Tag Archives: Philosophy

Tuesday’s with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Summary
  1. The author describes what he learned about life from Morrie, his favorite professor, who was slowly dying from by ALS
Key Takeaways
  1. Love wins. Love always wins
  2. The most important thing in life to learn is to let love in. Most of us don’t think we deserve love but we do
  3. It’s only horrible if you look at it that way. Seen from another, it can be wonderful
  4. Sometimes you can’t believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel
  5. A teacher affects eternity as you can never tell where their influence stops
  6. Everybody knows they’re going to die but nobody believes it or else they’d live life differently.
  7. Once you learn how to die you learn how to live
  8. Trying to impress those above you will only lead to derision and trying to please those below only to envy. Simply be
  9. People are only mean when threatened. And that’s what our culture does, what our economy does
  10. The problem is we don’t think we’re as alike as we are
    1. All people are alike in the sense that we all want to be loved, heard, respected, cared for, listened to
  11. This disease is knocking at my spirit but it will not have my spirit. It will take my body, but not my spirit
  12. Forgive yourself before you die and then forgive others
  13. We’re all looking for a sense of peace with death. Once we achieve that we can face death
  14. Death becomes such a big deal for most people because we don’t see ourselves as part of nature. We see ourselves as above nature
  15. The big issues most of us avoid confronting deal with awareness, responsibility, love and spirituality
  16. There is no such thing as too late in life
  17. Giving is living
  18. Never live with regret. Forgive yourself and others and move on
What I got out of it
  1. A beautiful and heart-warming book on what is really important in life – love, relationships, giving, forgiveness

The Wisdom of Success: The Philosophy of Achievement by Andrew Carnegie and Napoleon Hill

