10 of Bruce Lee’s Best Quotes for a Successful Life

Bruce Lee

(My newest app is available for FREE in the App Store. More details at the end of this post.)

Bruce Lee is a idol of mine.

Not because of his insane martial arts skills, but because he did more in his short life than others do in a lifetime.

I’ve never forgotten about the letter he wrote to himself when he was a minor struggling TV actor. He just had his second child and no financial security when he wrote his “definite chief aim” on paper.

My Definite Chief Aim

I, Bruce Lee, will be the first highest paid Oriental super star in the United States. In return I will give the most exciting performances and render the best of quality in the capacity of an actor. Starting 1970 I will achieve world fame and from then onward till the end of 1980 I will have in my possession $10,000,000. I will live the way I please and achieve inner harmony and happiness.

Bruce Lee

Jan. 1969

Sadly his life was cut short just four years later, but in the early 1970’s, he became an international superstar and no doubt was the highest paid Oriental super star in the United States. If he would have lived, he definitely would have earned more than $10,000,000 in his lifetime.

He approached life with the same intensity and focus like his martial arts training.

And his philosophy on life is still being shared to this day and will be for many more generations.

His collection of quotes inspired me to create my next iPhone app. At the end of the post, I’ll tell you more about the app.

First I wanted to share ten of my favorite Bruce Lee quotes and how it can be applied to your life.

1. The power of positive thinking

“Choose the positive. You have a choice. You are the master of your attitude. Choose the positive, the constructive. Optimism is a faith that leads to success.”

You can’t control everything in your life, but you can control what thoughts you hold in your head. No matter what happens to you on the outside, you control your response to the event.

When you are an optimist you see the opportunities that are available for you. You will find a way around roadblocks. You have a belief that what you’re doing will work and that keeps you motivated to keep on pushing.

Do you know what is the secret trait all entrepreneurs posses? It’s optimism.

2. Shoot for the stars

“A goal is not always meant to be reached. It often serves simply as something to aim at.”

Without aiming for something, you have no direction in life. You’re like a boat floating in the ocean and letting the currents take you wherever it goes. It’ll probably take you to somewhere you don’t want to go.

The old me never set goals. I just had a bunch of wishes floating in my head.

My life changed when I became serious about setting goals in 2011. I wrote them down. I tracked them. I reviewed them weekly. I didn’t achieve all the goals I set, but I did more that year than the past five years combined.

I doubt I would have achieved so much that year without aiming for something.

3. You life is in your hands

“To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”

Ask anyone who’s had success and you’ll hear how they created their opportunities. They put in the work every day. They sacrificed.

It wasn’t pure luck. They may have had some luck, but it was cause they created the possibility of luck by doing the work.

If you want to improve your life, don’t wait for miracles to happen.

4. You are what you think

“As you think, so shall you become.”

Your thoughts dictate who you are. If you think you’re worthless, overweight, poor, and dumb, that’s the type of person you’ll be.

It’s like the universe is listening to your thoughts and saying, “Your wish is my command!”

You’ll just bring yourself to a level that you can’t go higher than. If you think of yourself as a 5 out of 10, you’re going to talk like a 5. You’ll walk like you’re a 5. People will see you as a 5.

Instead raise your standards. What’s the type of person you want to be? How would that person think, walk, and talk?

Visualize the person you want to be in your mind consistently.

5. Ready, fire, aim

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”

Too much thinking about what you want to do will cause you to probably not do it. You will think about all the possible scenarios on your head. You will wonder “what if”.

Then you’ll decide to not even bother doing it.

When shooting a gun we always hear ready, aim, fire, but people spend way too long aiming trying to get it perfect. It’s better to fire, see where it hit, adjust, then fire again.

If you’re stuck on deciding something, try the three second rule to make a decision. If you think about it too long, you’ll talk yourself out of it.

6. Cut away the fat

“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”

Making changes in life isn’t always about adding more to your life, but subtracting what you don’t need.

Buying more stuff to fill your house that already has a ton of stuff isn’t going to make you happy. Instead trying being a minimalist and owning less.

