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