Summary
  1. There are 17 major principles of success and one must first be aware of them, then embody them and then act and live by them to achieve success in any field and area of life – the principles of definiteness of purpose
Key Takeaways
  1. All success begins with a definiteness of purpose. Develop a definiteness of purpose which arouses a burning desire in you, one which never leaves your thoughts, one which you can devote your life to. A burning desire backed by a solid and actionable plan which excites and brings in other great minds (a mastermind group). A group of disciplined and sharp minded people can achieve multiples more than an individual ever could
  2. The first step from poverty to riches is the most difficult
  3. Every great endeavor and road to riches begins with a clear vision of what one seeks and when it evolves into an obsession, the subconscious mind works on it until it is realized. A positive mental attitude is what gives power to ones thoughts and plans
  4. There is a definite law between giving and getting and not understanding or appreciating this has disappointed and ruined many men and endeavors
  5. A burning desire is not enough if you do not bring forth a useful product or service rendered in the spirit of harmony
  6. The very best way to distribute wealth is to disturbe the means by which to achieve it. Money earned is far more powerful than money given
  7. Carnegie’s definition of success – the power with which to acquire whatever one demands of life without violating the rights of others
  8. Personal power is achieved through a combination por personal traits and habits. The 10 point rule of personal power
    1. The habit of definiteness of purpose
    2. Promptness of decision
    3. Soundness of character – intentional honesty
    4. Strict discipline over one’s emotions
    5. Obsessional desire to render useful service
    6. Thorough knowledge of one’s occupation
    7. Tolerance of all subjects
    8. Loyalty to one’s personal associates and faith in a supreme being
    9. Enduring thirst for knowledge
    10. Alertness of imagination
  9. Mastermind Group – an alliance of two or more minds working together in the spirit of perfect harmony for the attainment of a definite purpose
    1. Seems like a worthy mission statement for any organization
  10. The 9 key human motives (top 3 most powerful and should be in harmony for a successful mastermind group)
    1. The emotion of love – the gateway to one’s spiritual power
    2. The emotion of sex
    3. Desire for financial gain
    4. Desire for self preservation
    5. Desire for freedom of body and mind
    6. Desire for self expression leading to fame and recognition
    7. Desire for perpetuation of life after death
    8. The emotion of anger – often expressed as envy or jealousy
    9. The emotion of fear
  11. Mental attitude of the mastermind group, like for every other group or organization, is the most important characteristic which determines the success of the group
  12. One of the most beauitful sights on earth and one of the most inspiring is that of a group of men that work together in a spirit of perfect harmony. Each man only thinking in terms of what he can do for the group
  13. The relationship between the men in the mastermind group should be confidential. The alliance should never be discussed outside the ranks of the members
  14. A marriage may be the most important mastermind group you will ever form
  15. Who we surround ourselves with on a daily and intimate basis is therefore so important for our happiness, development and future achievement
  16. An educational alliance is also always important to have as continuous learning is key, especially when it comes to acquiring specialized knowledge. What we read and learn should be as carefully consumed as the food we eat. Public libraries, one’s associates, groups and clubs and other contacts which have exoertise relevant to your definite purpose are some of the greatest resources
  17. Attractive personality traits – positive mental attitude, flexibility, sincerity of purpose, promptness of decision, courtesy, tone of voice, smiling, expression of the face, tactfulness, tolerance, frankness of manner and speech, a keen sense of humor, faith in infinite intelligence, appropriateness of words, emotional control, alertness and presence, effective speech, versatility, genuine fondness of people, good showmanship, clean sportsmanship, personal magnetism (sex energy)
  18. Applied faith is of utmost importance and a prerequisite for any major undertaking
  19. Every failure has in it the seeds of a similar advantage. Is there is such thing as permanent failure until you accept it
  20. Adopting a definite plan and a burning desire to achieve it is the beginning of all success
  21. Mans arch enemy is fear – fear or poverty, ill health, criticism, loss of love, old age, loss of liberty, death; failure. Build faith by ridding the mind of these thoughts of fear
  22. The habit of going he extra mile – rendering more service and better service than is expected from you and that you are paid for
  23. Goodwill and confidence are necessary in every walk of life and going the extra mile is the best way to achieve both. The law of compensation is such that no many can truly do more work than he is paid for for he will eventually reap the rewards of his effort
  24. Use organized individual effort – planned action. initiative and action, never procrastination, is found in all successful men