If you say you need more money to be happier, maybe cutting back on unnecessary spending might be better.

If you feel like you don’t have enough time in the day, you need to remove the activities that aren’t productive.

To feel less stressed and be more positive, stop watching the local news. Since I’ve cut that out of my life, I feel so much better.

Removing what is holding you back in your life might be a way to improve it.

7. Stop living life to please others

“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”

It’s very easy to make decision based on what other people expect you to do.

Parents want to go to this certain college. They want you to get a real job. You don’t want to disappoint them.

People around you think they know what is best for you.

Then when you want to make changes in your life, you worry about what others will think.

Why do you care about what others think? Your job isn’t to make other people happy. It’s up to you to make yourself happy.

Don’t let other people tell you how to live your life. Don’t do something to please others, but will make you miserable. You’ll go to your deathbed with a ton of regret.

8. Bend but don’t break

“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”

Bruce felt like a martial artist needed to have flexibility during combat. Since combat is unpredictable like life, he felt one must be adaptable to change with change.

Making change to get from where you are now to where you want to be isn’t going to be easy. Learn to bend, but not break.

When you face something difficult, it’s not the end of the world. Sometimes when one door closes another one opens.

9. Action speaks louder than words

“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”

You don’t get results just by knowing a bunch of information.

Knowing is the easy part. Go to Google and type in whatever you want to know how to do.

Apply what you have learned, see the results, and adjust accordingly.

Thinking about wanting to do it is not enough. Knowing you have to do it isn’t enough either.

Forget listening to your inner voice to do it. Force yourself to just do it.

10. Keep it simple stupid = KISS

“Simplicity is the key to brilliance.”

When I read this quote what comes to mind is trying to multitask. We think if we can do a bunch of things at one time we can get more done.

Juggling multiple tasks actually takes you longer than if you were to just focus on one task at a time.

Keep things more simple in life. You’ll feel much better.

My new iPhone app is called Life Quotes 

It’s a collection of Bruce Lee quotes all in one app. There are many quotes apps in the App store, but none just focus on him.

Why is it called Life Quotes if it’s all about Bruce Lee? Well I wanted to call it Bruce Lee Quotes, but I didn’t want any problems with his estate using his name so I felt it was safer to leave his name out.

I also had a different icon all ready to go and submitted my app to Apple but it got stopped during the review because I was using his image. They wanted to make sure I had authorization to use it. I wasn’t aware I needed it since it’s a drawing.

Bruce Lee
So to be safe again, I quickly had my designer create a different icon for me.
Life Quotes Icon

The new icon for the app. Homage to his yellow tracksuit from “The Game of Death”.

And even after the app was finally approved, I still ran into another problem I just found out about!

In the App store the app shows the new icon, but when you download the app, it shows the old icon. I made the proper changes and just submitted an update to it to Apple, but will have to wait for them to approve it again.

Other than that, the app is ready to be downloaded!

Okay so what’s the app all about.

Features of the app

  • Optimized for the iPhone 5 screen
  • 141 of Bruce Lee’s best quotes
  • 35 hand selected Youtube videos featuring the best of Bruce Lee
  • Share quotes to Facebook, Twitter or email them.
  • Save your favorite quotes or videos

It’s a free app which you can download right now. I do have a paid version without ads as well if that’s what you prefer.

Download it, share it, and tell me what you think!

Thanks for always supporting my apps and helping spread the word. I’m so thankful for that.

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22 responses to 10 of Bruce Lee’s Best Quotes for a Successful Life

  1. My favorite bruce lee quote is : ” I fear not the man who has practice 10,000 different kicks, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times

  2. The first one is also my most favorite quote. You have the right to choose. Why bother being sad when you can look at the positive side instead? 🙂

  3. I do not like “bend don’t break” in my principle do not surrender, be steady.

  4. Love the first quote also. Thanks for bringing these words to us. Have a great week and a Happy Thanks Giving
    My favorite quote is from some guy called unknown. The other side of fear is freedom. Feel the fear and do it anyway

  5. Awesome post Benny! I’ve always been a huge Bruce Lee fan, so I’ll be getting the paid version of your app as soon as I’m done typing this comment. For me, all success in life boils down to point #3 above–to hell with circumstances, indeed.

