Bruce Lee and Limits

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I recently read this expert from Bruce Lee and wanted to share it here:

“Bruce had me up to three miles a day, really at a good pace. We’d run the three miles in twenty-one or twenty-two minutes. Just under eight minutes a mile [Note: when running on his own in 1968, Lee would get his time down to six-and-a half minutes per mile]. So this morning he said to me “We’re going to go five.” I said, “Bruce, I can’t go five. I’m a helluva lot older than you are, and I can’t do five.” He said, “When we get to three, we’ll shift gears and it’s only two more and you’ll do it.” I said “Okay, hell, I’ll go for it.” So we get to three, we go into the fourth mile and I’m okay for three or four minutes, and then I really begin to give out. I’m tired, my heart’s pounding, I can’t go any more and so I say to him, “Bruce if I run any more,” –and we’re still running-”if I run any more I’m liable to have a heart attack and die.” He said, “Then die.” It made me so mad that I went the full five miles. Afterward I went to the shower and then I wanted to talk to him about it. I said, you know, “Why did you say that?” He said, “Because you might as well be dead. Seriously, if you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.”

What limits are you putting on yourself that you have passively accepted?

More importantly:

  • Are you prepared to make a choice?
  • Once the choice is made, are you courageous enough to start?
  • Will you commit to finishing what you start?

To Your Inner Strength,

Gregg Swanson
Warrior Mind Coach<!–more–>


I just love this story. I think we all limit ourselves out of fear, complacency, and learned helplessness. The worst part is that failure begets failure. The more we limit ourselves, the more we are limited.

I am victim to this as well. My greatest excuse is time and the more I use time as an excuse, the more of a barrier it becomes and the less I get done. In the end, it’s not time that is limiting me, but my use and prioritization of that time.

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