Sunday, December 4, 2016

Culture: Bruce Lee, A Daughter Reflects

- Fast Company

I’ve often said that if my father had just been a kung fu action film star who made four and a half kickass films in the '70s, I would consider it a personal fun fact and move on with my life. But Bruce Lee was so much more than that. My father was a teacher, family man, martial artist, philosopher, and innovator who became a cultural icon because he actively lived his philosophy of self-actualization. This is what moves me to keep his legacy alive. And this is the energy that continues to inspire people all over the world today.

 My father documented his personal process in countless writings and cultivated himself into an individual with almost superhero-like qualities. His energy captivated audiences and motivated people to action. I wanted people to have access to his depth, but also his philosophies, so that they may enrich and empower others to lead their best lives.

 "Start noticing where you are struggling in your life; it might be something big or small. Start journaling your observations without judgment. Decide to move in a positive direction and seek the tools that are out there that will help you with constructive motion. Keep moving forward and celebrate each win."
-Bruce Lee

The core idea of being like water comes from Taoism—a 2,500-year-old Chinese philosophy. My father was schooled in Taoism as a young martial arts student, but he also had a way of interpreting these ancient ideas so more people could understand them. If you are like water, you can shape-shift into any form and flow around any obstacle with ease.
In episode 19 of the podcast, musician and record producer Steve Aoki says, "To live like Bruce Lee, is to be fluid like water and make your own journey."

"The next time you are faced with an obstacle or some criticism, don’t become rigid, combative, or defensive. Feel yourself flowing around the problem like a stream moving easily around a giant boulder."
_Bruce Lee

 Even though he faced constant discrimination in Hollywood and was told that an Asian man could never play a lead role on TV or film—he never became bitter. He just became more determined to write and direct his own scripts that showed his potential and the beauty of his Asian culture. My dad never felt competitive with anyone; he was on a mission to become the most actualized Bruce Lee he could be. His charisma and talent drew people in, but his philosophy gave strength and solidarity to all people of color, and anyone who has ever felt like an underdog.

 It’s been 43 years since my father passed away, but his legacy is stronger than ever and his ideas are now connecting with millions of young people who weren’t even born when he was alive. Bruce Lee is a bright beacon in today’s world where strong, actualized men are needed. He speaks to the idea of taking action within the context of compassion that resonates with today’s youth who are trying to find their way in a shifting landscape.

[Ed...] Bruce Lee would have turned 76 on November 28

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