Bruce G. Lee looks at the Elements of Fire, Water, Air and Earth and Sees Reinvention
My friend Bruce G. Lee literally fell off a cliff one day and the experience caused him to change his life. “It was a sunny, spring day in 1985. I was driving along the coast of California’s Big Sur with a friend. Along that particular stretch of coastline the cliffs drop 300 feet down. I was the passenger and I had just mentioned to my friend who was driving that if we went over the cliff I would hope and pray to die. I couldn’t bear to think of living because certainly the driver could not possibly survive such a plunge down to the bottom. That’s about the time we somehow went over the cliff. I recall vividly, as the disaster seemed to progress in slow-motion, making the decision to leave the car and survive. And I did.”
So there Bruce was on a small ledge where he had landed just 150 feet down. The car had continued on to bottom. His back was broken and a nurse, who had been driving behind him, was standing at the top of the cliff screaming at him not to move – to remain motionless, and that help was on the way. Next came his rescue, the ambulance, the hospital, and a full-body cast – and yet he was home in 14 days.
“Releasing me that quickly was not the doctor’s idea, it was mine,” he shares. “What I know now that healed me enough to go home was the level of meaning and purpose I felt inside. I discovered a new way of living that day.” Thank goodness he did.
Here’s a simple exercise that will enable you to reach that same level of meaning and purpose:
“Using Post-Its, write separately every primary task in your life. Get them all down. And then assemble them in four categories:
1. things you don’t like to do
2. things you are just reasonably competent at
3. things that you do well
4. your genius
These genius items are the things that are so important to you. These are the things that you would do with every moment of your time – paid or not. And then the trick is, of course, to arrange your life so that these genius items are where you spent you time. If you are able to do that you will have created the most joyful part of your life. You will have reinvented yourself.
Bruce offers four principles for deliberate change and reinvention:
1. Fire: Be mentally ready for change. Take responsibility for your self and your responses. Get in touch with your internal blocks.
2. Water: Prepare yourself. Train. Understand the universe of manifestation.
3. Air: Have faith. Step into the future. Imagine what you want to happen and then let it go.
4. Earth: Incorporate what you already know into the change. Use the wisdom you’ve already accumulated and then break new ground.
For Bruce G. Lee reinvention has sometimes been unplanned, other times planned and deliberate.
Whether planned or unplanned, the changing circumstances of your life can give you the impetus you need to reinvent yourself.