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Inspirational Quotes

Powerful Bruce Lee Quotes about Life, Goals, and Learning




Bruce Lee: cultural icon, influential martial artist, and actor. Bruce Lee showed us that strength isn’t determined by the size of the man; strength is determined by a man’s determination, dedication, motivation, and fearlessness. A perfectionist, his precision, work ethic, and discipline captivated millions.

His lightning speed and strength amazed us and made him the most popular martial artist of all time. Bruce Lee’s words of wisdom made him larger than life. His philosophy on life, love, and personal growth has motivated countless people across the world.

I’d like to share 50 of my favorite Bruce Lee quotes with you. I have gathered these from his movies, interviews, and John Little’s, “The Warrior Within: The Philosophies of Bruce Lee”, with faith that you will look at life differently.



Bruce Lee Quotes about Goals and Learning

1.) “Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.”- Bruce Lee


2.) “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” – Bruce Lee


3.) “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done. Make at least one definite move daily towards your goal.” – Bruce Lee


4.) “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.” – Bruce Lee


5.) “A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.” – Bruce Lee

Powerful Bruce Lee Quotes about Life

6.) “Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” – Bruce Lee


7.) “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” – Bruce Lee


8.) “To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.” – Bruce Lee


9.) “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” – Bruce Lee


10.) “If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.” – Bruce Lee


11.) “A goal is not always meant to be reached; it often serves simply as something to aim at.” – Bruce Lee


12.) “Defeat is a state of mind; No one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.” – Bruce Lee


13.) “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.” – Bruce Lee


14.) “Those who are unaware they are walking in darkness will never seek the light.” – Bruce Lee


15.) “Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own.” – Bruce Lee

Powerful Bruce Lee Quotes about Life

16.) “Learning is never cumulative; it is a movement of knowing which has no beginning and no end.” – Bruce Lee



Bruce Lee Quotes on Life

17.) “Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.” – Bruce Lee


18.) “The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.” – Bruce Lee


19.) “The doubters said, ‘Man cannot fly,’

The doers said, ‘Maybe, but we’ll try,’

And finally soared in the morning glow

While non-believers watched from below.”Bruce Lee


20.) “It is not a shame to be knocked down by other people. The important thing is to ask when you’re being knocked down, ‘Why am I being knocked down?’ If a person can reflect in this way, then there is hope for this person.” – Bruce Lee

Powerful Bruce Lee Quotes about Life

21.) “Only the self-sufficient stand alone – most people follow the crowd and imitate.” – Bruce Lee


22.) “To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person.” – Bruce Lee


23.) “Showing off is the fool’s idea of glory.” – Bruce Lee


24.) “The more we value things, the less we value ourselves.” – Bruce Lee


25.) “In the middle of chaos lies opportunity.” – Bruce Lee


26.) “Be happy, never satisfied.” – Bruce Lee


27.) “For it is easy to criticize and break down the spirit of others, but to know yourself takes a lifetime.” – Bruce Lee


28.) “To spend time is to pass it in a specific 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.” – Bruce Lee


29.) “Never take your eyes off your opponent… even when you’re bowing!” – Bruce Lee, Enter the Dragon (1973)


30.) “A good fight should be like a small play, but played seriously. A good martial artist does not become tense, but ready. Not thinking, yet not dreaming. Ready for whatever may come. When the opponent expands, I contract. When he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity, I do not hit. It hits all by itself.” – Bruce Lee, Enter the Dragon (1973)

Powerful Bruce Lee Quotes about Life

31.) “Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss all of the heavenly glory!” – Bruce Lee, Enter the Dragon (1973)



More Life-Changing Bruce Lee Quotes

32.) “In order to taste my cup of water you must first empty your cup.” – Bruce Lee


33.) “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.” – Bruce Lee


34.) “A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough.” – Bruce Lee


35.) “Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending in the wind.” – Bruce Lee

Powerful Bruce Lee Quotes about Life

36.) “It’s not the daily increase but the daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.” – Bruce Lee


37.) “The consciousness of self is the greatest hindrance to the proper execution of all physical action.” – Bruce Lee


38.) “Be self-aware, rather than a repetitious robot.” – Bruce Lee


39.) “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 become as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.” – Bruce Lee


40.) “The spirit of the individual is determined by his dominating thought habits.” – Bruce Lee, Jeet Kune Do: Bruce Lee’s Commentaries on the Martial Way


41.) “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.” – Bruce Lee


42.) “What you habitually think largely determines what you will ultimately become.” – Bruce Lee


43.) “Don’t fear failure. — Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.” – Bruce Lee


44.) “Art is the way to the absolute and to the essence of human life. The aim of art is not the one-sided promotion of spirit, soul and senses, but the opening of all human capacities – thought, feeling, will – to the life rhythm of the world of nature. So will the voiceless voice be heard and the self be brought into harmony with it.” – Bruce Lee


45.) “Art calls for complete mastery of techniques, developed by reflection within the soul.” – Bruce Lee

Powerful Bruce Lee Quotes about Life

46.) “The second-hand artist blindly following his sensei or sifu accepts his pattern. As a result, his action is and more importantly, his thinking becomes mechanical. His responses become automatic, according to set patterns, making him narrow and limited.” – Bruce Lee


47.) “Life is never stagnation. It is constant movement, un-rhythmic movement, as we as constant change. Things live by moving and gain strength as they go.” – Bruce Lee


48.) “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.” – Bruce Lee


49.) “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.’” – Bruce Lee


50.) “Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If 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.” – Bruce Lee


Which of these Bruce Lee quotes is your favorite?

You can see why Bruce Lee is still popular 40 plus years after his death. His philosophy continues to inspire a new generation of fans to seek self-knowledge, strength, and be at peace with the world.

Find YOUR truth and live it. I leave you with these wise words from Bruce Lee:

“Under the sky, under the heavens, there is but one family.”