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The Burning Flame of Passion





What do you think it was that drove Bruce Lee to put in the incredible amount of time and energy that he did into his martial art training and personal development? What directed him to create a revolutionary approach to martial art training that shattered the mindset prevalent in the martial art world at the time and permanently changed the industry? The answer is a single word – “passion.”

 

Bruce Lee was passionate about martial art. From the time he first began studying the Wing Chun system of gung fu at age fifteen, the flame was lit. Lee lived martial art, breathed martial art, and according to his wife, Linda, probably even dreamed martial art when he slept. Lee trained his martial art skills seven days a week for several hours every day while at the same time developing his body physically through intense daily exercise regimens. In addition, he spent countless hours researching the thousands of martial art books he had in his library and studying all forms of unarmed combat through whatever means were available at the time. And when you watch Bruce Lee in in one of his action-packed films, the one thing that clearly comes through (besides his martial art skill) is his passion.

 

I believe that everybody has something they’re passionate about. For one person it may be a passion to learn. For another it might be a passion to explore, or perhaps to master something difficult. A person’s passion can be anything; cooking, playing a sport or a musical instrument, painting, films, building a new piece of technology, putting together business deals, helping other people by righting some form of social injustice, etc.

 

A passion is more than merely a passing interest or a hobby. It’s something a person cares deeply about, something that is intensely meaningful to them and that they’re enthusiastic about. It’s something a person loves with their heart and soul. I was lucky enough to discover my passion when I was 17 years old. From the moment I began training in Jeet Kune Do I knew without doubt that I had found something I cared deeply about, and knew that one day I wanted to be in a position to be able to pass on the art and philosophy to others.

 

Oftentimes, if you ask people to tell you what they think is required in order to be successful, be it in life or in their work, they’ll usually list characteristics or qualities such as talent, ambition, intellect, discipline, persistence and luck.  And it’s true that these are all important ingredients. What many people often fail to include in their list, however, is passion. Yet this vital ingredient plays a pivotal role and could make the biggest difference of all.

 

How can you discover what you are truly passionate about? You cannot figure out your passion simply by thinking about it, because passion lives in your heart and not in your head. Look for evidence of what you already love to do. Look for recurring themes, etc. The easiest way to find out is to ask yourself, “Is this something that I love to do so much that I would pursue it regardless of the rewards I received or how much money I made doing it?” If the answer is yes, then you know you it’s a passion.  If you can't imagine not doing something, it's a passion. 

 

Don’t look outward to see what other people are doing.  Look inward to discover your own passion. And look not only with your mind, but also with your heart.  Don’t be concerned what anyone else thinks about it. If it takes a little time, don’t give up, keep searching. The rewards will be well worth the effort.


(The above was excerpted from my book "Liberate Yourself - How to Think Like Bruce Lee"which is available through Amazon.com)

 

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