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Striking Thoughts: Bruce Lee's Wisdom for Daily Living

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"A teacher is never a giver of truth—he is a guide, a pointer to the truth that each student must find for himself. A good teacher is merely a catalyst."—Bruce Lee

Within the pages of Striking Thoughts, you will find the secrets of Bruce Lee's amazing success— as an actor, martial artist, and inspiration to the world. Consisting of eight sections, Striking Thoughts covers 72 topics and 825 aphorisms—from spirituality to personal liberation and from family life to filmmaking—all of which Bruce lived by.

His ideas helped energize his life and career, and made it possible for him to live a happy and assured life, overcoming difficult obstacles with seeming ease. His ideas also inspired his family, friends, students, and colleagues to achieve success in their own lives and this personal collection will help you in your journey too.

Sections include:

On First Principles—including life, existence, time, and death

On Being Human—including the mind, happiness, fear, and dreams

On Matters of Existence—health, love, marriage, raising children, ethics, racism, and adversity

On Achievement—work, goals, faith, success, money, and fame

On Art and Artists—art, filmmaking, and acting

On Personal Liberation—conditioning, Zen Buddhism, meditation, and freedom

On the Process of Becoming—self-actualization, self-help, self-expression, and growth

On Ultimate (Final) Principles—Yin-yang, totality, Tao, and the truth
This Bruce Lee Book is part of the Bruce Lee Library which also features:
Bruce Lee: The Celebrated Life of the Golden Dragon
Bruce Lee: The Tao of Gung Fu
Bruce Lee: Artist of Life
Bruce Lee: Letters of the Dragon
Bruce Lee: The Art of Expressing the Human Body
Bruce Lee: Jeet Kune Do

228 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2000

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About the author

Bruce Lee

137 books1,049 followers
Bruce Lee was an American-born martial artist, philosopher, instructor, martial arts actor and the founder of the Jeet Kune Do martial arts system, widely regarded as the most influential martial artist of the 20th century and a cultural icon. He was the father of actor Brandon Lee and of actress Shannon Lee.

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5 stars
1,349 (52%)
4 stars
774 (29%)
3 stars
369 (14%)
2 stars
72 (2%)
1 star
27 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 196 reviews
Profile Image for Khurram.
1,539 reviews6,642 followers
March 23, 2020
Great book by a great a great person. Though Bruce Lee is most famous for being a martial arts actor, he was a great thinker which definitely enhanced his martial arts prowess. First of all this is not a Martial Arts book. The book is Bruce’s thought process on life.

Though it is written like a philosophy book, it is very easy to read. To quote Bruce himself, he says great thinkers and philosophers have a ways of making what they have to says more complicated then it should be. Bruce takes the opposite approach. Everything he says is straight to the point with no waffle.

Even though I there are many great points in the book and I do take a lot away from it, I don’t agree with every point Bruce makes, but that is part of his philosophy he wants his ideas to be challenged or built on because this shows thinking over blind following, or progress which he was all about. As he says:

“a teachers is never a giver of truth- he is a guide, a pointer to the truth that each student must find for himself.”

There are testimonials at the beginnings of this book of what a great person and teacher Bruce was, but the end of the book I had no doubt about how good he was as a teacher. Not just about physical techniques but about the mental and spiritual aspects of martial arts as well.

