“Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own”

— Bruce Lee

Amongst many things, Bruce Lee was truly an original philosopher/thinker. A fact that is still somewhat overlooked but getting more recognition as we revisit his rich body of work.

Yes, he learned from others and was a voracious reader of the classic texts on philosophy and the martial arts. But, he was never afraid to question. Never afraid to pivot from the well worn path, if he thought it was not the path to tread. Always looking at the world with an active mind.

So, what can we learn from this simple, but powerful, Bruce one liner? How can it help us?

Absorb What Is Useful

In an age of distraction attraction, we are constantly bombarded with messages, advertising and general demands for our attention. With such flows coming our way, getting ever busier and noisier, we need to be selective about what we let in and how much notice we take of what is coming in.

Discard What Is Useless

This is the next logical step. Quite simply, if it’s not useful to us, or doesn’t help us, then maybe we should be throwing it out.

Apply this to everything in your life. If it’s not useful to you, or it doesn’t give you joy, or support your goals in some way, then maybe you don’t need it. Get it out!

Add What Is Specifically Your Own

The challenging but fun part! This is where we get to add our own twist to ensure whatever we end up with, serves us best. After all we have to live our own life, no one else can live it for us.

Ponder the quote, let it sink in and see how you can apply it to your own life. If you do, you’ll start to see many positive changes and it will give you a clearer, more focused outlook.

Thank you Bruce.

Note: This is a riff off an earlier post here

Carl writes short books full of big ideas. He is also the proud owner of Frictionless Living which helps readers leverage simplicity and focus to live their own version of a good life.