Home > Motivate Yourself > Constantly Exceeding Your Level

Constantly Exceeding Your Level

This inspiring story is about Bruce Lee, a legendary martial art master.

“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.” – Bruce Lee

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.”

From The Art of Expressing the Human Body
By Bruce Lee, John Little

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Categories: Motivate Yourself
  1. shammi
    February 13, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    I agree…sky is the limit to what we can do. We need to have faith in our self. Thanks for sharing

    • February 13, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      Yes, in other words we must keep on trying to stretch our comfort zone. Thank you Shammi for droping by 🙂

  2. Amisha
    February 17, 2012 at 5:41 am

    Hi Rajiv after long time read something. Its really nice and inspiring.

    • April 18, 2012 at 3:10 pm

      Amisha Babhi, thank you for dropping by 🙂

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