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“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.” - Bruce Lee

After practicing and studying Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do and its underlying philosophy for over 30 years, it has given me some interesting insight regarding his seemingly unique quotes. Let me explain -

Bruce Lee studied Chinese Wing Chun under Ip Man and this unusual but effective martial arts style gave him the foundation for his own style. The Wing Chun artist throws a punch with the intent to strike a target, but if it is blocked they simply remove the block through a parry (poc sao or tan sao) and continue the attack using a different technique. What started out as a straight punch to the nose may become a hook punch to the side of the head. In other words, this is a very ADAPTIVE style of fighting.

So, why would you want to know this? What use is the this thinking to the western man or woman trying to succeed in business? Well, here in the west we tend to be competitive and think in terms of success or failure. When we set a goal and fail to obtain it, there is a moment when we internalize that sense of failure and it has a danger of becoming “I am a failure”.

Setting goals is a good thing to do, but we need to realize that a goal is something to aim at and motivate ourselves to work towards. If the target moves, or the route becomes blocked, we simply readjust our aim, or pick another goal that will meet our long-term objective. This way we take term ‘failure’ completely out of the picture. Disappointments may come, but we will never fail! It shouldn’t even be in our vocabulary.

Now, HERE is the bonus: When the proficient Wing Chun practitioner is strongly blocked the opponent’s energy is taken from the block and used in the final strike!

So, by all means set goals for your self, but also set long-term objectives. Then be aware that circumstances may come up to prevent taking a direct path to your short-term goals, adjust your path and pick something else to aim at that is still consistent with your long-term objective and proceed. Look for “lessons learned” in the setback and how to use that energy/wisdom to create even more forward momentum.

I leave you with another great quote from one of the old masters - “There is no such thing as failure. We either succeed or we learn.” Isn’t that a great way to look at life?

Have a great day everyone!