One of the most popular and most loved essays is “A significantly glorified ode to Bruce Lee”.
And it’s rightfully so.
Bruce Lee was a hustler, fighter and a Hollywood superstar by night. But he was also a:
- Zen master
- Perpetual learner
This was one of his favorite stories:
A learned man once went to visit a Zen teacher to inquire about Zen. As the Zen teacher talked, the learned man frequently interrupted to express his own opinion about this or that. Finally, the Zen teacher stopped talking and began to serve tea to the learned man. He poured the cup full, then kept pouring until the cup overflowed.
“Stop,” said the learned man. “The cup is full, no more can be poured in.”
“Like this cup, you are full of your own opinions,” replied the Zen teacher. “If you do not first empty your cup, how can you taste my cup of tea?”
We’re pretty sure that you can find at least one example of your cup overflowing. It’s pretty common to happen so, based on the life we’re living.
It’s pretty understandable. You’re ambitious and have a lot of big plans. You want to achieve very huge goals, and also be a good person on the go. You want to become calm and compassionate, you want to enjoy life along the way, and be happy throughout the process.
The difference between these two is very hard to manage. It can create pressure, and more often than not that pressure turns into long term stress.
But, if you asked Bruce Lee he would’ve told you something amazing like they’re two sides of the same coin – Living a balanced life.
In order to achieve this balance, it will require a lot of things – but most important of all is the empty cup. To challenge our notions at every turn. To let yourself engage with new ideas. To keep your mind open for anything.
We must empty our cup every single day.
Bruce Lee undoubtedly possessed this quality. In a life that crossed just 32 years, he achieved everything we’ve ever dreamed of. And then some more! And yet, he never let any of it get to his head.
We could do worse than follow in his footsteps.
“I have to leave now, my friend. You have a long journey ahead of you, and you must travel light. From now on drop all your burden of preconceived conclusions behind, and “open” yourself to everything and everyone ahead. Remember, my friend, the usefulness of a cup is in its emptiness.” – Bruce Lee