Fan Letters: Bruce Lee

Many people dedicate their lives to actualizing a concept of what they should be like, rather than actualizing themselves. The difference between self-actualizing and self-image actualizing is very important. Many people only live for their image
— Bruce Lee, Artist of Life.
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Some of my first movie memories were of Bruce Lee on VHS. I remember going to my grandmothers house everyday after pre-school while my mom was at work. A classic afternoon would involve a trip down Victoria street to grab lunch ingredients and then putting on a Bruce lee VHS afterwards. Like most people, I was drawn in by his crazy martial arts moves, huge fight scenes and infamous noises. I remember one afternoon where I got overly excited imitating Bruce Lee and puked out my noodles from lunch. 

It wasn't until a few months ago, that I renewed my appreciation for Bruce Lee when I came across this article by Maria Papova on Brainpickings.

Early in his career, Lee was systematically sidelined by Hollywood’s studio system, which operated with extreme racial bias and still used white actors in yellowface to portray Asian characters based on flat stereotypes. Over and over, Lee was told in no uncertain terms that white audiences simply wouldn’t accept an Asian man as a lead character in a movie.
— Maria Papova, Brainpickings

Bruce Lee has grown to become a mentor and cultural leader for me. In acknowledging the lack of Asian and minority representation in film and media, I have been inquiring deeper into what my responsibilities are in my work. How is my work shaping the landscape of film? Who's voices are being represented when I put out new work? How can I shift the power to those who are not typically with power in our society? 

Outside of my work as a filmmaker, his philosophies on living life have also been largely influential on me. Watch this great piece compiled by Must See films. 

Bruce was not only an influential person in drawing me to the beauty and excitement of film, but now later in my life, has been an influence on how to live life. For me, Bruce Lee exemplified the balance of living with self-will, determination and discipline while also living in the present and detachment. He balanced living with desire and detachment of the mind.  

Thank you Bruce for inspiring me to cultivate a life of persistence, letting go and standing for what you believed in. 


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You will never get any more out of life than you expect

Keep your mind on the things you want and off those you don’t

Things live by moving and gain strength as they go

Be a calm beholder of what is happening around you

There is a difference a) the world b) our reaction to it

Be aware of our conditioning! Drop and dissolve inner blockage

Inner to outer ~~~ we start by dissolving our attitude not by altering outer condition

See that there is no one to fight, only an illusion to see through

No one can hurt you unless you allow him to

Inwardly, psychologically, be a nobody