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The Way of the Dragon

September 11, 2012

Monday, 10 September 2012 19:33 Edmund Lao / Personal Finance

REMEMBER Bruce Lee? He is the “Dragon” who revolutionized the martial arts industry. He was launched into stardom in “The Big Boss” by breaking Hong Kong’s box office record.

After two movies, he co-produced, wrote, choreographed, and directed        “The Way of the Dragon” which was one his best films and showed Bruce’s lighter side.

Even on interviews, Bruce always gave powerful insights about martial arts    and specially life and relationships. There are a lot of quotes by Bruce that    can help us in our personal finance and investing behavior.

Let us study the way of the “Dragon”:

“Using no way as a way, having no limitation as limitation.” Most of the times, people limit their capabilities by limiting their mindset. The reason Bruce succeeded is he believed he is not limited. After an accident, the doctor said    he can no longer walk and fight. But walk he did. There is truth to the          saying: “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve”.

Empty your cup so that it may be filled; become devoid to gain totality.    Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own. Most of the times, people just do not accept new knowledge. It is    because of the old information they have obtained from others. Most often than not, these information are wrong. In teaching Jeet Kun Do (JKD), Bruce emphasized to students to unlearn first by discarding old knowledge so that they can absorb the new ones. A glass that is full will just overflow when water is poured into it. Empty our mind first, accept new information, then apply what is helpful and discard the useless. He also said “Learn the principle,     abide by the principle, and dissolve the principle”. In short, obey the   principle without being bound by it. LEARN, MASTER AND ACHIEVE!

A good fight should be like a small play, but played seriously. When the opponent expands, l contract. When he contracts, l expand. And when there    is an opportunity… l do not hit…it hits all by itself. This principle is similar to stock market investment saying: “When everybody is greedy, I am afraid. When everybody is afraid, I am greedy.” Investing should always have flexibility just like water. Here is a good quote from him.”Empty your mind;   be formless, shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and 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” and.  “Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while       the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”

Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.         If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done. Nowadays, information is widely accessible through e-forums, blogs,    seminars, and TV shows. However, despite the influx of information, for whatever reason, people tend to procrastinate. As RFP Chinkee Tan said, Mindset plus Action = Result. Without action, there is no result. Indeed, procrastination is the thief of time. Time that has passed is time gone forever. Usually  people would always act when the time is up.

Preparation for tomorrow is hard work today. What we are is the result of    what we did in the past. What we will be will be the result of what we do today. Remember, yesterday is a canceled cheque, tomorrow is a promissory note and today is our gift. So maximize our gift which is TIME by making it our ally. Sacrifice by working hard now, enjoy and reap the benefits later. Always look to the ants as shared by RFP Randell Tiongson in his blog.

The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be. The highest    technique is to have no technique. Here, Bruce shows us the power of leveraging, by using less effort for bigger result. The more we leverage properly, the easier life will be.

Those who are unaware they are walking in darkness will never seek the light. This is precisely one of the reasons why there is poverty. Not knowing the    that they have violated some financial principle, they will never be able to open their mind to accept solutions being shared to them specially if they are blinded by consumerism. Bruce further stressed “The More we value things, the less we value ourselves.”

And lastly

A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough. Bruce emphasized patience. Majority always are in a hurry to gain everything to the point that they fall to scams. Always make it a point to investigate and check their emotions before making major decision to avoid regretful results.

Happy investing!


Edmund Lao is a Registered Financial Planner of RFP Philippines. To learn more about personal financial planning and get certified as RFP, attend the Batch 29 Registered Financial Planner Program on October 13 to December 8. For more info, e-mail or visit


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