Bruce Lee: Letters of the Dragon by John Little

Summary
  1. A broad view of Bruce Lee’s life and personality through personal correspondence with friends and family.
Key Takeaways
  1. “Patterns. This is the most important thing to look for as you read Bruce’s letters.”
    1. Gung fu forming his character and ideas – practice as a physical culture, a form of mental training, a method of self-defense and a way of life
    2. Goal of planning and doing is to find the true meaning in life – peace of mind
    3. Never waste worries or energy on negative thoughts
    4. It is not what happens that is success or failure, but what it does to the heart of man. No man is defeated unless he is discouraged
    5. What I have found, after much soul searching, that deep down what I honestly value more than anything else is quality – doing one’s best in the manner of the responsibility and craftsmanship of a Number One
  2. There are two ways of making a good living. One is the result of hard work, and the other, the result of the imagination (requires work, too, of course)
  3. “I feel I have this great creative and spiritual force within me that is greater than faith, greater than ambition, greater than confidence, greater than determination, greater than vision. It is all these combined. My brain becomes magnetized with this dominating force which I hold in my hand.”
  4. The nature of water
    1. To be one thing and not to change, is the climax of stillness
    2. To have nothing in one that resists, is the climax of emptiness
    3. To remain detached from all outside things is the climax of fineness
    4. To have in oneself no contraries, is the climax of purity
  5. “My theory states, “1) learn the center, 2) keep the center, and 3) dissolve the center. Or, more generally, learn the rules, keep to the rules, dissolve the rules” (aka “smaller circles“)
  6. Simplicity – to express the utmost in the minimum of lines and energy
  7. Remember my friend that it is not what happens that counts, it is how you react to them
  8. Damn the torpedo! Full speed ahead – Bruce used this line a lot when perseverance and determination were required
  9. Remember my friend, everything goes to those who aim to get. Low aim is the biggest crime a man has. One will never get any more than he thinks he can get
  10. What you habitually think largely determines what you will ultimately become. Remember, success is a journey, not a destination.
What I got out of it
  1. Wasn’t my favorite Bruce Lee book so far but it gives you a feel for what Bruce Lee was like over an extended period of time with close friends and family