I was reviewing some of my quotes that I keep on file today and ran across this one by Bruce Lee. Lee was for me, like most martial artists from the 70's in the States, an iconic figure for a period of time. While I was never a huge fan of his movies (apologies to any that I may offend with that statement Smile) I was always fascinated by him as an athlete. As I grew older and had the opportunity to train with practitioners of his martial art as well as, on a few occasions, with his direct students, I became more interested in his philosophical approach to his art and his own personal development. Most of what he said, as is the case with many great teachers, has a way of making you more aware of your own responsibility for what happens in your life. While "life" happens to us all, the successful find a way to make things continue in the right direction for their own growth and development.

One of the major stumbling blocks that I see in many professionals, as well as personal relationships, is the immense weight of extrinsic expectations. Ultimately, it seems that few people can find much peace or progress in trying to live up to the expectations of others - be that in their diet, exercise, work habits, etc. 

Lee seems to have come to this same conclusion early on in his life and career and realized that the only true obstacle to reaching his goals was staring at him in the mirror every day. As a result, he is well known for saying:

"I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine."

It's an excellent thought to keep in mind as you begin to look forward to not only the end of 2009, but also where you plan to be at the end of 2010. As you focus your mind on meeting your own expectations, you may find your life immeasurably enriched - ultimately making you a brighter light to those around you.


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