As with any ideas I could see many of Bruce’s views in this book were colored by his life expectancies. This is a great book with a philosophical contradiction, though Bruce Lee is a great and successful person to look up to. His message is not to emulate him, but to learn/know yourself honesty, and use this knowledge to be the best you can be.
November 30, 2021
There is no method to reality. - Do not reduce reality to a static thing and then invent methods by which to reach it. (c)
Don't seek, but allow. - Do not seek IT, for it will come when least expected. Let go. Don't seek or run away. (c)
On the principle of wu-wei.- Wu-wei is spontaneous superiority. Wu-wei is spontaneous action without prearrangement. Wu-wei ensures the spirit of harmony with nature. Wu-wei sees no violence done, with the result of peace and freedom from disturbance. Wu-wei is the nourishment of the spirit, left alone, so it can find stability. Wu-wei is "taking no action;" all effort made with a purpose are sure to fail. (c)
Don’t be a slave to learning. (c)
The infinite mobilities of the mind. - The mind itself is endowed with infinite mobilities that know no hindrances. (c)
A practical dreamer. - Be a practical dreamer backed by action. (c)
Practical dreamers never quit. (c)
Dreams are future realities. - Yesterday's dreams are often tomorrow's realities. (c)
Fragments of dreams are fragments of our personality. (c)
Defeat is temporary. -To me, defeat in anything is merely temporary, and its punishment is but an urge for me to greater effort to achieve my goal. Defeat simply tells me that something is wrong in my doing; it is a path leading to success and truth. (c)
Success is not a destination. - Remember, success is a journey, not a destination. Have faith in your ability. You will do just fine.
The eternal condition of success. - A purpose is the eternal condition of success. (c)
There is a pathless road. - Truth is a pathless road. A road that is not a road. It is total expression that has no before or after. How can there be methods and systems by which to arrive at something that is living? To that which is static, fixed, dead, there can be a way, a definite path, but not to that which is living. (c)
There is a pathless road. - Truth is a pathless road. A road that is not a road. It is total expression that has no before or after. How can there be methods and systems by which to arrive at something that is living? To that which is static, fixed, dead, there can be a way, a definite path, but not to that which is living. (c)
Profile Image for Isaac Samuel Miller.
Author 1 book54 followers
June 28, 2020
Beautiful book full of veritable philosophy. I am in love with this book.
Profile Image for Murray.
Author 146 books456 followers
January 28, 2023
I have this book in my dojo where I do regular exercise and also practice martial arts. I read one or two quotes each session. It’s a good inspo resource.
Profile Image for Geraint.
11 reviews7 followers
May 18, 2009
If you were to say "What springs to mind when you think of Bruce Lee?", most people would talk about martial arts or his untimely death. What a lot of people don't know, is that Bruce Lee was as much of a Philosopher as he was a Martial Artist, or a movie star. Indeed, his degree in America was on Philosophy.

So it will come as little suprise then that Bruce will have had a lot of thoughts on aspects of life. And here they are. This small book contains some of the most poignant thoughts I have ever read, on all aspects; life and death, love and family, yin and yang. During the course of his life Bruce Lee was always writing down thoughts as they came to him on a notepad, and this book is the collection of some of those thoughts, organised and titled by John Little.

I've lost count of the times this book has helped me. You can literally open it at a random page and find -something- that helps with your day. It forms a fusion of Western and Eastern philosophy, shaken (not stirred) by Bruce Lee's unique outlook and enthusiasm for life. This isn't the type of book you can sit and read cover to cover, but it is a book that you will come back to again and again over the course of many years, and it's invaluable in my collection.
Profile Image for Brian .
414 reviews5 followers
March 15, 2021
3/14/21: Second read-through, as part of my regular regimen. One of those books that make you stare at your wall for twenty minutes per paragraph. The wisdom resonates with me, a look at common sense practicality, an unmasking of paradigms Western culture has programmed in the mind and an unveiling to see what is, in reality. I've developed my personal philosophy for writing through Bruce Lee's martial arts philosophy. I consider him one my philosophical mentors (with Lao Tzu and C.S. Lewis). Bruce Lee's influence has changed my life, especially in guiding me to Wing Chun Kung Fu, a practice leading me to peace and soundness of mind, and practical answers for healthy ways of thinking. I will read this and others by Lee for the rest of my life.

I read this every day, a couple pages at a time, usually at the gym. I read it along with the Tao Te Ching. I'm going to make it a part of my daily reading regimen. Bruce Lee has provided life-changing wisdom by transforming the way I think. The book provides snippets gathered from all his writings, focusing on his wisdom, for application to life.

A vault of wisdom, a treasure greater than money and material to me.

I've listed 76 highlights from the Kindle download. Feel free to look through and enjoy.
Profile Image for sora Aggiolina.
5 reviews1 follower
February 6, 2018
I don't know what I expected when I bought this book but it was a surprise all right! At the time I bought it I had the very false idea that it would be mostly a kind of trivial stuff of the usual kind. You know, wisdom quotes out of a calendar. On the other hand I knew how unique Bruce Lee was, and his books are unique like him. The quotes are not out of calendar at all. They are words from a person who not only comes directly from east and so he naturally understands the east way of thinking- so different from the west- but also a person who has depth. In a few words it is a beloved and cherished book worth to be read and reread.
Profile Image for Aaron.
309 reviews43 followers
December 1, 2008
An excellent introduction to Bruce Lee. He only wrote so much in his short life, and it has been re-cut and repackaged so many times already. I have to say this is the best book of all to have. It contains all his basic ideas and attitude toward life, presented a few lines at a time in eight chapters. It's not so much a coherent work as the most-worthy summation of his writings. It gives you a good feel for the man.