  25. Found in all successful leaders – definite purpose, definite motive, mastermind alliance, self reliance, self discipline over head and heart, persistence, a well developed faculty of imagination, definite and prompt decisions, opinions made on fact and not hearsay, capacity to create enthusiasm at will and direct it, keen sense of fairness and justice, tolerance and open mind, going the extra mile, tactfulness and a keen sense of diplomacy, listening much and talking little, an observing nature, determination, capacity stand critisicm without resentment, temperance of appetites, loyalty to all who deserve it, frankness with those who have a right to it, familiarity of men’s desires (love, sex, other motives), attractive personality, effective salesmanship, concentrate full attention on one thing at a time, learning from ones own and others mistakes, willingness to take responsibility of ones subordinates, adequately recognizing merits of others, applying golden rule to all relationships, positive mental attitudes at all times, full responsibility for all take one undertakes, keen sense of values
  26. Knowledge is of little use until it is put into some form of useful service
  27. Creative and synthetic imagination
  28. Turn definite of purpose into consistent and emotional user thought to tap into power of subconscious. The two key driving emotions are love and sex
  29. 9 based motives printed out and worked into DCA
  30. Carbegues morive is to make men and not money
  31. It is ibky through mans partnership with woman that he dan reach his highest potential
  32. Ritualized positive thinking habits and strict use of time are key
  33. Learning from defeat and realizing it is temporary is necessary for success
  34. Causes of failure – the habit of drifting through life without a definite major purpose, unfavorable hereditary foundations (only cause of failure not subject to elimination and even this can be managed), habit of meddlesome curiosity in others affairs, inadequate preparation, lack of self discipline, indifference to opportunities towards self advancement, ill health, not aiming high enough, unfavorable environmental influences, habit of negative mental attitude, lack of emotional control, indecision and indefiniteness, succumbing to 7 basic fears, wrong selection of a mate, over caution, excess tendency towards chance, wrong choice of associates, wrong choice of vocation, lack of focus to main effort, indiscriminate spending, failure to budget and use time properly, lack of controlled enthusiasm, intolerance, failure to cooperate with others, desire for power not based on merit, lack of loyalty, egotism and vanity, exaggerated selfishness, opinions and plans not based on know facts, lack of vision and imagination, lack of a mastermind group, not aligning to forces of infinite intelligence, vanity of speech, speaking before thinking, covetousness, revenge, greed, procrastination, speaking slanderously of others, ignorance of the power of thought, lack of personal initiative, lack of self reliance, lack of a pleasing personality, lack of faith in oneself, of others and of God, insufficient power of will because of poor thought patterns
  35. Conjuring up willpower and enthusiasm and inspiration is an important skill to have
  36. Getting an outside perspective on self is always helpful
  37. Splitting ones energy and attention takes away from ones superpowers
  38. A well ordered life requires preparation, commitment and vision. They plan their life like they plan their business. 1/3 sleep, 1/3 work, 1/3 growth and healthy recreation – opportunity time
  39. The golden rule may cause temporary losses but massive permanent long term gains
  40. Conservative living and saving on a regular schedule is important for self discipline and any pote rial future issues
  41. A healthy body is as important as a healthy mind and healthy thought patterns. Eat so that you’re not too full, eat balanced meals, enough fruits and veggies, slow eating, no snacking between meals, no liquor, supplement with lacking vitamins and minerals, mind must be conditioned and grateful for the meal (no stress or fighting while eating)
  42. Relaxation by clearing the mind of all thoughts and stresses should be done for at least an hour per day
  43. 8 hours per sleep per night is required for a healthy body, mind, spirit and attitude
  44. At least one hour per day for a recreational sport should be worked into one’s schedule
  45. Hope inspires good health and good health inspires health
  46. Frequent flushing and detoxifying of the sewer system is required through healthy eating, fasts and plenty of water
  47. Avoid too many medicines and drugs. Listening to the body is often the best thing you can do
  48. Cosmic habit force – the particular application of energy with which nature maintains the relationships between all atoms of matter. It is what gives power to our thoughts. We are ruled by our habits which are formed by thoughts and experience. We control our destinies by the amount we control our thoughts. This law translates our thoughts into their physical equivalent through the most efficient means if we are dedicated and open to the opportunities the universe presents. This gets man to focus intensely on every way to translate his thoughts into reality. The power of the cosmic habit force is multiplied by the mastermind group as multiple people are purely focused on the same goal
  49. Everything worth having has its required price to pay. Nothing comes for nothing
What I got out of it
  1. The combination of a burning definiteness of purpose and a harmonious mastermind group is the keystone to all success

