Lee, Bruce Lee’s daughter, debuts with a practical, Zen-focused guide to living a purposeful life based on lessons from her father. Though Bruce Lee was famous for his martial arts films, his daughter explains that he was also a curious philosopher, and she lays out Bruce Lee’s seven principles of “self-actualization”: defining one’s “definite chief aim” (writing down goals and steps to achieve them); taking action (“be a practical dreamer backed by action”); affirmation (speaking desires into existence); visualizing images that represent the process of moving forward; journaling (“use this time to map out your positive thoughts—what you want, value, believe, wish for”); physical movement (“your body has information for you”); and embrace the “process of becoming.” Being like water requires “heightening our awareness and acquiring and sharpening our tools to encounter life” based on seven core affirmations—memory, subconscious mind, imagination, emotions, reason, conscience, and willpower—the mastery of which allowed for Bruce Lee’s “on-guard position that was both relaxed and active.” This inspired guide will remind any reader that, while one cannot control external circumstance, how one responds is always a choice. (Oct.)
"'A good book,' John Milton once wrote, 'is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to life beyond life.' That is what we’re talking about here. The beauty of this work goes beyond the clarity in which the subject is seenit’s also in the deep look you get within yourself, which, I suppose, is the hallmark of every profound book." Cal Fussman, New York Times bestselling author and host of Big Questions podcast
"In Be Water, My Friend, Shannon Lee reveals her father’s genius behind all the on-screen exploits. Through excerpts of his private writings and intimate stories of his personal life, she reveals his philosophies for mindful living. Best of all, she writes the way her father movedin a way that is direct, poetic, and powerful. A wonderful guide to Bruce Lee’s timeless insights." Jeff Chang, author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation
"Look, I'm sorry that you can't be Bruce Lee. But that's okay, because you can become a better version of you the same way Bruce Lee did. And no one is better at walking you down that path than his daughter Shannon. The same clarity, vision, and life force that the world connected to when Bruce was on screen comes through Shannon. And these pages are filled with all that energy and more. Shannon is both the rightful inheritor of his legacy and the person who understands it best. We are lucky she is sharing this versionthe most human versionof her father with us." W. Kamau Bell, host of "United Shades of America"
"Thematically arranged by life lessons, the text is filled with sage instruction on a variety of themes . . . An inspirational commemorative for Lee aficionados and those sharpening their personal-growth skills." Kirkus Reviews
"An essential book for fans of Lee and those looking for find purpose in life. Highly recommended for all readers." Library Journal, starred review
"Bruce Lee's daughter breathes life into her father's enduring lessons and philosophies. 'Empty your mind,' as Lee would say, and let his words wash over you." Newsweek
"This inspired guide will remind any reader that, while one cannot control external circumstance, how one responds is always a choice." Publishers Weekly
Bruce Lee (1940–73) is known worldwide as a visionary martial artist and philosopher. If anyone can be considered an expert on Lee, it would be his daughter, Shannon. In this short book, with a title based on one of his famous quotes, she details the major aspects of the philosophy he imparted throughout his short life. In essence, Bruce Lee believed that if one allows oneself to flow with each situation in life, that person will be more at peace. She continues to expand on some of his personal philosophies, including being mindful, to choose awareness, and being cautious of the dangers of neutrality. Similar to her dad, she urges readers to take action and choose clarity when facing difficult decisions, even if it means starting with small steps to achieve a desired goal. The author talks openly about her own difficulties in life, including her food addiction which started at her father's funeral when she was four, and her struggles finding her purpose in life. Chapters such as "The Eternal Student" contain sub-categories delving further into Bruce's quotations and beliefs. VERDICT An essential book for fans of Lee and those looking for find purpose in life. Highly recommended for all readers.—Jason L. Steagall, Arapahoe Libs., Centennial, CO
A daughter honors the life and teachings of her father, martial arts legend Bruce Lee (1940-1973).
In this reflective tribute, Lee, who was 4 when her father died, explores many of the philosophical concepts that defined his life. As a child, she was regularly instructed by her mother not to disclose who her father was. Though she obliged, she gradually began to appreciate her father’s legacy and to protect and promote her own heritage with immense pride. The author considers her father one of the most noble, notable philosophers of his century, with an “essential nature” comprised of intelligence, athletic skill, and a drive to cultivate many unique aspects of himself. She hopes by sharing her father’s healing practices and self-actualization philosophies, readers can enjoy the kind of dramatic personal growth and fulfillment she has experienced throughout her own life. These lessons have been essential during times of immense emotional struggle—e.g., coping with the crushing grief following her brother’s untimely death. Those first moments after she saw his body, she writes, were “chaos….Mapless terrain with no understanding of the landscape.” The narrative is more of an appreciative introduction to her father’s teachings than an intensive meditation, as the author lovingly and respectfully condenses Bruce’s “Be Water” philosophy of flexibility, fluidity, awareness, and mindfulness. During his lifetime, he carefully integrated his exercise fanaticism with the internal discipline he learned as a martial artist and action movie star. Thematically arranged by life lessons, the text is filled with sage instruction on a variety of themes: emptying the mind of judgments, expectations, and rationalizations; life direction and self-empowerment; relationship coaching; and harnessing willpower. Armchair philosophers and readers attuned to their inner selves will best appreciate Lee’s practical tools, mirroring metaphors, and life-affirming meditations on realizing one’s true potential.
An inspirational commemorative for Lee aficionados and those sharpening their personal-growth skills.