Note: this book is mostly "philosophy"; it is not a technical manual for fighting (as is Tao of Jeet Kune Do, etc.). He borrows heavily from Western and Eastern ideas, not always making it clear what is "original" and what he is quoting or using. I don't consider this a problem, as this is drawn from his private writings, published after his death; just a heads up to anyone who would call it plagiarism or assume that it is entirely original. He would probably just call it "taking what is useful and leaving the rest."
Profile Image for Metin Yılmaz.
978 reviews95 followers
April 14, 2019
Bruce Lee saygı duyduğum, düşüncelerini merak ettiğim insanlardan biriydi. Yıllar önce bir röportajında “su gibi ol kardeşim, su gibi...” demişti bu o dönem çok dikkatimi çekmişti hala da çekiyor. Zen felsefesi haricinde de düşünceleri ile benzerlikler bulduğum bu eşsiz insanın aforizmalarını okudukça, içinde tuttuğu birikimi daha net görmüş oldum. Dediği gibi parmağa odaklanmadan, parmağın gösterdiğine bakmak gerek.
Profile Image for NON.
558 reviews188 followers
May 24, 2017
I have to leave now, my friend. You have a long journey ahead of you, and you must travel light. From now on drop all your burden of preconceived conclusions behind, and "open" yourself to everything and everyone ahead. Remember, my friend, the usefulness of a cup is in its emptiness. -Bruce Lee

I consider Bruce Lee to be one of my closest teachers, and I apply his knowledge in my every day life due to its vitality and practicality. I read this book religiously for over a month, did not want it to end. This is another proof that Bruce Lee was way ahead of his time. The wisdom within each page is thought-provoking and mind-altering. This book compiles many of Master Lee teachings on different areas of life, he also encourages the reader to enhance awareness, and develop critical thinking. Furthermore, Striking Thoughts could be used for daily affirmations. The insights that Master Lee shares in this precious book is profound, when thought through can be indeed (positively) altering.
Profile Image for Rashedul Riyad.
55 reviews34 followers
January 31, 2020
Although this is not the kind of book to read in a noisy environment, I've finished it while commuting. Such a deeply insightful book about life and beyond.
Profile Image for Abhilash Bhat.
28 reviews23 followers
January 8, 2020
I personally have always looked up to Bruce Lee for his life philosophy, more than for his physical prowess.

This book is a collection of aphorisms based on his life experience and covers a range of topics, just like Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.

Must read, for anyone who is into philosophy, Bruce Lee or into simplicity.
Profile Image for Megs.
65 reviews20 followers
March 11, 2011
What a surprising little book! I began reading it knowing very little about Bruce himself, and have left with the impression that he was wise beyond his years. The way the book is set up as tidbits of philosophical wisdom actually serves the authors wish of communicating that, a teacher cannot give you truth, he can only point you in the right direction. This book does exactly that! He sets out the puzzle pieces and asks that you create the final picture for yourself. Unique in it's scope and breadth it introduces you to many points of view and philosophies that are certainly worth considering. Dare to open your mind :)
Profile Image for GRV.
106 reviews1 follower
January 4, 2016

Rating 4/5

“The meaning of life is that it is to be lived, and it is not to be traded and conceptualized and squeezed into a patter of systems.”

This book gives us a great perspective of Bruce Lee as a person.

Quite disappointed with the writing style which is written in as Quotes. Could have been much better with a detailed explanation.

Leaving that a part Striking Thoughts is an insightful Read.

Profile Image for Sondra Faye.
10 reviews126 followers
September 11, 2012
I consider Bruce Lee one of my ghost mentors. If you have never read any of Bruce Lee's works, and you have a curiosity towards philosophy; this is the book to start with.
13 reviews2 followers
March 11, 2016
Throughout this book, Bruce Lee's main theme he wants you to learn that is the basis of all his philosophy is to take what you see in the world through YOUR own eyes only, YOUR own perception, YOUR search for the truth from YOUR point of view because the "truth" can be seen differently by everyone. I love this book so much that it is actually my favorite book because the Lee himself personally says that the Universe and everything within should be defined from an individual perspective and never allowing anyone, other than yourself, to say what is right or wrong, black or white, happy or sad, is or is not. This is because perception is limitless to the individual which is thus supported by the main theme of individual awareness. This book is so fantastic because it goes into such a deep state of contemplation on how we can see what really is perception, knowledge, reason, dreams, and even the human being (along with so many other topics).
Unfortunately, the arguments Lee makes are not just philosophical, but to such a deeper level of philosophical thought, even at some points up to philosophy^3. It really does get that philosophical to the point where you start to question every single thing in life to every infinite extent. For this reason, I caution those to whom read this book that their heads might metaphysically snap in half.
But then again, this book is a bit hypocritical to the sense that Bruce Lee tells the reader how to achieve these states of tremendous thoughts and what is and is not, yet the reader wants to also hear it from his point of view since he is the author. The again, is it really possible to write an instruction manual on how to think with freely no limits? This is because you'd be telling someone how to do something which defeats the purpose of the individual perspective/thinking on how to do it. One of the most memorable lines from the book was the Bruce himself stated, "Philosophy is itself the disease for which it pretends to be the cure: the wise man does not pursue wisdom but lives his life, and therein precisely does his wisdom lie" (110, Lee). Honestly I think this book had such an impact on me it's affecting the writing style of my book review!
Without a doubt this book is a perfect reminder to not let anyone, any thing, or book tell you what's what reality really is. If you read this book, you will unlock the highest conceivability of independent thought which, to me, is the most amazing thing ever. "A teacher is never a giver of truth—he is a guide, a pointer to the truth that each student must find for himself. A good teacher is merely a catalyst" (90, Lee).
Profile Image for Balu.
273 reviews24 followers
February 6, 2018
In order to test my cup of tea you must first empty your cup —Bruce lee