Fallen Leaves: Last Words on Life, Love, War and God by Will Durant

Summary
  1. The personal, distilled wisdom and beliefs of Will Durant on life’s important topics. Answered clearly, simply and imperfectly
Key Takeaways
  1. Man is always steeped in the ways and views of his youth and is almost constantly constitutionally incapable of understanding the changing world that assails him
  2. We love children because they are extensions of ourselves and because they embody unlimited potential. They are what we cannot be – uninhibited, transparently selfish, un hypocritical, spontaneous. Children and fools speak the truth and somehow find happiness in their sincerity. They learn by imitation and teach us what we really are by how they behave
  3. Childhood could be called the age of play and therefore some children are never young and some adults never old. Never give up play as this will speed up aging and lower quality of life.
  4. Every philosopher should also be an athlete. If he is not, let us examine the philosophy
  5. Health lies in action and to be busy is the secret of grace and half the secret of content. Let us ask God not for possessions but for things to do for happiness lies in making things rather than consuming them
  6. The tragedy of life is that it only gives us wisdom once it has stolen youth. If the young but knew how and the old but could
  7. Nothing learned in a book is of any use until it is used and verified in life. It is life which educates
  8. At the same time as children transition to youth and begin examining themselves, they also begin examining the world. They become afraid at learning their species’ true nature – cooperation within the family but competition with society
  9. If youth were wise they would put love above all else and not fall into the trap that so many do of trading it for money, fame or other external recognition. Making all else subordinate to it until the end. How can it matter what price we pay for love
  10. Life seems brutal because we think we are individuals when in fact we are temporary organs of the species. The individual fails but life succeeds
  11. Logic is an invention of man and may be ignored by the universe
  12. Only one thing is certain in history, decade. Only one thing is certain in life, death
  13. Death, like style, is the removal of the superfluous
  14. One recounting of history may be recounted by the avatars of God. The replacing of one deity for another by an overtaking tribe is seen time and again and a list of the changing gods would make quite a directory for the changing of the guard
  15. Heaven and hell are not located in another world, they are simply states of mind
  16. Religions are not made by the intellect or else they would never touch the soul, reach the masses or have any longevity. The imagination must be moved and inspire courage, compassion and moral development
  17. It can be argued that morality and civilization are one. Durant defines morality as the consistency of private conduct with public interest as understood by the group
  18. Moral self-restraint is one of the surest guarantees to advancement and self-fulfillment
  19. We must respect differing opinions. Intolerance is the door to violence, brutality and dictatorship and the realization of human interdependence and solidarity is the best protection of civilization.
  20. Women generally acquire by instinct all that men acquire by intellect
  21. “I admire the architecture of woman…Her movement is poetry become flesh.”
  22. The art which has most obviously and visibly made progress over the last thousand years is the art of war
  23. The state is the soul of man enlarged under the microscope of history
  24. Greed and wealth originally arose as a hedge against starvation but later became vices as abundance and social norms no longer made them necessary for survival
  25. Prejudice is deadly to religion but vital to civilization
  26. The first law of government is self preservation, the second is self extension
  27. Peace is war by other means
  28. Humankind has waited for centuries for a cease to war through a raising of consciousness but there is no broad, humankind consciousness
  29. Character – a rational harmony and hierarchy of desires in coordination with capacity
  30. Wisdom – an application of experience to present problems
  31. Education is the perfection of life and there should be 3 tenets on which to base education and its goals:
    1. The control of life through health, character, intelligence and technology
    2. The enjoyment of life through friendship, literature, nature and art
    3. The understanding of life through history, science, religion and philosophy
  32. There is nothing Epicurean about desiring a healthy and strong body as this allows us the possibility for a happy and long life and to pursue our goals. He would have dietitians teach students an hour per day on the basics and benefits of a healthy diet and exercise
  33. The point of education is not to create scholars but to form people
  34. There is a big difference between intellect and intelligence. Intellect is the capacity for acquiring and using ideas. Intelligence is the ability to use experience, even the experience of other’s, for the clarification and attainment of one’s ends. Intelligence is garnered from experience, action, reading
  35. An intimate knowledge and experience with nature and sports should not be undervalued
  36. Learning language and culture is most natural and easiest when living and immersing yourself in it
  37. Psychology is a theory of human behavior. Philosophy is too often an ideal of human behavior. History is occasionally a record of human behavior
  38. No man is fit to lead if he cannot see his time in perspective of history
  39. Travel, if too varied and hurried, makes the mind superficial and can confirm stereotypes
  40. Much of history is bunk. However, there is an alternate view to history. History is man’s rise from savagery to civilization. History is the record of the lasting contributions made to man’s knowledge, wisdom, arts, morals, manners, skills. History is a laboratory rich in a hundred thousand experiments in economics, religion, literature, science and government. History is our roots and our illumination as the road by which we came and the only light that can clarify our present and future. This history is not bunk and can even be considered the only true philosophy and the only true psychology
  41. The present is merely the past rolled up and concentrated into this moment of time
  42. We are choked with news and starved of history
  43. History is philosophy teaching by example
  44. A constant lesson from history is that revolutionists soon come to act like the men they overthrew
  45. You cannot make men equal simply by passing laws
What I got out of it
  1. At times a bit outdated, patronizing and patriarchal but chock full of wisdom and worth reading and re-reading

