Lot of times we consider only those experiences as learnings where we had seen great success in life. This is how by default our mind works for majority of us. When failure happens then our mind gets shut. We don’t understand to learn lessons from loss, failure or in difficult times or when things are not happening asper our wish, it’s because our emotional side of brain dominates the logical mind. It’s called Amygdala Hijack or Emotional Hijack as Daniel Goleman said. But this doesn’t mean it’s not possible to identify learnings from difficult times, it depends on how open and curious we are to learn something new.
I recently started studying martial arts books to understand philosophy. During this exploration I read Bruce Lee’s life story and books on him, he purposefully/intentionally participated in some deadly fights where he already knew that opponent is stronger than him and he would fail in that fight. His strategy is to learn from failure, and by loosing the game he use to learn what he was lacking in him, and then he use to practice on it to improve that particular skill with lot of sincerity and dedication, and again he use to go back to the same opponent to fight, he use to defeat all those opponents after learnings. In fact, he was appreciated by all those opponents for his dedication, those great fighters ended-up learning few new things from Bruce Lee. He badly wanted to get those bad kicks from stronger opponents just to learn from them, he invited “Failures” to learn something new continuously. He did not to do it for success but for learning, his true thirst behind learning something new gave him the title of “LEGEND” and made him number one position in the martial arts. Bruce Lee was mad about learning, people called him mad, his well wishers advised him to stop his mad risky ventures, but they did not know that Bruce wants to learn things and not actually to win, he was mad behind learning and gaining wisdom but not to get some titles. Bruce Lee became well known only because for his strong thirst to learn.
“If one has a continuous learning mind then nothing would seem like not working out, instead everything seems working for him/her but not against”. The moment we stop learning when things are not working out then our motivation to live also stops”.
So if you are down in life with problems/uncertainties/failures then don’t hate your life, these are the only great teachers through which we can understand our work, our life journey and relationships. Don’t run away , don’t think of suicide or don’t think of quitting from difficulties. Don’t label these opportunities as depression or bad situations, these situations are blessings. These are the opportunities that come to advance our life but not to defeat us. I personally failed and lost a lot of money and even few important relationships when I ran my business between 2016-2019. But those were the valuable experiences that taught me how to learn hidden lessons whenever I go through difficult times. Now success can’t make me proud or loss can’t break me. I take both situations as equal and opportunities to learn.
If you want to get inspired by Bruce Lee philosophy then I would recommend below books.
Striking Thoughts by Bruce Lee
The warrior within by John Little
Be Water My Friend by Shanon Lee ( Written by Bruce Lee’s daughter).
Netflix series “The Legend of Bruce Lee”
The Man only I knew by Linda Lee Cadwell ( Wife of Bruce Lee).
And books by JK – Jiddu Krishnamurthy – Bruce Lee use to read Krishnamurthy books a lot.
Below lines are from the book written by Shanon Lee “The True Teachings of Bruce Lee” – Be Water, My Friend.
In Everyday life the mind is capable of moving from one thought to one object to another. However, when one is face to face with an opponent in a deadly contest, the mind tends to lose its mobility and get sticky and stopped. This is a problem that haunts everyone.
The opponent in life is an obstacle. When we hit a bog road-block, its easy to not only get stuck but lose hope. My father said “it is not what happens that is success or failure”, but what it does to the heart of that person, What does it to do to your heart? Will you let it defeat you? Or will you learn to use it to step into something new? Something unexpected? Perhaps even something better?