What Bruce Lee can teach us about living fully | Shannon Lee


Translator: Leslie Gauthier
Reviewer: Joanna Pietrulewicz Bruce Lee is my father, and he is best well-known
as a martial artist and an action film star, as I’m sure most of you know. He died when I was four years old, but I have a really deep memory of him. I don’t have those long-form, storied
memories that you do when you’re older, but the memory that I do have
is of the feeling of him. I remember his energy, his presence, his love — the safety of it, the power of it, the radiance of it. And to me that memory
is very deep and personal. And it is the memory of the quality
of his essential nature. What a lot of people
don’t know about my father is that he was also a philosopher. He had a very ever-evolving philosophy that he lived, and it is that distinction —
that he lived his philosophy and didn’t just espouse his philosophy — that made him the force of nature
that he was, and still engages us today. His wisdom has salvaged me
many times in my life: when my brother died, when my heart’s been broken, whenever I have faced a challenge
to my mind, my body or my spirit, the way that he expressed
himself has lifted me up. And so I come to you today
not as a researcher or an educator or a guru or even a life coach, but as a student of Bruce Lee — as his daughter, and also as a student of my own life. So … my big burning question that I want
you all to consider today is … how are you? Let me elaborate. Whenever anyone would ask my mom
what my father was like, she would say, “How he was
in front of the camera, how you saw him in his films, how you saw him in his interviews was, in fact, exactly how he was.” There were not multiple Bruce Lees. There was not public Bruce Lee
and private Bruce Lee, or teacher Bruce Lee and actor Bruce Lee
and family man Bruce Lee. There was just one
unified, total Bruce Lee. And that Bruce Lee had a very deep,
philosophical life practice called self-actualization. You’ve probably heard that term before. It’s also known as how to be yourself
in the best way possible. And that Bruce Lee said this: “When I look around,
I always learn something and that is to be always yourself, and to express yourself
and have faith in yourself. Don’t go out and find a successful
personality and duplicate it, but rather start
from the very root of your being, which is ‘How can I be me?'” Many of us have done some soul-searching or at least some incessant
thinking and worrying about things like our purpose,
our passion, our impact, our values and our “reason for being.” And that is sometimes considered our why. Why am I here? Why this life? What am I meant to be doing? If we can grab a little piece
of that information, it can help to ground us and root us, and it can also point us in a direction, and typically what it
points us to is our what. What we manifest in the world, what we have. So our job, our home,
our hobbies and the like. But there’s this little space
in between the why and the what that often doesn’t get our full attention, and that is our … how. How we get there
and the quality of that doing. And I want to offer that this is actually
the most important part of the equation when it comes to our personal growth, our sense of wholeness and even the long-term
impact that we make. How is the action that bridges the gap
from the internal to the external. And bridging the gap
is a very important concept for martial artists like my father. It’s how you get from point A to point B. It’s how you get from here to your target
under the most vital of circumstances. And so it makes all the difference. Do you get there as an amateur?
Are you sloppy? Are you wild, chaotic, sometimes you get lucky,
sometimes you’re not lucky? Or are you a warrior? Are you confident? Are you focused? Are you skilled? Are you intuitive? Are you expressive, creative, aware? So I want to talk to you today
about your how in your life. So we do a little bit of — we spend a little time
in existential crisis over “Why am I here?
What am I meant to be doing?” and we put a ton of effort
into our what — our job, our career,
our partner that we have and the hobbies we pursue. But I want us to consider that our how is the expression of our why in every what, whether we’re aware of it or not. And so let’s take an example. Let’s say that I have a value of kindness. I’m all about kindness, I feel really natural being kind, I want to see more kindness in the world. Is that kindness — is that value in the result or is it in the doing? Are you trying to be kind
when it’s hard to be kind? Can you do something
you don’t want to do kindly, like fire someone? Can you leave
a relationship with kindness? If kindness is the value, then are you trying to express it in the whole spectrum of your doing — and trying to do that? Or are you just doing it when it’s easy? So I want us to think
about that for a moment and consider, you know, if we come home and we’re kind and generous
and loving with our kids, but then we go to work and we are dismissive and rude to our assistant and we treat them like a subhuman, then there is a fragmentation
in the beingness of our value. And so I want us to consider
that how we are in our lives is in fact how we are. Meaning, if I am the kind of person that walks down the street
and smiles at people and says “hi” as I walk
past them on the sidewalk, then that is how I am. But if I’m also the kind of person
who makes fun of my brother every chance that I get behind his back, that is also the kind of person that I am. And ultimately how we are makes up the totality
of the picture of who we are. And so I want to talk about
how do we unite these pieces if we have any fragmentation. I want to understand
how we embody ourselves as our one and only self. How do we actualize the whole self? My father said, “All goals
apart from the means are an illusion. There will never be means to ends — only means. And I am means. I am what I started with and when it is all over, I will be all that is left.” So you can employ a systematic approach
to training and practicing, but you can’t employ
a systematic approach to actually living because life is a process not a goal. It is a means and not an end. So “to obtain enlightenment” — and I’m going to say self-actualize, to be self-actualized
or to obtain wholeness — “emphasis should fall
NOT on the cultivation of the particular department” — all of our whats — “which then merges into the totality
of who we are as a total human being, but rather, on the total human being that then enters into and unites
those particular departments.” You are your how. You — if you have some consciousness and you want to bring some practice, if you want to step
into that warrior space around your how — how you express
in every aspect of your life — then you get to be the artist
of that expression. You get to step into that and claim it and exercise it and bring that beingness
through your doingness into your havingness. And there you will find
the most profound of your growth, you will find a sense of wholeness and ultimately, you will leave
a lasting impact on your environment. My father was his how. He applied the execution of who he was to every aspect of his life. He was way more than
that kung fu guy from the ’70s. He was someone who worked very hard
at actualizing his inner self and expressing it out into the world. And that laid the foundation
for what continues to inspire us, engage us, excite us and attract us to him. He was the embodied example
of living fully. He said, “I am means.” And there are only means. So I’m going to ask you one more time. Thank you for listening,
and please consider, for you, across the spectrum of your doing, how are you? Thank you. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “What Bruce Lee can teach us about living fully | Shannon Lee