Tao of Jeet Kune Do by Bruce Lee

Summary
  1. “An organic collection of writings that are meant to convey the essence of Bruce Lee’s art of jeet kune do…To understand JKD, one ought to throw away all ideals, patterns, styles; in fact, he should throw away even the concepts of what is or isn’t ideal in JKD.”
Key Takeaways
  1. Personal evolution is the ultimate message of the Tao. The Tao represents an individual’s pursuit of martial arts for self-realization. There is nothing more powerful than that for human development and martial arts excellence
  2. The consciousness of self is the greatest hindrance to the proper execution of all physical movement
  3. Art reaches its greatest peak when devoid of self-consciousness. Freedom discovers man the moment he loses concern over what impression he is making or about to make
  4. The perfect way is only difficult for those who pick and choose. Do not like, do not dislike; all will then be clear. Make a hairbreadth difference and heaven and earth are set apart; if you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between “for” and “against” is the mind’s worst disease
  5. How can one respond to the totality with a partial, fragmentary pattern?
  6. To fit in with an opponent one needs direct perception. There is no direct perception where there is a resistance, a “this is the only way” attitude
  7. The Path to Truth – seeking after truth, awareness of truth (and its existence), perception of truth (its substance and direction), understanding of truth, experiencing of truth, mastering of truth, forgetting truth, forgetting the carrier of truth, return to the primal source where truth has its roots, repose in the nothing
  8. When there is freedom from mechanical conditioning, there is simplicity. Life is a relationship to the whole.
  9. Relationship is understanding. It is a process of self-revelation. Relationship is the mirror in which you discover yourself – to be is to be related
  10. This does not mean to do nothing at all, but only to have no deliberate mind in whatever one does. Do not have a mind that selects or rejects. To be without deliberate mind is to hang no thoughts
  11. Acceptance, denial and conviction prevent understanding. Let your mind move together with another’s in understanding with sensitivity. Then, there is a possibility of real communication. To understand one another, there must be a state of choiceless awareness where there is no sense of comparison or condemnation, no waiting for a further development of discussion in order to agree or disagree. Above all, don’t start from a conclusion.
  12. The physically bound go for puffing and straining and miss the delicate way; the intellectually bound go for idealism and lack efficiency and actually seeing into realities
  13. Better to discover causes of ignorance than seek knowledge
  14. Transcend dualistic comprehension of a situation
  15. The knowledge and skill you have achieved are meant to be “forgotten” so you can float comfortably in emptiness, without obstruction. Learning is important but do not become its slave. Above all, do not harbor anything external and superfluous – the mind is primary. Any technique, however worthy and desirable, becomes a disease when the mind is obsessed with it
  16. Fear comes from uncertainty. When we are absolutely certain, whether of our worth or our worthlessness, we are almost impervious to fear. Thus, a feeling of utter unworthiness can be a source of courage. Everything seems possible when we are absolutely helpless or absolutely powerful – and both states stimulate our gullibility.
  17. Pride is a sense of worth derived from something that is not organically part of us, while self-esteem is derived from the potentialities and achievements of self. We are proud when we identify ourselves with an imaginary self, a leader, a holy cause, a collective body or possessions. There is fear and intolerance in pride; it is sensitive and uncompromising. The less promise and potentiality in the self, the more imperative is the need for pride. The core of pride is self-rejection. It is true, however, that when pride releases energies and serves as a spur to achievement, it can lead to a reconciliation with the self and the attainment of genuine self-esteem.
  18. We are told that talent creates its own opportunities. Yet, it sometimes seems that intense desire creates not only its own opportunities, but its own talents as well.
What I got out of it
  1. A great, in depth view of Bruce Lee’s philosophy of JKD. The majority of the book is a detailed look on the techniques, routines, training regimens and more that Bruce followed and taught. That part wasn’t too useful to me but you can see how Bruce applied his principles of JKD to all he did

