Olympic weightlifting is an art form.
It is closer to the martial arts than it is to other strength sports. And once you finally let this fact sink in, your progress will soar.
In the spirit of that I’m starting a new series here called, “The Tao Of Snatch” which is my way of focusing more on the art of weightlifting (ala, Zen Mind, Big Snatch) rather than the science of weightlifting which I do a lot of (ala, my squat nemesis program). Don’t worry, I’ll keep doing the other stuff. But I thought this could be a fun series and allow us to dive deeper into more of the mental and Zen-like elements that play a big role in your progress once you get past that early-rank-beginner hyper-focus on basic technique phase (If you ARE still in that phase, go here and we can help you.)
While these quotes by Bruce Lee aren’t intentionally about Olympic weightlifting, they all apply to your training directly. Take these seriously. Don’t simply read them and say, “Ya, Bruce Lee was awesome!”… then go right back to living a life that is the opposite of everything he just said.
Your goal is to always improve yourself. Be better today than you were yesterday. Discard those things from your past that are always dragging you down.
Become who you have always wanted to be.
(Hat Tip: Optimal Experience)
Here are Bruce Lee’s top 10 quotes for an Olympic Weightlifter:
- “Choose the positive. You have choice, you are master of your attitude, choose the positive, the constructive. Optimism is a faith that leads to success.”
- “Don’t fear failure. Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.”
- “Empty your mind; be formless, shapeless – like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
- “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.”
- “To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”
- “When one has reached maturity in the art, one will have a formless form. It is like ice dissolving in water. When one has no form, one can be all forms; when one has no style, he can fit in with any style.”
- “Art is the way to the absolute and to the essence of human life. The aim of art is not the one-sided promotion of spirit, soul and senses, but the opening of all human capacities – thought, feeling, will – to the life rhythm of the world of nature. So will the voiceless voice be heard and the self be brought into harmony with it.”
- “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done. Make at least one definite move daily toward your goal.”
- “A powerful athlete is not a strong athlete, but one who can exert his strength quickly. Since power equals force times speed, if the athlete learns to make faster movements he increases his power, even though the contractile pulling strength of his muscles remains unchanged. Thus, a smaller man who can swing faster may hit as hard or as far as the heavier man who swings slowly.”
- “Take things as they are. Punch when you have to punch. Kick when you have to kick.”
- “Knowing is not enough, you must apply; willing is not enough, you must do.”
- “The knowledge and skills you have achieved are meant to be forgotten so you can float comfortably in emptiness, without obstruction.”
- “The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.”
- “What you habitually think largely determines what you will ultimately become.”
- “Do not be tense, just be ready, not thinking but not dreaming, not being set but being flexible. It is being “wholly” and quietly alive, aware and alert, ready for whatever may come.”
- “The biggest adversary in our life is ourselves. We are what we are, in a sense, because of the dominating thoughts we allow to gather in our head. All concepts of self-improvement, all actions and paths we take, relate solely to our abstract image of ourselves. Life is limited only by how we really see ourselves and feel about our being. A great deal of pure self-knowledge and inner understanding allows us to lay an all-important foundation for the structure of our life from which we can perceive and take the right avenues.”
- “Flow in the living moment. — We are always in a process of becoming and nothing is fixed. Have no rigid system in you, and you’ll be flexible to change with the ever changing. Open yourself and flow, my friend. Flow in the total openness of the living moment. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Moving, be like water. Still, be like a mirror. Respond like an echo.”
- “If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”
- “All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability. The truth is outside of all fixed patterns.”
- “I am not teaching you anything. I just help you to explore yourself.”
My favorites are #3, #6, #16, #17, and of course #20… which are your favorites? How do you see these applying to Weightlifting?
(Also, I totally dig Bruce in the pic above. Sunglasses are always important.)