80 Bruce Lee Quotes on Life, Self-Discovery, and Purpose

Here are the top 80 Bruce Lee quotes that’ll give you a whole new perspective as you navigate through life.

Bruce Lee was an actor and philosopher famously known as one of the most influential martial artists in history. He paved the way for modern mixed martial arts by combining different philosophies and combat disciplines.

Moreover, Bruce Lee was also a pop culture icon who served as a connecting link between the East and the West.

With his wise words about being limitless and discovering one’s inner self, it is not surprising that he remains to impact many people to this day.

So, make sure to read our collection containing his most quotable quotes that stem from his life’s experiences and learnings.

Scroll through to the end and uncover some truths about the world we live in now.

Let’s get started.

Best Bruce Lee Quotes

1. “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 Twill 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.”

2. “If you truly love life, don’t waste time because time is what life is made of.”

3. “If you always put a limit 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.”

4. “Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”

5. “‎The successful warrior is the average man with laser-like focus.”

6. “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.”

7. “Knowing is not enough. We must apply. Willing is not enough. We must do.”

8. “Never waste energy on worries or negative thoughts. All problems are brought into existence. Drop them.”

9. “Learn the principle, abide by the principle, and dissolve the principle. In short, enter a mold without being caged in it. Obey the principle without being bound by it. Learn, master, and achieve.”

10. “Don’t fear failure. Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts, it is glorious even to fail.”

Famous Bruce Lee Quotes

11. “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.”

12. “Do not pray for an easy life. Pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”

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

14. “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”

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

16. “Only the self-sufficient stand alone. Most people follow the crowd and imitate.”

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

18. “A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.”

19. “Defeat is a state of mind. No one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.”

20. “For it is easy to criticize and break down the spirit of others, but to know yourself takes a lifetime.”

21. “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.”

Also read: Famous Quotes, Inspirational Quotes

Inspirational Bruce Lee Quotes

22. “Do not allow negative thoughts to enter your mind, for they are the weeds that strangle confidence.”

23. “What you habitually think largely determines what you will ultimately become.”

24. “Preparation for tomorrow is hard work today.”

25. “Empty your cup so that it may be filled. Become devoid to gain totality.”

26. “Reality is apparent when one ceases to compare. There is ‘what is’ only when there is no comparison at all, and to live with ‘what is’ is to be peaceful.”

27. “Using no way as a way. Having no limitation as limitation.”

28. “The moment is freedom. I couldn’t live by a rigid schedule. I try to live freely from moment to moment, letting things happen and adjusting to them.”

29. “Do not be tense, just be ready, not thinking but not dreaming, not being set but being flexible. It is being wholly and quietly alive, aware, and alert, ready for whatever may come.”

30. “If you think a thing is impossible, you’ll only make it impossible.”

Short Bruce Lee Quotes That’ll Shift Your Perspective

31. “The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.”

32. “The more we value things, the less we value ourselves.”

33. “Real living is living for others.”

34. “In the middle of chaos lies opportunity.”

35. “Be happy, but never satisfied.”

36. “Mistakes are always forgivable if one has the courage to admit them.”

37. “To hell with circumstances. I create opportunities.”

38. “Knowledge will give you power, but character, respect.”

39. “Be self-aware, rather than a repetitious robot.”

40. “The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”

41. “A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough.”

Deep Bruce Lee Quotes to Think About

42. “Fear comes from uncertainty. We can eliminate the fear within us when we know ourselves better.”

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

44. “If you don’t want to slip up tomorrow, speak the truth today.”

45. “If you want to learn to swim, jump into the water. On dry land, no frame of mind is ever going to help you.”

46. “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.”

47. “If there is a God, He is within. You don’t ask God to give you things. You depend on God for your inner theme.”

48. “Those who are unaware they are walking in darkness will never seek the light.”

Bruce Lee Quotes About Life

49. “Life itself is your teacher, and you are in a state of constant learning.”

50. “Life is wide, limitless. There is no border, no frontier.”

51. “Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man. But sooner or later, the man who wins is the man who thinks he can.”

52. “Life is never stagnation. It is constant movement, unrhythmic movement, as we as constant change. Things live by moving and gain strength as they go.”

53. “Life is better lived than conceptualized. This writing can be less demanding should I allow myself to indulge in the usual manipulating game of role creation. Fortunately for me, my self-knowledge has transcended that, and I’ve come to understand that life is best to be lived, not to be conceptualized. If you have to think, you still do not understand.”

