Bruce Lee is often quoted as saying “Absorb what is useful”. But what does that mean exactly?

First of all, do not mistake this with “collect what you think is cool.” or “do what you like”. Absorb means absorb, not look at, read about or play with. It takes a LOT of effort to absorb something. It requires study, discipline and patience.

Let’s look at the ENTIRE quote: “Absorb what is useful, discard what is useless, and add what is uniquely your own.”

Here is how I make it work for me.

1. Decide what you want to do.

2. Find someone who is accomplished at what you want to do. Do what they did. Copy them until you get results.

3. Fine tune your approach as you figure out WHY it works and can explain it clearly and concisely. It is only at this point have you truly begun to “absorb” the material.

4. Continue to refine your behavior to match your goal, elimnating anything that is counterproductive or non-essential.

4. Learn to create variations based on your true understanding and knowledge of self. This is harder than it sounds. It requires an honesty of self that is so uncomfortable for most people that they give up.

5. Innovate. Make it your own. Completely your own.

Find something useful in this. Absorb it. Take action.