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

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

But I want us to consider that our how is the expression of our why in every what, whether we’re aware of it or not. And so let’s take an example.

Let’s say that I have a value of kindness. I’m all about kindness, I feel really natural being kind, I want to see more kindness in the world. Is that kindness — is that value in the result or is it in the doing? Are you trying to be kind when it’s hard to be kind? Can you do something you don’t want to do kindly, like fire someone? Can you leave a relationship with kindness?

If kindness is the value, then are you trying to express it in the whole spectrum of your doing — and trying to do that? Or are you just doing it when it’s easy?

So I want us to think about that for a moment and consider, you know, if we come home and we’re kind and generous and loving with our kids, but then we go to work and we are dismissive and rude to our assistant and we treat them like a subhuman, then there is a fragmentation in the beingness of our value.

And so I want us to consider that how we are in our lives is in fact how we are. Meaning, if I am the kind of person that walks down the street and smiles at people and says “hi” as I walk past them on the sidewalk, then that is how I am.

But if I’m also the kind of person who makes fun of my brother every chance that I get behind his back, that is also the kind of person that I am.

And ultimately how we are makes up the totality of the picture of who we are. And so I want to talk about how do we unite these pieces if we have any fragmentation.

I want to understand how we embody ourselves as our one and only self.


My father said, “All goals apart from the means are an illusion. There will never be means to ends — only means. And I am means. I am what I started with and when it is all over, I will be all that is left.”

So you can employ a systematic approach to training and practicing, but you can’t employ a systematic approach to actually living because life is a process not a goal. It is a means and not an end.

So “to obtain enlightenment” — and I’m going to say self-actualize, to be self-actualized or to obtain wholeness — “emphasis should fall NOT on the cultivation of the particular department” — all of our whats — “which then merges into the totality of who we are as a total human being, but rather, on the total human being that then enters into and unites those particular departments.”

You are your how.

You — if you have some consciousness and you want to bring some practice, if you want to step into that warrior space around your how — how you express in every aspect of your life — then you get to be the artist of that expression. You get to step into that and claim it and exercise it and bring that beingness through your doingness into your havingness.

And there you will find the most profound of your growth, you will find a sense of wholeness and ultimately, you will leave a lasting impact on your environment.

My father was his how. He applied the execution of who he was to every aspect of his life. He was way more than that kung fu guy from the ’70s. He was someone who worked very hard at actualizing his inner self and expressing it out into the world.

And that laid the foundation for what continues to inspire us, engage us, excite us and attract us to him. He was the embodied example of living fully.

He said, “I am means.” And there are only means.

So I’m going to ask you one more time. Thank you for listening, and please consider, for you, across the spectrum of your doing: how are you?

Thank you.


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Resources for Further Reading:

Stoicism as a Philosophy for an Ordinary Life: Massimo Pigliucci (Transcript)

My Philosophy for a Happy Life by Sam Berns (Transcript)

Patrick Gentempo: Unleashing The Power of Philosophy at TEDxMinot (Transcript)

Alain de Botton on A Kinder, Gentler Philosophy of Success (Full Transcript)

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