43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Bruce Lee: Productivity Dragon

The aptly named "Positivity Blog" recently had a rather compelling overview of Bruce Lee, Productivity Guru.

Like our own dear Merlin, Mr. Lee was from the Bay Area and took a lifelong interest in the fundamental rules underlying systems; unlike Mr. Mann, Bruce Lee could break Chuck Norris in half but never once listened to Zen Arcade.

What's more impressive, though, is how much of the Little Dragon's martial arts philosophy can be applied to pretty much everything. I'm especially fond of #4 on Positivity's list (“Take no thought of who is right or wrong or who is better than. Be not for or against.”), but probably need to work most on #2:


“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”

If you want to improve your life then it’s tempting to want to add more.

...Removing clutter and activities, tasks and thoughts that are not so important frees up time and energy for you to do more of what you really want to do. And as the clutter in your outer world decreases the clutter in your inner world also has a tendency to decrease....

Adding more thoughts and thinking things over for the 111th time may create a sense of security. It’s also a good way to procrastinate and to avoid taking that leap you know you should take. And the more you think, the harder it gets to act.

I'm not going to argue with that.

brucelee2.JPG6.85 KB
teapotmonk's picture

The Circle with no Circumference

Lee´s contribution to not just the martial arts but to all of the personal development disciplines was, and remains disproportionately influential. Not necessarily because of what he said - and yes there are some great quotes - but because he clearly did the things he spoke of. And it is is this elusive quality, the ability to absorb an idea into our daily practice that so clearly illuminates those that do it. AS far as Lee´s philosophy went, he agreed it was mainly derivative (Simple blend of Lao Tsu, Chuang Tzu and Krishnamurti) as is all creative thought and action. But the capacity to live out the thought, now that is worth learning: He wrote -

It is not a question of developing what has already been developed but of recovering what has been left behind. These things have been with us, in us, all the time.....my art is not a matter of technology, but of spritual insight and training.

Returning to an Uncarved Presence.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


Subscribe with Google Reader

Subscribe on Netvibes

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe on Pageflakes

Add RSS feed

The Podcast Feed


Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »