Frey Freyday – leader series-Bruce Lee

(Frey Freyday is simply a bunch of inspirational, motivational and other quotes meant to make you think, reflect, smile, even laugh a bit. Hopefully helpful, useful stuff….)

This ‘leader-series’ is a sub-set of Frey Freydays – celebrities, influencers, icons and other people that are well-known that, although not perfect, have led an inspirational life in some way or have made some contribution to society, etc. and people from which we can learn. In no order and certainly the list is un-ending.


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

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

Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own.

To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.

Real living is living for others.

The more we value things, the less we value ourselves.

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.

If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.

Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.

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.


“Be like water….” – Be flexible, resilient, learn, adapt, be open-minded, do not concern yourself with labels.

July 2017 marked the 44th anniversary of Bruce Lee’s death. Bruce Lee lived a short but very impactful life. He is remembered today as the figure who popularized Kung Fu and Jeet Kune Do around the world.

Most people think of Bruce as just a movie star and/or someone ‘who did kung fu’. I found out that he was more than that….

As a young adult I learned about Bruce Lee from “karate movies”. One day I bought a book that he wrote. I was surprised to find that it was quite good and contained content about philosophy, life, and principles for living life. Bruce was a philosophy major in college and spent a lot of time thinking about this sort of thing.

Some people may know that the form of “Kung Fu” he developed, called Jeet Kune Do has been referred to as  “Using no way as way” and “Having no limitation as limitation”.

He was often asked if he formed a new form of martial arts.  Bruce said, “On the contrary, I hope to free my followers from clinging to styles, patterns, or molds.”

So in other words, Bruce learned many different types of karate, fighting, wrestling, grappling, even American-style boxing, etc. Bruce then tried to ‘combine’ and pick the best traits out of each of those for his style, to put it very simply. So his fighting style did not have the rigid, formal limitations and they were not bound by certain guidelines. His point: in one situation you may need traits of one style, another situation will require different traits.

Similarly, in life, Bruce formed a great philosophy with this in mind. He studied many philosophies and religions and learned from each of them. He tried to incorporate the best of each into his life without getting caught up in the limitations of each.

If you reference the quote above “Absorb what is useful, ….” It implies that one should study and learn, and use the best of each to make oneself better.

As he stated it, “The extraordinary part of it lies in its simplicity.” This applied to his fighting style and to his philosophy in life. Again in life or fighting, Bruce Lee emphasized that every situation is different. To obtain victory in life or in a fight it is essential not to be rigid, but to be fluid and able to adapt to any situation.

In reference to the famous quote above, “Be like water…”,  Bruce’s theory behind this was that one must be able to function in any scenario one is thrown into. As he said it, ‘One should know when to speed up or slow down, when to expand and when to contract, and when to remain flowing and when to crash. It is the awareness that both life and fighting can be shapeless and ever changing that allows one to be able to adapt to those changes instantaneously and bring forth the appropriate solution.’

Lee did not believe in “styles” and felt that every person and every situation is different and not everyone fits into a mold; one must remain flexible in order to obtain new knowledge and victory in both life and combat. One must never become stagnant in the mind or method, always evolving and moving towards improving oneself.( Little, John (1973). Bruce Lee: In His Own Words (DVD). Warner Brothers.)


Frey Freyday was actually born out of something I created called “Words To Live By” (WTLB). Going forward, I will now not only share the quotes, as you may be used to receiving, but also a related (WTLB). In 1999, when we had our first daughter, I was contemplating how I would raise my new beautiful child, and I was thinking about how I can best educate her and my other children about values, morals, and other key thoughts about life. School offers education. Religion offers some values and morals. Parents offer most of it, sometimes intentionally, sometimes accidentally.

So I created a (WTLB) book, like a dictionary, which lists things like honesty, love, persistence, etc. with a definition that I created, with my wife’s input. I then turned it into a workbook with one word per page and space below for notes. For years we would discuss with my two daughters and they would draw pictures and make notes in the blank space. I may share some of those images with you. As they got older, they were less inclined to draw and more open to quotes and references from adults, hence where Frey Freyday came from….

You can

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