The core philosophy of Bruce Lee was to “know yourself.” It is clear that all the avenues Lee took in life were in pursuit of self-cultivation, which leads to the ultimate destination: self-knowledge. His art and philosophy were the vehicles he used to gain an understanding of himself, to feel and fully appreciate the experience of what it means to be a human being. To achieve that, he spent countless hours learning, training, reading and researching.
The biggest adversary in our life is ourselves. We are what we are, in a sense, because of the dominating thoughts we allow to gather in our head. All concepts of self-improvement, all actions and paths we take, relate solely to our abstract image of ourselves. Life is limited only by how we really see ourselves and feel about our being. A great deal of pure self-knowledge and inner understanding allows us to lay an all-important foundation for the structure of our life from which we can perceive and take the right avenues.
Fear comes from uncertainty; we can eliminate the fear within us when we know ourselves better. As the great Sun Tzu said: “When you know yourself and your opponent, you will win every time. When you know yourself but not your opponent, you will win one and lose one. However, when you do not know yourself or your opponent, you will be imperiled every time.”
Krishnamurti, the great philosopher who influenced Lee, said: “We must first understand ourselves in order to know anything and to understand and solve problems.”