What Bruce Lee Can Teach Us About Living Fully: Shannon Lee (Transcript)

Following is the full text of Bruce Lee’s daughter Shannon Lee’s talk titled “What Bruce Lee Can Teach Us About Living Fully” at TED conference. In this inspiring talk, she takes us inside the mind of her father, exploring how to use his philosophy in your daily life to achieve profound personal growth and make a lasting impact.

Shannon Lee – TED Talk TRANSCRIPT

Bruce Lee is my father. And he is best well-known as a martial artist and an action film star, as I’m sure most of you know.

He died when I was four years old, but I have a really deep memory of him. I don’t have those long-form, storied memories that you do when you’re older, but the memory that I do have is of the feeling of him.

I remember his energy, his presence, his love — the safety of it, the power of it, the radiance of it.

And to me that memory is very deep and personal. And it is the memory of the quality of his essential nature.

What a lot of people don’t know about my father is that he was also a philosopher. He had a very ever-evolving philosophy that he lived. And it is that distinction — that he lived his philosophy and didn’t just espouse his philosophy — that made him the force of nature that he was, and still engages us today.

His wisdom has salvaged me many times in my life: when my brother died, when my heart’s been broken, whenever I have faced a challenge to my mind, my body or my spirit, the way that he expressed himself has lifted me up.

And so I come to you today not as a researcher or an educator or a guru or even a life coach, but as a student of Bruce Lee — as his daughter, and also as a student of my own life.

ALSO READ:   It's Only A Story: Daniel Sloss at TEDxEaling (Transcript)

So my big burning question that I want you all to consider today is: How are you?

Let me elaborate. Whenever anyone would ask my mom what my father was like, she would say, “How he was in front of the camera, how you saw him in his films, how you saw him in his interviews was, in fact, exactly how he was.”

There were not multiple Bruce Lees. There was not public Bruce Lee and private Bruce Lee, or teacher Bruce Lee and actor Bruce Lee and family man Bruce Lee. There was just one unified, total Bruce Lee.

And that Bruce Lee had a very deep, philosophical life practice called self-actualization. You’ve probably heard that term before. It’s also known as how to be yourself in the best way possible.

And that Bruce Lee said this:

“When I look around, I always learn something and that is to be always yourself, and to express yourself and have faith in yourself. Don’t go out and find a successful personality and duplicate it, but rather start from the very root of your being, which is ‘How can I be me?'”

Many of us have done some soul-searching or at least some incessant thinking and worrying about things like our purpose, our passion, our impact, our values and our “reason for being.”

And that is sometimes considered our why. Why am I here? Why this life? What am I meant to be doing?

If we can grab a little piece of that information, it can help to ground us and root us, and it can also point us in a direction, and typically what it points us to is our what. What we manifest in the world, what we have. So our job, our home, our hobbies and the like.

Pages: First |1 | ... | | Last | View Full Transcript

Scroll to Top