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Bruce Lee was forever setting goals, making resolutions, reaching for the highest version of himself. He formulated a complex personal philosophy—a synthesis of Eastern and Western ideals—that extolled the virtues of knowledge and self-mastery. These ideas are presented in the book The Warrior Within, a beautiful spur, and a delightful companion piece to the year ahead. Below are a few gems. We wish you all the very best in 2018.

Most people only live for their image. That is why where some have a self, a starting point, most people have a void. Because they are so busy projecting themselves as “this” or “that,” they end up wasting and dissipating all their energy in projection and conjuring up of façade, rather than centering their energy on expanding and broadening their potential or expressing and relaying this unified energy for efficient communication. When another human being sees a self-actualizing person walk past, he cannot help but say: “Hey now, there is someone real!”

On the one hand, there is natural instinct, and on the other is control. You are to combine the two in harmony. For if you cultivate only one dimension, say natural instinct, you will be very unscientific. If you have the other to the extreme, you become all of a sudden a mechanical man, no longer a human being. So I strive to teach the successful combination of both. It is not pure naturalness or pure unnaturalness. The ideal is unnatural naturalness or natural unnaturalness.

There is no such [thing] as maturity. There is instead an ever-evolving process of maturing. Because when there is a maturity, there is a conclusion and a cessation. That’s the end. That’s when the coffin is closed. You might be deteriorating physically in the long process of aging, but your personal process of daily discovery is ongoing. You continue to learn more and more about yourself every day.

Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless, like water.

When you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup;

When you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle;

When you put water into a teapot, it becomes the teapot.

Now water can flow—or it can crash.

Be water, my friend.



Jamie Brisick is a writer, photographer, and director. He surfed on the ASP world tour from 1986 to 1991. He has since documented surf culture extensively. His books include Becoming Westerly: Surf Champion Peter Drouyn’s Transformation into Westerly Windina, Roman & Williams: Things We Made, We Approach Our Martinis With Such High Expectations, Have Board, Will Travel: The Definitive History of Surf, Skate, and Snow, and The Eighties at Echo Beach. His writings and photographs have appeared in The Surfer’s Journal, The New York Times, and The Guardian. He was the editor of Surfing magazine from 1998-2000, and is presently the global editor of Huck. In 2008 he was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship. He lives in Los Angeles. For more of his work check out & @jamiebrisick