Words From a Master by Bruce Lee

Summary
  1. Transcript of Bruce Lee interview with Pierre Berton, Ted Thomas and Alex Ben Block as well as the interviewers reflections
Key Takeaways
  1. Berton mentions that out of the 2,000+ people he interviewed in his life, Bruce was the most intense, like a coiled spring
  2. Ted Thomas thought that Bruce Lee personified a tough self-sufficiency and should be remembered for being the first of the great action kung fu movie stars and the man who made a Chinese hold up his head in the international scene and be proud of himself
  3. Block mentions that Bruce became a hero for oppressed people of every race as he was able to break out of all the things that seem to bind us in society and keep us from becoming a success, and truly rising above all that. He had a philosophy. A deep system of belief that he brought to everything he did
What I got out of it
  1. Interesting reflections from these three men who interviewed Bruce Lee shortly before his death

You’re It! On Hiding, Seeking and Being Found by Alan Watts

Summary
  1. A compilation of Alan Watts’ speeches on a broad number of topics
Key Takeaways
  1. On spiritual gurus – Watts says he is more like a physician than a clergyman since he wants to get rid of people and not keep them
  2. On mysticism and morality. A feeling of total harmoniousness and oneness with the universe where nothing is a coincidence. Ties this to morality by saying there are no wrong feelings. There is no shame in feeling anyway about yourself or others. The only way to overcome your feelings is to accept it wholly and become one with it
  3. The game of yes and no. The philosophy of Yin and Yang is that externally yes/no, good/bad are different but internally they are one and the same. Without contrast nothing can exist – the negative is the source of the positive, the empty space in the window is what makes it useful
  4. On Zen. Zen Buddhism works to change your perception of who and what you are. A method of changing consciousness. The sensation of being an independent ‘I’ is simply a hallucination
  5. Any future precisely known instantly becomes the past
  6. The Hindu looks upon the earth as a drama, a play, where God gets involved in order to keep from being bored. Westerners view the world as a construct and the Chinese as an organism
  7. We are consistently tricked by our thoughts which are merely symbols. Losing sight of the fact that money is merely a symbol, an abstraction to make trade more convenient has gotten more people in trouble than nearly anything else. In the pursuit for these abstractions we are destroying our physical world and relationship with others
  8. Realizing there really is nothing we can do to improve ourselves or improve the world is often a huge moment of relief. It gives us space to just be. To observe ourselves, others and the world for what it truly is rather than what we wish it would be like. Trying to improve yourself is like trying to lift yourself by your own bootstraps. It can’t be done
  9. A myth is an image in which we try to make sense of the world. All understanding is done by analogy. Two models of the universe have been prevalent over the last 2,000 years – the ceramic and fully automatic models. The ceramic is based on the Book of Genesis and is one where the world is made and this leads to a subject and ruler mentality. The fully automatic model holds that evolution is pushed along by the desire for survival, not by an intelligent designer
  10. People get in trouble for mistaking the description of the world for how the world is. Beware that the map is not the terrain
  11. We live in an eternal now
What I got out of it
  1. Hammered home some aspects of Zen, Buddhism and Hinduism that weren’t as clear to me before. The idea that nothing can exist in isolation, without its contrast (can’t know fat without skinny, good without bad) was talked about a lot and is really interesting to me