  1. I really didn’t like this as much as I was hoping I would. She uses a lot of flowery loquacious language, and in the end kind of says nothing at all

  2. You know when a legend has kids and they turn out to be nowhere near as great as their parent?

    This is another example.

    When Bruce Lee spoke philosophy and psychology, he actually made sense. She's just talking crap.

  3. Hi all. Just think about the idea and the story the lady is telling. Forget her history and person she tallks about. Have a good life.

  4. Your dad is an inspiration, but you're a shill to the oppressive Chinese censors. (Shannon Lee got them to ban the release of "Once upon a time in Hollywood" there due to her not liking the depiction of her father)

  5. Watching this ted talk was a unique experience, and as an actor it certainly made me think. I also learned a lot from the comments that were written, and I think it is important to understand that even if you do not like the person giving you a message, you still have to acknowledge that the message is useful in art.

  6. I remember before Bruce Lee, all Asians or any brown-skinned peoples were treated as subordinates. After Bruce's first movie, Chinese Connection showed at the local drive-ins, my entire high school looked at all Asians quite differently as if we all knew kung-fu. Bruce saved us, he gave us pride and reminded us to be the best we truly are.

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  9. Let's remember that Shannon Lee has been sucking up to China's totalitarian regime in order to get Once Upon a Time in Hollywood censored, because it (accurately) portrays Bruce Lee as having a big ego. Odd choice for TED to feature someone who supports Hong Kong's brutal overlords and censorship of art.

    Source: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/china-cancels-release-tarantinos-once-a-time-hollywood-1248652

  10. At my last workplace we used to say
    – How's it going?
    – Good.
    – Yeah, but how are you doing for real?

    In an environment so full of madness, hate and anguish, we in the staf realy cared about each other.
    That would never happen today! This world has lost it's heart and soul.

    All that remains are snowflakes and safe places so that evil can rule over all of us.

    "till helvita går mänskligheten likt lamm till slakt och den Onde har vunnit kriget om våra odödliga själar"

  11. You are talking about Bruce lee and most people don't know he is a philosopher?
    Are you serious.
    How can that possibly in ALL OF CHINA AND AMERICA be.
    I can tell you the two cultures and superpowers of the world Certainly know he is a philosopher.

  12. I love this! More people need to realize Bruce was as much philosopher as he was a fighter. He certainly lived his how!
    I became fascinated with Lee's work when I was in high school, and still own several books. The philosophy most definitely paralleled his marital arts and life in a way I deeply respected.
    I think it left a huge impression on me, as I couldn't agree more with everything presented here!
    Beautiful!

