing, we become masters of our surroundings.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The Bees and the symphony of life

The Bees and the symphony of life

Against every choice of destruction, there is always the choice of creation.

This is the message of Poet Audre Lorde, as she draws on bees to describe the alternative to destruction. He...

“Construction and destruction alike satisfy the will to power, but construction is more difficult as a rule, and therefore gives more satisfaction to the person who can achieve it."

“Construction and destruction alike satisfy the will to power, but construction is more difficult as a rule, and therefore gives more satisfaction to the person who can achieve it."

There’s more to Bruce Lee than martial arts

He was also a philosophy badass.

From a very young age, Bruce Lee was obsessed with learning how to make the most out of his life - by the age of 30, he possessed thousands of tit...

Self-discovery

Martial arts was not merely a competitive sport for Bruce Lee, but in essence a means of self-discovery and self-expression.

By learning to fight, he was able to better understand who he was — he could force himself out of his comfort zone, test his limits, and confront his fears. 

Be like water

Bruce Lee saw life as being in constant change.

Unless we learn to adapt to it, we’re bound to experience tremendous resistance that will entrap us in a constant state of suffering.

6 more ideas

Describing wonder

Wonder is said to be a childish emotion. However, as adults, we experience it when gaping at something unexpectedly spectacular.

Adam Smith, an 18th-century moral philosopher, describes wond...

Bodily symptoms

The bodily symptoms of this strange appearance point to three dimensions:

  • Sensory: The marvelous things take hold of our senses - we stare and widen our eyes.
  • Cognitive: We are perplexed because we don't have a past experience to understand them. It leads to a suspension of breath, similar to when we are startled.
  • Spiritual: We look upwards in veneration, which makes our heart swell.

The scale of wonder

At the mild end of this emotion, we talk about things being marvelous. More intense emotions might be described as astonishing. The extreme of this experiences is met with expressions of awe.

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