"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus. And you must not stay there. You must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee
What's there not to learn from Bruce Lee? Lee, the Hong Kong and American actor, martial artist, director, and founder of his own Kung Fu style known as "Jeet Kune Do," certainly had quite the long list of achievements. Were he to have a resume today, it most certainly would be unbelievably impressive.
What is most incredible about Lee's notable accomplishments, one might realize, is that they are not all in the same domain. From martial arts, to film, and even poetry, Lee never limited himself to any one thing in his life.
Bruce Lee's tremendous success was in great part a result of his own, unique personal philosophy -- based on ancient wisdom. According to Lee, the key to success is to constantly discover and learn new approaches and information while questioning the norms and status quo that box us in. As he once wrote,
"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...Unfortunately, most students...are conformists. Instead of learning to depend on themselves for expression, they blindly follow their instructors, no longer feeling alone, and finding security in mass imitation. The product of this imitation is a dependent mind. Independent inquiry, which is essential to genuine understanding, is sacrificed."
Hoping to reach similar heights of achievement in your own life? Here's how to see if you are, indeed, limiting yourself and what you can do to break out and go far beyond them:
1. Your mindset is more negative than positive
Yes, it's true: when you turn your can'ts into cans, your dreams will turn into plans. Pay attention to what you personally believe is impossible, and ask yourself if there is even one way to achieve what you believe is the unthinkable. This ancient life philosophy is how many successful business titans and influential individuals have left their own marks on many industries, and even history itself.
2. You create obstacles for yourself
Sometimes the hurdles we believe we will face are simply imagined. If you are applying for a new position, it's time to change your thought processes if you find yourself worrying, "This employer would never give me a chance and hire me, because I don't have enough experience or (fill in the blank). Might as well not apply!" You may never know what hiring teams are looking for in their applicants. If you create an obstacle for yourself because of your own worries, you face the danger of never applying, trying, or succeeding.
3. You love being comfortable
We experience growth when we take the plunge and allow ourselves to take risks and let things get uncomfortable. As soon as you get too comfortable with where and who you are, be careful! Accepting your current situation, because you think you do not have the ability or power to strive for better, is a telltale sign of limiting yourself.
Change your mindset. Create a vision. Take steps to change your situation. We may not all be martial arts masters, but we can choose to have the spirit of Bruce Lee within all of us, if we choose to live a life without limits.