  13. Fredrich Nietchze: “He who has a why can deal with almost any how.”
    Abraham Maslow creates the hierarchy of needs to reach self-actualization.
    Research now suggests happiness through the pursuit of purpose, not the avoidance of stress.
    Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy focused on finding purpose.
    Looks like a pattern of philosophy here that Bruce Lee picked up on.

  14. Who knows about the white belt in Jeet Kune do? The final stage of mastery is to forget knowledge, letting intuition and wisdom replace thinking. Most people spend their whole lives working towards black belt (skill), unaware that we are meant to eventually forget what we think we know, returning to our senses and ability to respond effectively without thought.
    This was the essence of mastery that Lee was demonstrating through how he lived…
    It's really worth looking into if you never have!
    A true life philosophy!

  15. The sentences before 10 min really resonated with me but I am pretty certain they will be mixed in some of those music mixes which take some more or less deep sounding quote and mix it with some music to be really profound and stuff.

  16. I must compose my self;

    my self is a thing I compose,

    as one composes a speech.

    Life is a process, a mean but not an end;
    the end is death.

  17. Watching Bruce Lee, both his movies and his interviews, is what recently let me down the path of Taoism. It changed my life, increasing my confidence, physicality and tranquility.

    For that I am eternally grateful and equally grateful to Ms. Shannon for spreading that legacy. My excitement to show this to others cannot be contained!

  18. “Bruce Lee is my father.” Notice she doesn’t say “was.” The memory and feeling of him still surrounds her and that’s beautiful and poignant.

  19. Thank you for the nice, inspiring talk, Shannon Lee. Your clarity helped to clear some deep concepts as well (where I was stuck currently – regarding the emphasis of “how”). Thank you once again! 🤗

  20. How am I, for real. I say that I am blessed. I too have a wonderful father although he was not in popular media. And I strive to make Him proud of me daily.

  21. Oh… man… this message could not have come to me at a better time in life. I am so grateful to be alive today! Thank you Miss, Lee..

  22. EXCELLENT !!! She has it in her too ! His concept saved my life and has kept me around for 65 years !!! VERY GOOD YOUNG LADY !!! 👍🤞✌😎

  23. Shannon Lee stops talking . . .
    Shannon starts STRETCHING . . .
    Starts CRACKING her KNUCKLES AND SHOULDERS . . .
    Takes off her SHIRT . . .
    Shannon is RIPPED !
    AUDIENCE RUNS in PANIC ! ! !

  24. Hello Miss Lee thank you for your presentation about your father, when myself my sister and my little brother are growing up my mom tried to play both roles towards me and my brother she always told me the meaning of contentment is enjoying the things you have. Never really sounded like much until I got older then the gears started turning and my mom made sense, to this day she instilled a lot of things in my persona and your father Bruce Lee made me more aware of what my mom was teaching me. Your father was a big influence in my growing up and follow the straight path to enlightenment I enjoy what I have and don’t need a lot of material things that’s not me but your dad I love your dad he was like my TV father. Thank you an God bless you.🕶

  25. Ah making a living from someone you didn't know. It's akin to me flogging the fact my biological father is famous but I never met him

  26. Bruce Lee is one of the rarest being to have walked on this planet. His life was his message. It's sad how they portrayed him in Quentin Tarantino's movie: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019). This talk was an intelligent way to revitalize what he represents to the world.

  27. This is kind of sad to watch. She really doesn't have any tangible memories of her father, but she is pretending she does to spread a message. Not sure we should encourage this kind of behavior.

  28. 4 minutes in: Wait, what is she talking about?

    After finishing the video: So was this about her father? Was it a self help video? If the former, then this video told me nothing new about her father. If the latter, then I have no idea what she's trying to tell me oyher than I should reflect on self-actualization (Which is a bullshit life coach buzz word, btw…).

    "Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do" – Her father.

  29. I lost huge disrespect for the Lee family after she went and cried and whined to China that her daddy was shown losing a fight in once upon a time in Hollywood, which resulted in the movie getting banned in China. Respect to Tarantino for not backing down to bitches like her

  30. I'm glad you came on TED, and explained your brilliant father.
    What a great figure he was in my childhood.
    To me, he will always walk beside me and teach me more about me.
    I live as he did and do learn, even in his passion in life. Thank You. D.
    I am Very Happy, thank you for asking.

  31. A lot of words that all together meant absolutely diddly squat. What a waste of time; worse still if one was sitting in that audience.. She needs to get a real job; one with meaning.

