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I was thinking about Bruce Lee, considered one of the most influential martial artists of all time.

Why was he so unique? How did he build an entire life, career, and philosophy upon his distinctive style?

He gave these four pieces of advice that I immediately thought was applicable to TLSers:

1. Research Your Own Experience. Many of us were taught that being too introspective was selfish and egotistical. Psychology and meditation and other forms of self-knowledge were not only frowned upon, but were severely discouraged. Instead, be self-aware. Be honest with yourself. Analyze yourself, your life, your experiences. With brutal honesty and with as much objectivity as you can muster. It’s actually very good for you!

2. Absorb What is Useful. Even though a lot of us have a lot of questions about our lives, there’s still some good and useful stuff that we can integrate. I continually emphasize in my teaching that our past life is a part of our story, and the sooner we can acknowledge it, the sooner we can integrate it. What is some of the useful parts that we can carry with us into the future?

3. Reject What is Useless. Many of us grew up in a religious culture that taught us a lot of junk that can be discarded. It is healthy and wise to reject teaching that doesn’t serve us well. In fact, the worst teaching was manufactured and used to warn us to keep everything we’ve been taught and not reject anything. If it’s useless for your personal health and happiness, let it go!

4. Add What is Specifically Your Own. Oh boy! Of all of the advice, this one was the most discouraged! How many times was I warned that our spiritual life was not a buffet where we could pick and choose what we wanted for ourselves. We were taught exactly what to believe and how to live and all self-determining efforts were rebuked. Now, instead, I’m a strong advocate for spiritual independence! TLS’s motto is “Help Yourself!” You get to choose what to believe, how to live your life, and how to be spiritual.

These four simple pieces of advice are all you need.

Be independent!

Be you!