Bruce Lee Quotes on Love

54. “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 becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.”

55. “If one loves, one need not have an ideology of love.”

56. “My wife and I aren’t one and one. We are two halves that make a whole. You have to apply yourself to be a family. Two halves fitted together are more efficient than either half would be alone.”

Also read: True Love Quotes

Wise Bruce Lee Quotes to Live By

57. “Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own.”

58. “Take things as they are. Punch when you have to punch. Kick when you have to kick.”

59. “Take no thought of who is right or wrong or who is better than. Be not for or against.”

60. “Know the difference between a catastrophe and an inconvenience. To realize that it’s just an inconvenience, that it is not a catastrophe, but just an unpleasantness, is part of coming into your own, part of waking up.”

61. “Forget about winning and losing. Forget about pride and pain. Let your opponent graze your skin, and you smash into his flesh. Let him smash into your flesh, and you fracture his bones. Let him fracture your bones, and you take his life! Do not be concerned with escaping safely. Lay your life before him!”

62. “Do not have an attitude. Open yourself, focus yourself and express yourself. Reject external form that fails to express internal reality.”

63. “One should be in harmony with, not in opposition to, the strength and force of the opposition. This means that one should do nothing that is not natural or spontaneous. The important thing is not to strain in any way.”

64. “To spend time is to pass it in a specified 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.”

65. “The great mistake is to anticipate the outcome of the engagement. You ought not to be thinking of whether it ends in victory or defeat. Let nature take its course, and your tools will strike at the right moment.”

66. “It’s like a finger pointing away to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger, or you will miss all that heavenly glory.”

Also read: Quotes to Live By

Bruce Lee Quotes About Your Inner Self

67. “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.”

68. “The spirit of the individual is determined by his dominating thought habits.”

69. “Self-knowledge involves relationships. To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person. A relationship is a process of self-evaluation and self-revelation. A relationship is a mirror in which you discover yourself. To be is to be related.”

70. “After all, all knowledge simply means self-knowledge.”

Bruce Lee Quotes on Learning

71. “Learning is never cumulative. It is a movement of knowing which has no beginning and no end.”

72. “It is not how much you have learned, but how much you have absorbed in what you have learned.”

73. “I am not teaching you anything. I just help you to explore yourself.”

74. “Time means a lot to me because you see, I am also a learner and am often lost in the joy of forever developing.”

75. “The knowledge and skills you have achieved are meant to be forgotten so you can float comfortably in emptiness, without obstruction.”

More Bruce Lee Quotes to Guide You as You Move Forward

76. “The enemy of development is this pain phobia, the unwillingness to do a tiny bit of suffering.”

77. “Showing off is the fool’s idea of glory.”

78. “All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability. The truth is outside of all fixed patterns.”

79. “The possession of anything begins in the mind.”

80. “The stillness in stillness is not the real stillness. Only when there is stillness in movement does the universal rhythm manifest.”

Did These Bruce Lee Quotes Leave an Impact on You?

Everyone can relate to the experience of life repeatedly hurting and knocking us down. As we grow older, we are also getting more aware of our limits and the uncertainties of the future. Moreover, we cannot deny that knowing these things can really affect our self-image and trust in ourselves.

One of the lessons that we can learn from Bruce Lee is that we are the only people who can set the limits of what we can or cannot do. He empowers us that we can do anything once we set our mind to it. He had complete trust that once one believes in his capabilities and will, then he will surely reach his dreams despite everyday struggles.

We hope that these Bruce Lee quotes were able to help you build a stronger version of yourself. Remember to continue breaking your self-imposed limits and keep growing as a person.

Which Bruce Lee quote is your favorite? Are you a fan of his? Comment below!

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Karen Danao

Hi, I’m Karen, a content curator and writer for Quote Ambition; I’m also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, I’m someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics I love writing about! However, my true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.

With the many places I’ve been to, I found that love, inspiration, and happiness are some things that bring people together. No matter how different we are on the outside, I’m a true believer that our emotions don’t lie; if you dig deep into our psyche, we’re all the same inside.

This belief was further amplified when I joined Quote Ambition. Through the quotes I’ve read, collected, organized, and written about, I found that humans are resilient, creative, and compassionate.

We take from each others’ hearts and courage, and it’s through our individual experiences that we learn how to rise above our challenges and pain. In so many ways, Quote Ambition is a platform that allows people from all over the world to gain the inspiration they need anytime, anywhere!

You can find me on MuckRack and LinkedIn.