Personal Finance Lessons From Bruce Lee

Piggy Bank on Money
Piggy Bank on Money

By NerdWallet

Martial arts have always been a very important part of my life. Growing up, I wanted to be the Karate Kid. I bugged my mom to sign me up for lessons until she finally did. But it ended up being a bad idea because I ran around school kicking the other kids. Needless to say, my karate career didn’t go far.
Later in life I dedicated myself to Brazilian jiujitsu. I traveled the country competing, earned a black belt, and eventually became a teacher at one of the most iconic martial arts academies.
Today, as a financial planner and a martial artist, I frequently see parallels between the two disciplines when I work with my clients.
The legendary martial artist and actor Bruce Lee died more than 40 years ago, but his words continue to mold martial arts students today and apply to our financial lives, too. In honor of what would have been his 75th birthday this year, here are seven personal finance lessons based on his wise words:
1. “To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”
2. “A goal is not always meant to be reached; it often serves simply as something to aim at.”
3. “Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself; do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”
4. “The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.”
5. “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
6. “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”
7. “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”
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