Striking Thoughts: Bruce Lee's Wisdom for Daily Living is an unparalleled volume of Lee's own writings on the wisdom that he used to shape his extraordinary life.

Bruce Lee was truly a phenomenal human being, not only for his martial arts prowess, but also for his deep understanding of philosophy, Optimal Living, and his desire to share his knowledge with others.
It Consists eight sections, and covers 72 topics and 825 aphorisms, from spirituality to personal liberation and from family life to filmmaking, all of which Bruce lived by, with topics as life, time, the mind, emotion, health, marriage, motivation, art, meditation, freedom, simplicity, etc.

Its a diverse record of his thoughts and observations that Bruce Lee put on paper in his lifelong quest for self knowledge and wisdom..
Profile Image for Adam.
2 reviews2 followers
January 24, 2010
I knew little about Lee before reading this book and found him to be a pretty big thinker. It is hard to criticize a book that is just a collection of a man's ideas without judging the man, but I liked how it was organized by general topics and did not have to be read in any direction. Lee comes off as a master of living without typical self help guru arrogance and rarely uses himself as a concrete example and keeps his advice and assertions general and abstract. However it is hard to tell if it is the author himself or the editor. To me this book is a good read for any one that likes to understand other people and the world through other people's perspectives. Hard to find anything wrong with a book like this unless it is just not your taste.
Profile Image for Kannan Sv.
66 reviews30 followers
January 10, 2018
*)“Don't fear failure. — Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.”
*)“For it is easy to criticize and break down the spirit of others, but to know yourself takes a lifetime.”
*)“Its like a finger pointing away to the moon. Dont concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.”

Superman's way of expressing things as simple commandments is mind blowing... To read repeatedly to master them...
Profile Image for Jeevitha Raj.
9 reviews1 follower
August 17, 2020
The only book which urges us to explore the truth of life just by ourself in the most authentic way. It is not a instruction manual,rather a guide to understand and explore life and ourself in our own "Way" . Almost all aspects of life's philosophies are covered in this book,although I couldn't able to understand some thoughts as they are so deep. This book is something which I have to re-refer in order to seek myself.
Profile Image for Cliff Yates.
Author 4 books8 followers
November 2, 2017
I picked up another book by Bruce Lee after this one. I'm sure like myself most people associate Bruce Lee with martial arts. His priority was actually as an actor and philosopher. He went to school to study philosophy. He considered himself an actor who also practiced martial arts. I would recommend this book to anyone who is into self-development and positivity. Excellent book.
Profile Image for Melvin Patterson.
179 reviews1 follower
April 15, 2018
Loved it. Bruce Lee studied philosophy at University and his thought, perception and depth show. That he was able to incorporate a lot of his philosophy into his movies made his movies that much more enjoyable. From his time on The Green Hornet to Enter the Dragon his martial thought was evident. Well done.
1 review2 followers
April 9, 2008
This book Rocks for inspiration and Motivation. Bruce is the King.
Profile Image for Bad.
70 reviews32 followers
January 9, 2009
Bruce Lee was a truly amazing, and inspiring human being. I realized that the instant I read this book. His words are one's I can look to when the world ceases to make sense.
Profile Image for Emal.
95 reviews2 followers
April 12, 2012
An amazing book that demonstrates how martial arts is not just a hobby but also a way of life.
Profile Image for Cynthia Vespia.
Author 28 books109 followers
December 22, 2012
I absolutely loved every page of this. Bruce Lee was so wise on so many levels. Inspiring quotes for every facet of life. This one is a keeper I will refer back to again and again.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 196 reviews

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