“Absorb what is useful, Discard what is not, Add what is uniquely your own.”

This little gem was uttered by Bruce Lee, a man who in his short life was an absolute fountain of philosophical quotes that forced critical thinking

Even though he was referring to Martial arts training at the time, I believe it is a very powerful message that can be applied to all learning situations.

I think the message behind it needs a bit of elaboration to fully be brought to justice, and I will attempt to do that here.

Be critical

Always strive to learn, but always be critical of the source and the information you receive, even if it is from a credible source.

Be your own

Learn from everyone, but copy noone. Learn what you can, test things and build your own unique way.

Learn from as many sources as possible

Try to learn from many different sources, each with their unique viewpoint. You can learn self-discipline from as varied sources as Buddhist monks, endurance athletes, the queens guards at Buckingham palace and Amazonian spear fishers.

Accept that sometimes you have to discard it all

Not everything will apply to you, so accept that even if it comes from a trusted source, a course or a new book you bought, sometimes there is nothing you can take away, and that is also absolutely fine.

Just because many seem to agree, doesn´t mean that they are right

When trying to learn something new, still be critical even if many of your sources of learning seem to agree. It is not always the loudest or the group biggest in number that is right.

Look for sources that disagree with you

When trying to learn, remember to actively find and listen to sources that you disagree with in other areas. If you never try to learn from someone very different from yourself, you will miss out on a lot.

Add to the pool of sources

If you constantly strive to learn new skills and gather knowledge by learning from many and adapting to your own situation, then you are also adding to the learning source pool for future learners

Thank you for reading,


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