God’s Debris: A Thought Experiment by Scott Adams

Summary
  1. A thought experiment via dialogue on some of life’s big questions
Key Takeaways
  1. We are the building blocks of God, in early stages of reassembly. Eventually we will get to the point, beyond quarks and whatever else there is, where all matter is similar and this matter is God
  2. Building the Internet is not rational, it is something programmed in us. In the distant future, the Internet will be one big consciousness and make decisions on behalf of everyone and distribute it to everyone immediately
  3. Light is not a physical thing but a boundary
  4. Many wars are fought over holy land because of the delusion that location is constant
  5. Probability is the expression of God’s will. God controls the averages, not the individuals. Payoff for living with increased good probabilities leads to a happier, more meaningful and less stressful life. All you have to do is go with probability but sometimes it is hard to find what the right probability is
  6. People tend to be either ‘people oriented’ (talk about what people said or feel or do) and others are ‘idea oriented’. Talking about people is personal to everyone because we all instantly relate it to ourselves. When you find out how others deal with situations, there will instantly be parallels to your life. Ask others how they like something, how they deal with it, their struggles. Find a commonality and you both delight in talking about yourselves while pleasing the other.
  7. It is never useful to challenge the opinions of others, rather challenge the assumptions
  8. Each gender believes the other is a defective version of the other and this is the root of all misunderstanding. Women are about relationships and men about how they help others. If a man sacrifices their favorite activity to be with her, she will trust him. It is all about sacrifice. Men are all about accomplishments and if a woman doesn’t live up to his objectives, the man is disappointed. A woman needs to be told the man would sacrifice anything for her and a man needs to hear he is useful
  9. Don’t try to change anyone because people can’t be changed. The best you can hope for in a relationship is for someone who’s flaws you don’t mind
  10. No deep or important communication can be made without trust. Establish trust by ‘lying’ and making yourself more human, more humble – making your victories seem the result of luck and exaggerating your flaws
  11. Conversation can be seen as useless until you realize it’s not all about exchange of information but of signaling to the other person of their importance by your giving of time
  12. Other social tips – Express gratitude, deliver more than is expected, speak optimistically, be nice to people, remember names, don’t judge people by their mistakes but how they respond to mistakes, attend to own basic needs first or else you won’t be helpful to anyone else, touch people, don’t mistake flexibility for weakness, remember that physical appearance is for the benefit of others
  13. Affirmations work because people who are enthusiastic enough to write down their goals and know what they want are more likely to achieve them. Become more attuned to opportunities in environment to achieve goals. Opportunities don’t increase or come out of nowhere but people become more attuned to spotting them
  14. Your subconscious is an odds-calculating machine, but not always to good effect
  15. Intelligence is how well you function within your level of awareness and awareness is being able to recognize your delusions for what they are. Awareness is about unlearning, about realizing how little you know. Level 1 is of existence, level 2 is realizing others exist and believe what you’re told by authorities, level 3 is realizing humans are often wrong about what they believe and know there are some things you “know” which are wrong but not which ones, level 4 is skepticism and use of scientific method to determine what is true and false, level 5 understands the mind is an illusion generator, not a window into reality and recognizes science as a belief system, albeit a useful one. Level 5 avatars live by serving others. The world’s great leaders tend to be at level 2, very charismatic who can bring people into their delusion
  16. There is no good or bad, only difference is in usefulness
  17. Ideas are the only thing that change the world, the rest are details
What I got out of it
  1. Tackles some big and complicated questions in a relatively straightforward way. Quick read that most likely will need to be re-read to fully grasp

