Following Bruce Lee’s Advice

Bruce Lee Curls

This is an excerpt from The Art of Expressing The Human Body. Bruce Lee gives his good friend, John Little, some well needed motivation:

“Bruce had me up to three miles a day, really at a good pace. We’d run the three miles in twenty-one or twenty-two minutes. Just under eight minutes a mile [Note: when running on his own in 1968, Lee would get his time down to six-and-a half minutes per mile]. So this morning he said to me “We’re going to go five.” I said, “Bruce, I can’t go five. I’m a helluva lot older than you are, and I can’t do five.” He said, “When we get to three, we’ll shift gears and it’s only two more and you’ll do it.” I said “Okay, hell, I’ll go for it.” So we get to three, we go into the fourth mile and I’m okay for three or four minutes, and then I really begin to give out. I’m tired, my heart’s pounding, I can’t go any more and so I say to him, “Bruce if I run any more,” –and we’re still running-”if I run any more I’m liable to have a heart attack and die.” He said, “Then die.” It made me so mad that I went the full five miles. Afterward I went to the shower and then I wanted to talk to him about it. I said, you know, “Why did you say that?” He said, “Because you might as well be dead. Seriously, if you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.”
This story relates to experiences in my own life. Prior to hitting my thirties, I coasted by in a lot of the things I did. My philosophy – I will call upon my energy to kick ass when I need to. As I grew, I found many faults with this philosophy. I learned that you need to kick ass all the time. Why? Picking and choosing when and where to apply yourself leads to terrible self discipline. But by pushing hard in all aspects, discipline becomes second nature. Eventually, nothing stops you. Today, I push myself to do everything at the fullest of my ability. No days off from being my best. Your future self receives no benefit when you give yourself a free pass. Laziness creeps up on even the most motivated of individuals like a disease. Action and effort keeps it away.


Mindset


Seriously, if you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits.
We are the product of our imagination and how you feel and think about yourself affects your outcome. Mindset matters. I will give you a personal example. When I started surfing, I easily got discouraged watching advanced surfers at the beach because I put it in my mind that they started young and that I would never be able to catch up to their abilities. Over the years, as I kept pushing my surfing skills, I gained confidence and realized that I could become as advanced a surfer as I wanted. The limits I put on myself before I even began surfing stunted my progress. Accelerate your learning curve by beginning any endeavor with the right attitude. You can and will do anything you desire. Create a plan and hold yourself accountable. Baby steps go a long way when you are consistent every day.
Often times, people count themselves out of a business idea or activity before they even start. Don’t fall victim to this trap. Do what you set your mind to until you succeed or fail. If someone else has taken your idea, GREAT! They proved the concept for you. Now, think about ways to improve the product or service by putting your unique spin on it.


Plateaus


There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.
Mental and physical plateaus exist to be surpassed. Prior to starting the ZTC 5 Day Challenges with Ethan, I averaged 4 workouts a week. While on the 5:30am Challenge, I did 8 workouts during the week. I surpassed my previous plateau. Am I superman? NO! How did I do it? I ramped up. Now, my next goal is to workout twice a day for 5 Days in a row. When you hit a roadblock in business or life, you need to experiment and ramp up to get past it.
When Ethan and I started Zero to Complete, we asked ourselves why we wanted to do this. We started the site to inspire others to do more than they thought possible, but in the process we also pushed each other to new unimaginable heights. We wanted to make ourselves as productive as possible, surpassing all of our previous plateaus. Will you come and join us on the ride?  Please tell us what barriers you want to smash through in the comments section below!
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George Huang

George Huang is a founder at ZeroToComplete where he specializes in productivity science and coaching.

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