Quite often I share lessons I have learnt from Bruce Lee. As an actor, martial artist, director, and founder of his own Kung Fu style (Jeet Kune Do), he had quite the long list of talents. Most incredibly, his achievements are not all in the same domain. From martial arts to film to poetry, Bruce Lee never limited himself to any one field. Bruce Lee's tremendous success was in part due to his unique personal philosophy, which was based on ancient wisdom. According to Lee, the key to success is to continually discover and learn new approaches and information while questioning the status quo that boxes us in.
He once wrote:
"Learning is definitely not mere imitation, nor is it the ability to accumulate and regurgitate fixed knowledge. Learning is a constant process of discovery, a process without end. Unfortunately, most students are conformists. Instead of learning to depend on themselves for expression, they blindly follow their instructors, no longer feeling alone, and finding security in mass imitation. The product of this imitation is a dependent mind. Independent inquiry, which is essential to genuine understanding, is sacrificed."
Read, learn, listen, and watch on a wide variety of topics that feed and illuminate your mind and creative spirit. Process it, ponder it, challenge it. Then most importantly, take your learning and produce something that is uniquely your own.
I am not a big believer in New Year's resolutions. Within weeks or even days, they disappear, only to be a vague memory of a broken promise. Instead, I choose to adopt a word for the year. Here is a story about picking your word which I first shared in The Espresso last year and is worth revisiting:
This time of year most people have made their resolutions. And generally, these promises we make to ourselves fall by the wayside. One approach that has longevity for the year ahead is to choose a word that will serve as your theme. I recently heard someone say their word was 'contribution.' It would be their year of contributing to themselves, to the planet, to their family, to their friends and the community. For me, my word last year was agility. It was my year to focus on stretching, mobility and all-round strength, wellness, endurance and balance. By focusing on a word, you can then work out the pieces that need to be pulled together to achieve that word. Gary Keller, the author of The One Thing, one of my favourite books of last year, wrote, "what's the one thing I can do, such that by doing it everything else is easier or unnecessary?" Choose your one word and put it in the front of your mind. Write it on the mirror of your bathroom, use it as a desktop screensaver, keep it on the front of your journal or post it on the dashboard of your car. Put your word somewhere where you will see it regularly. Break it down into smaller pieces and do one thing each day to move you towards your theme for the year ahead. So, what will your word be?