  32. How do I know everything said is false? Because what is said to be true,
    is based on every single word, out of his mouth, having it's own unique
    definition and comtext. Also, NASA has been running its current PSYOP,
    for at least 46 yrs. If you're not old or aware enough to know better,
    too bad…for you. Trust NASA and their outerspace exploits?
    Just search Google Images for Hubble images. All nice wallpapers,
    based on artistic impressions. I can tell you everything, about who our
    overlords are…is backwards. Here's a clue. Everything Google…
    from G+ Gmail and Youtube, is powered by the algorithm.
    Find who and when the algorithm was invented and you will be closer
    to what is and has been going on, then you ever were…today or ever.
    http://www.storyofmathematics.com/islamic_alkhwarizmi.html
    Let's all get on the same page and deal with a common reality,
    for once. Figure it out and deal with it. Aware or not, it's going on,
    as I type…and you read.

  33. "The Terms, including the incorporated Bruce Lee Enterprises Privacy Notice, constitutes the entire agreement between Users of the Services and Bruce Lee Enterprises regarding Users’ use of and access to the Services. Your use of the Services is intended for your enjoyment and benefit and the provision of the Services to you constitutes the sole and sufficient consideration that you are entitled to receive for any content or other contributions you have made to the Services."

  34. What it comes down to is money and broken contracts that have consequences.
    Bruce Lee's family as it is now is well taken care of, in terms of money.
    After Green Hornet and Bruce Lee went to Hong Kong to become a star,
    he entered a contract with Raymond Chow. A trio of box office hits soon were made.
    Bruce was ready to make the American break out hit, Enter the Dragon.
    Lee was stubborn and got bad business advice. He sought to break Chow's hold on him.
    Enter the Dragon was Bruce Lee's last finished film.
    He was already dead by the time of world wide release.
    https://youtu.be/IQnwLiljDgc

  35. I'm puzzled as to how she can present the same "Why,How,What" concept as Simon Sinek's extremely popular Ted Talk from 2010 and not reference it?

  36. Bruce Lee is great. He trained and lived without regret in his life. He is the best in martial arts and he is also one of the best philosopher. We have to learn a lot from Bruce Lee which changes our life greatly. Thank you Shannon Lee for letting us know character of Bruce Lee in more detail.

  37. It’s a shame he’s gone and this knock off is talking for him. She is nothing of him but his blood, but if you listen and watch closely, the cracks show. Sad sad sad.

  38. So why was NOTHING said about Brandon in this?
    and also, you know whats more badass than Bruce Lee with nun-chucks?
    Bruce Lee with nun-chuck light sabers!

    also- Epstein didn't kill himself.

  39. Bruce Lee used octagon mirror (feng shui) to ward off evil spirits which haunt him from young age (as written by him). He states he always he is a student not a philosopher (The way he teaches using moon to young boy in Enter the dragon movie before his discussion with police officer.) He learnt many arts and tried to form his own Jeet-Kundo to mix art forms suppressing the fact that Kung fu or Wu Shu are following animals (including mythical dragon by which he was called) and their instincts. There is no philo-sophy for animals which use only instincts and reflex mechanism except as in Jataka Tales. That is why Damo aka Daruma Sena, Buddhist monk from south India stated it is only to be used for protection and consciousness should prevail over the subconscious drives. He used to meditate turning to wall for years popularly known as blank wall meditation now manifested to Chan and Zen.

    Back to Lee, He used electrocute himself to achieve unthinkable feats (by reversing the mental treatment method) as revealed by close associate in a documentary. His death was due to that and suits his postmortem report which revealed his brain was so enlarged. Some shortcuts but for it was so demanding he took deadly risk and lost. A philosopher will never go for it. IP man, one of his gurus, has died out of natural cause.

  40. Bruce Lee's legacy is still being expressed through you, Shannon 🙂 Well done! Really enjoyed listening to the TED Talk, and I hope you do more!

  41. I wonder if Simon Sinek knows about her Golden Circle reference? Did Simon get the idea in his research from Bruce Lee’s philosophies. It’s interesting how her TED Talk is similar, no wait, identical to Simon’s.

  42. Amazing! For all who are mention this is from Simon Sinek just a reminder: Bruce wrote this down before Sinek was even born. If here somebody is not reference his source than it is Sinek. You can buy and read the autobiografic books of Bruce Lee to find this out.

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