be water, my friend: the teachings of bruce lee
by Shannon Lee
Bruce Lee’s daughter illuminates her father’s most powerful life philosophies—demonstrating how martial arts are a perfect metaphor for personal growth, and how we can practice those teachings every day.
"Empty your mind; be formless, shapeless like water."
Bruce Lee is a cultural icon, renowned the world over for his martial arts and film legacy. But Lee was also a deeply philosophical thinker, learning at an early age that martial arts are more than just an exercise in physical discipline—they are an apt metaphor for living a fully realized life.
Now, in Be Water, My Friend, Lee’s daughter Shannon shares the concepts at the core of his philosophies, showing how they can serve as tools of personal growth and self-actualization. Each chapter brings a lesson from Bruce Lee’s teachings, expanding on the foundation of his iconic “be water” philosophy. Over the course of the book, we discover how being like water allows us to embody fluidity and naturalness in life, bringing us closer to our essential flowing nature and our ability to be powerful, self-expressed, and free.
Through previously untold stories from her father’s life and from her own journey in embodying these lessons, Shannon presents these philosophies in tangible, accessible ways. With Bruce Lee’s words as a guide, she encourages readers to pursue their essential selves and apply these ideas and practices to their everyday lives—whether in learning new things, overcoming obstacles, or ultimately finding their true path.
Be Water, My Friend is an inspirational invitation to us all, a gentle call to action to consider our lives with new eyes. It is also a testament to how one man's exploration and determination transcended time and place to ignite our imaginations—and to inspire many around the world to transform their lives.