Wisdom for Daily Living by Bruce Lee

Summary
  1. A collection of Bruce Lee’s thoughts and aphorisms broken out into eight different sections, helping you prepare your own way through challenges and difficulties. The aphorisms are presented in such a way to force the reader to think for themselves about the issue they’re having and come up with their own answer
Key Takeaways
  1. Independent inquiry is needed in your search for truth, not dependence on anyone else’s view or a mere book
  2. To free one’s self from preconceived notions, prejudices and conditioned responses is essential to understanding truth and reality
  3. Reality and perception. There is a difference. The world and our reaction to it
  4. Don’t neglect life by worrying about death. Have no regrets. Do what you want to do and with sincerity and to the best of your ability. You can’t ask much more from life than that
  5. Don’t seek, but allow
  6. Sincere thought means thought of concentration (quiet awareness). The thought of a distracted mind cannot be sincere
  7. Instead of dedicating your life to actualize a concept of what you should be like, actualize yourself. The process of maturing does not mean to become a captive of conceptualization. It is to come to the realization of what lies in our innermost selves
  8. Concepts prevent feeling. Don’t think – feel!
  9. Any idea that is constantly held in the mind and emotionalized, begins at once to clothe itself in the most convenient and appropriate physical form that is available
  10. Perception is awareness without choice, nonjudgmental observation
  11. To be humble to superiors is duty; to equals is courtesy; to inferiors is nobleness; and to all, safety!
  12. To be unconsciously conscious or consciously unconscious is the secret of Nirvana
  13. Conscience is your pilot
  14. To understand your fear is the beginning of really seeing
  15. The more we value things, the less we value ourselves. The more we depend upon others for esteem, the less self-sufficient we are
  16. Real living is living for others
  17. Love is never lost. If not reciprocated, it will flow back and soften and purify the heart
  18. Love is an egotism of two
  19. The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.
  20. Happiness is the appropriate moral behavior for the appropriate situation
  21. The three things most difficult are: to keep a secret, to forget an injury, to make good use of leisure
  22. To be able to do the things we want sometimes requires the performance of a few we don’t
  23. Defeat is education
  24. In solitude you are least alone. Loneliness is only an opportunity to cut adrift and find yourself
  25. Anxiety is the gap between now and then. If you are in the now, you can’t be anxious
  26. To change with change is the changeless state
  27. It’s not the job but how you do it. The reward is in the action, not from it
  28. Success means doing something sincerely and whole-heartedly. And you have to have the help of others to achieve it
  29. Simplicity is the last step in art and the beginning of nature
  30. To formalize something is to make progress impossible. Don’t become a slave to borders, styles, patterns, dogma
  31. To view totality, one has to be a total outsider
What I got out of it
  1. A good compilation of Bruce’s quotes and thoughts on a variety of topics. Will be useful to turn to at times but doesn’t provide the context that some of the other books in the Bruce Lee Library Series do

Wisdom for the Way by Bruce Lee

Summary
  1. Compilation of Bruce Lee’s quotes, teachings and philosophy
Key Takeaways
  1. Remember, success is a journey, not a destination. Have faith in your ability. You will do just fine
  2. You have to create your own luck. You have to be aware of the opportunities around you to take advantage of them
  3. Learning is definitely not mere imitation, nor is it the ability to accumulate and regurgitate fixed knowledge. Learning is a constant process of discovery – a process without end
  4. The problem is never apart from the answer. The problem is the answer – understanding the problem dissolves the problem
  5. Success means doing something sincerely and wholeheartedly
  6. Be a practical dreamer backed by action
  7. Every man today is the result of his thoughts yesterday
  8. When I have listened to my mistakes, I have grown
What I got out of it
  1. Another very nice compilation of Bruce Lee’s thoughts and philosophy

Bruce Lee: The Little Black Book by SC Hollister

Summary
  1. A compilation of some of Bruce Lee’s most famous quotes
Key Takeaways
  1. Be happy, but never satisfied
  2. The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering
  3. Empty your cup so that it may be filled; become devoid to gain totality
  4. Now I see that I will never find the light unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, consuming myself
  5. Using no way as way, having no limitation as limitation
  6. The more we value things, the less we value ourselves
  7. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Moving, be like water. Still, be like a mirror. Respond like an echo
  8. Obey the principles without being bound by them
  9. Relationship is understanding. It is a process of self-revelation. Relationship is the mirror in which you discover yourself – to be is to be related
  10. Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own
  11. Effort within the mind further limits the mind, because effort implies struggle towards a goal and when you have a goal, a purpose, an end in view, you have place a limit on the mind
  12. In the middle of chaos lies opportunity (like Gribbin said in Deep Simplicity, interesting things happen on the edge of chaos, at complexity)
  13. In life there are no limits, only plateaus
  14. Art reaches its greatest peak when devoid of self-consciousness. Freedom discovers man the moment he loses concern over what impression he is making or about to make
What I got out of it
  1. A short and excellent gateway into the teachings and beliefs of Bruce Lee. Highly recommend as a starting point to get a taste of Bruce Lee’s philosophy