    As an added bonus, thanks to Karen Yvonne in the comment above, I think that I have a new favorite Bruce Lee quote!

    Keep up the great work Benny!

  6. Hey Benny – Great quotes here! That letter he wrote to himself I found to be really inspiring…shows that setting specific, challenging goals can really help you get on the right path and achieve them.

    Congrats on the new app as well ! Hoping it does well for you!


  7. These quotes are awesome! They all speak to me but the power of positive thinking quote really fired me up! They are things we know but put so simply and directly, they are SO powerful – thanks for posting!

  8. Hi Benny
    Your app is fantastic. I need your tip Can you help me?
    Could you tell me if it is possible That My developer upload my app to app store?
    I have a problem with my mac and I can not upload my app.

    I would appreciate your response, it’s my first time.

    • Yes your developer can upload it for you. But you will need to give them access to your iTunes account. So that means your email address and password. Apple frowns upon that but if they don’t know there’s no way for them to find out. Or you can use some sort of screen sharing program and login to your account and then share your screen with your developers. Then they can upload the app for you while you both are online. If you trust them enough, you can go with the first option. But after they are done then change your password. Hope that helps and let me know if you have any more questions!

      • Thanks Benny I give to my developer .p12 certificate. my app now is under review Can you tell me how much time? When my app is approved I can revoke the certificate and create a new certificate?

        • Hey Max, your app should have been approved by now or very close since the time you wrote this comment. I don’t think you need to revoke any certificate. I’m not a very technical person, but pretty sure I didn’t need to revoke any certificate or create a new one. If you app is approved, you’re set. Good luck and let me know when it’s done so I can check it out!

  9. Bruce Lee is awesome. I’d say these quotes are unexpected, but I guess he’s great at everything else so I shouldn’t be surprised he said some really neat quotes.

  10. Hey Benny,

    The Bamboo metaphor for life is a great one. I know people who are so rigid, so unwilling to bend in the storms of life that they too end up breaking. But learning to take things with a degree of equanimity is a trait that will keep paying dividends for a long time.

  11. Bruce Lee was an amazing human being. At work we have a wall of photos called the island of cool. and as it sounds, its loaded with many of the coolest people ever, the leadership is rotated and at the moment samual l jackson is the leader, but bruce lee is not far off, he’s 2 away from leadership. I’ll have to whip out some of these quotes when the moment comes. Cheers!

  12. These quotes are great but more great thing is your wording which make every one easy to understand these are not only 10 point or quotations but also a stander and tips of living if we sum up every thing we can say that the believe and and hardworking is the key of better life we waste our hell lot of time thinking what should we do and what not we just do it and then make that right.

  13. Sure these quotes and words of wisdom are fine and dandy, but what about the constant failures that one experiences? I have tried several business ventures (all failed), have tried a few online ventures as well (did not make much money), and continually hear my wife say, “stop it, you are not going to be be successful!”
    So, yes, these words come in handy, but how can we try something new if we continue to fail? I am almost afraid to try new business ventures, because, again, “I am afraid of failing!”
    I have read book after book, after . . . about positive thinking, spend my time about being successful online, etc – BUT, still looking for the “right moment and idea!”
    As well If you want to reply about me not working harder or smarter, believe me, I used to work 60 plus hours a week, have a degree – but still not successful!

  14. hey Benny!
    nice post. i am a biggest fan of Bruce Lee. He is such a legend. I am very happy that you have made such an App. really excited to use that one. Great Quotes of Great person you have shared. And that’s true ” you are what you think”

  15. Hi here is one i try to adhere to when not getting on . It is to easy not to do something……

    Hope this helps someone

  16. Esmeralda Garza August 11, 2014 at 1:01 am

    Yes i loved his movies a Great martial artist legend and actor enjoyed all his work he will be missed in my heart a genius for sure RIP my Actor friend.

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