Maria Popova’s “Be Like Water: The Philosophy and Origin of Bruce Lee’s Famous Metaphor for Resilience”


The father of Mixed Martial Arts, filmmaker, movie star, and cultural icon, Bruce Lee is forever etched in the annals of time for his incredible blend of physical and mental mastery. He was a rare force that transcended category and limitation of all kinds in his journey of self-discovery and expression. Aside from his feats of strength, martial arts legacy, and genre-bending movies The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Way of the Dragon, Enter the Dragon, and the posthumously made Game of Death, Lee is renowned for his intellectual depth and wisdom. One of his more famous quotes is from an appearance he made on the TV series Longstreet: 

Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless, like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. Put it into a teapot, it becomes the teapot . Now water can flow or creep or drip or crash! Be water, my friend.

The wise advice is posted on websites all over the Internet and lodged in the memories of every Lee fan across the globe. But few know the backstory behind the wisdom. The lovely Maria Popova, writer and founder of the informative website, cites passages from a collection of private entries Lee wrote discussing his philosophies on life, love, martial arts, and parenthood, entitled Bruce Lee: Artist of Life. A candid piece details the origin of Lee’s most famous quote.

When my acute self-consciousness grew to what the psychologists refer to as the “double-bind” type, my instructor would again approach me and say, “Loong, preserve yourself by following the natural bends of things and don’t interfere. Remember never to assert yourself against nature; never be in frontal opposition to any problems, but control it by swinging with it. Don’t practice this week: Go home and think about it.

After spending many hours meditating and practicing, I gave up and went sailing alone in a junk. On the sea I thought of all my past training and got mad at myself and punched the water! Right then — at that moment — a thought suddenly struck me; was not this water the very essence of gung fu? Hadn’t this water just now illustrated to me the principle of gung fu? I struck it but it did not suffer hurt. Again I struck it with all of my might — yet it was not wounded! I then tried to grasp a handful of it but this proved impossible. This water, the softest substance in the world, which could be contained in the smallest jar, only seemed weak. In reality, it could penetrate the hardest substance in the world. That was it! I wanted to be like the nature of water.

Suddenly a bird flew by and cast its reflection on the water. Right then I was absorbing myself with the lesson of the water, another mystic sense of hidden meaning revealed itself to me; should not the thoughts and emotions I had when in front of an opponent pass like the reflection of the birds flying over the water? This was exactly what Professor Yip meant by being detached — not being without emotion or feeling, but being one in whom feeling was not sticky or blocked. Therefore in order to control myself I must first accept myself by going with and not against my nature.

Powerful stuff, right?

Beautifully penned by Popova, the rest of the article offers even more insight into one of the most profound people ever to grace this Earth. Check it out in its entirety here.



Variant Comics Breaks Down The History of The Transformers

Arris Quinones is the kind of guy I could sit down with for an afternoon and get utterly lost in superhero conversation. He breaks down comic books and comic book characters in a way every fan can understand. Here, he delves into the history of The Transformers just in time for the opening of Transformers: Age of Extinction.

I love brushing up on a franchise prior to its theatrical release because it deepens my understanding of the characters and the little homages filmmakers insert for the avid franchise followers of the comic book and cartoon. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to check this video out. Here you go:

Follow Variant Comics on their YouTube page here, Facebook page here. Follow Arris Quinones on his Twitter here.

The Kidnapping Experiment

Imagine a child comes up to you out of nowhere. He claims he was separated from his family by someone he didn’t know. As he’s telling you this,  someone appears and pulls him away from you against his will. The child claims this isn’t his parent, that he doesn’t even know this person.

What do you do?

Fouseytube ran an experiment to test people’s moral compass.

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Twentysomething Life in Charts and Graphs

This is exactly why I love Buzzfeed. Here, they’ve charted and graphed life as a twenty-something year old to perfection. From the movies and books you enjoy, to the dating and work world, they’ve got it all hilariously covered. Enjoy.

16 Graphs And Charts That Perfectly Illustrate Twentysomething Life

Props to Adam Ellis & Rega Jha for the illustrations.

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Think You Know A Lot About Sex?

The Science of Orgasms

By: AsapScience 

Did you know the relaxation of the Amygdala and Hippocampus in women reduces their emotions during sex, producing a trance-like state? Or that their brain almost completely shuts down mid-orgasm? How about that the cortex lights up suggesting a connection between pain and pleasure?

I damn sure didn’t.

Learn all that and more here:

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Soldier Reunites With Dog After A Year of Military Service

One married military couple has come up with the most amazing way to help out fellow soldiers… and their best friends. The last thing soldiers want to worry about before deployment is if their dogs will be cared for, so the couple created the website Dogs On Deployment to help match military pets with loving foster parents.  This video from The Queen Latifah Show shows US Soldier Jess reuniting with her best friend, Emma, after a year and it is an absolute tearjerker.  What an incredible way to give back to our hardworking military men and women! I will definitely be sharing this story with friends. Make sure you watch the entire video… the way Emma reacts to seeing her Captain mama is absolutely beautiful.

Blog Pet Flow 

This kind of stuff just warms my heart. I’m a big softy for pets these days. I have two cats that I absolutely adore. I’m probably the only guy with more cat pictures on his phone than his girlfriend. But, once these little buggers get into your heart, it’s all over. I’m glad Queen Latifah shed light on this service. It’s a wonderful thing.

Watch the dog take a second to recognize exactly who the soldier is. Then, it’s a real reunion, doggy style. (Get your mind out of the gutter).

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Celebrities Read Vicious Tweets About Themselves.

Some people are cruel and write very harsh things to celebrities on Twitter. What you don’t see when you send a nasty tweet is that it can cause pain. So to raise awareness, and hopefully make people think twice before they post something awful, we’ve once again assembled a group of famous faces to remind everyone that words hurt.

Jimmy Kimmel Live 

I thought Rob Lowe’s mean tweet was the best. Just the way he read it, his face afterward, it all came together.


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Men, Learn to Flirt Properly (Stop Creeping Chicks Out!)

Aaron Marino is providing a great humanitarian service: upgrading the class and style of us cavemen. Here, in this video, he enlightens boneheads to the art of flirting. It’s surprising how awkward most men are at such a common thing. Totally inappropriate complements (“I’d lick every part of your body”)and thirsty tactics (“Hey ladies, why aren’t you drunk yet?”) are employed far too often. It’s still an unsolved mystery as to how I have a girlfriend. Lord knows it wasn’t my flirting technique. But, he sets the record straight.

Alpha M.

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Bad Lip Reading Does It Again (NFL Style) … (LMAO)

These guys reproduce highlights and substitute the audio for hilarious interpretations. It gets me every time. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind spending an evening coming up with these. Hilarious.

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