Tag Archives: energy

Bruce Lee’s Self-Motivational Genius

by Shannon Lee

A FAST COMPANY article (link) 11//201627

My father was a teacher, family man, martial artist, philosopher, and innovator who became a cultural icon because he actively lived his philosophy of self-actualization. This is what moves me to keep his legacy alive. And this is the energy that continues to inspire people all over the world today.

“I will never find the light unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel.” — Bruce Lee

His energy captivated audiences and motivated people to action. I wanted people to have access to his depth, but also his philosophies, so that they may enrich and empower others to lead their best lives.

  1. “The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, but I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel.”

In 1993, my brother Brandon Lee died suddenly due to an accident on the set of his movie, The Crow. He was coming into his own as an actor and was planning to get married in a few weeks when his life was cut short. The random and abrupt way his life ended shook me to the core and put me into a deep depression for several years. In the depth of my grief, I was looking through my father’s writings and this quote lifted me out of my darkness.

Action Step: Start noticing where you are struggling in your life; it might be something big or small. Start journaling your observations without judgment. Decide to move in a positive direction and seek the tools that are out there that will help you with constructive motion. Keep moving forward and celebrate each win.

  1. “Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”

This is my father’s most famous quote. The core idea of being like water comes from Taoism—a 2,500-year-old Chinese philosophy. My father was schooled in Taoism as a young martial arts student, but he also had a way of interpreting these ancient ideas so more people could understand them. If you are like water, you can shape-shift into any form and flow around any obstacle with ease.

Action Step: The next time you are faced with an obstacle or some criticism, don’t become rigid, combative, or defensive. Feel yourself flowing around the problem like a stream moving easily around a giant boulder.

[Photo: © Bruce Lee Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved]

  1. “Walk on.”

The years between The Green Hornet and the Hong Kong films were often difficult for my dad. In Hollywood he wasn’t getting offered the roles he felt he deserved, he struggled to support our family, and he injured his back very seriously. My dad was told that he would never be able to participate in martial arts ever again and may never walk normally again. But he made a clear decision not to believe the doctors and took responsibility to research his body and heal himself. “Walk on” was a phrase he wrote on the back of his business cards to remind him of this decision to stay positive and move forward.

“Walk on” was a phrase he wrote on the back of his business cards to remind him . . . to stay positive and move forward.

Podcast listener Sam Shennan in Australia retells the story of shattering his ankle, yet having to just “walk on” despite the injury. “I focused on the positive of the situation and took the opportunity to listen, read, and study how successful people managed to reach self-sustaining,” he says.

Action Step: Do you have a phrase that helps you when you’re stuck? Find or write a phrase that can help you with whatever you are struggling with right now.

4. “My Definite Chief Aim”

In 1969 when he was 29 years old, Bruce Lee wrote a grand goal for himself as a commitment and direction to pursue. He called this “My Definite Chief Aim.”

“I, Bruce Lee, will be the first highest paid Oriental super star in the United States. In return I will give the most exciting performances and render the best of quality in the capacity of an actor. Starting 1970, I will achieve world fame and from then onward till the end of 1980 I will have in my possession $10,000,000. I will live the way I please and achieve inner harmony and happiness.”

Action Step: Write your own Definite Chief Aim. Dream big and remember that a goal is an inspired direction to pursue—not a rigid prison. Wherever your goal takes you, flow like water.

  1. “Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless and add what is essentially your own.”

My father was a man who was always learning, growing, and evolving.

In 1964, the traditional Kung Fu community in San Francisco challenged my father to a fight. They were irritated by this rebellious young upstart who was teaching kung fu to students of all races. He was told that if he lost the fight, he would have to shut down his studio in Oakland. My father agreed to the fight and defeated his opponent in under three minutes. Even though he won the fight, and the right to keep his studio open, he wasn’t happy.

My father also designed graphics, exercise equipment, sculpture, shoes, clothes, and drinks.

He was expecting to take his opponent down in under a minute, but during the fight, his opponent started to run around the room forcing my dad to chase him down. The classic form of kung fu he learned (wing chun) did not prepare him for a real-world fight like this. So my father began creating his own style called “jeet kune do,” discarding parts of the classical form that did not serve him, and evolve the art to suit his own body.

Action Step: If you are repeating an old practice, pattern, or path that is no longer working for you, is there a way to modify it to be more useful? You don’t need to stay on a road that someone else paved. You can create one that suits your unique mission.

  1. “Using no way as way, having no limitation as limitation.”

My father also designed graphics, exercise equipment, sculpture, shoes, clothes, and drinks. One of his famous designs is a series of four stages of self cultivation.

  • Partiality: a separated yin/yang symbol representing a separated identity that runs to extremes and is not in harmony with itself.
  • Fluidity: a unified yin/yang symbol which represents an achievement of balance between the masculine and feminine natures and arrows showing the constant interplay between the two.
  • Emptiness: the formless form. Empty your mind and let it be free and uncluttered, ready to respond in the moment.
  • The Core Symbol of Jeet Kune Do: representing the ultimate self realized man. The Chinese writing reads: “Using no way as way, having no limitation as limitation.”

Action Step: Look at the four stages of self-cultivation and identify where you are on your own journey. Journal about where you are right now and how you would like to grow.

  1. “Under the sky, under the heavens there is but one family.”

My dad never felt competitive with anyone; he was on a mission to become the most actualized Bruce Lee he could be. In my dad’s kung fu studio, his students were women and men of all colors and backgrounds. He truly believed that we were all brothers and sisters—a family of man.

Actor George Takei says, “Bruce Lee made a tremendous impact on me and on the world’s psyche. He was an action hero when we’d been saddled with all these one-dimensional stereotypes: the servant, the buffoon, or the enemy. He was someone Asians could be proud of.”

Action Step: Think about a group, community, or individual who you have negative or stereotypical judgments about. Can you create a moment of common ground where you can see each other as human beings? It could be a brief conversation about a favorite food, a movie, love for animals, etc. Something that gives you the experience of our human connectedness. We all have much more in common than we think.

Reference: The Bruce Lee podcast, an easy toolkit for people who want to lead a more harmonious and fulfilling life. My father’s philosophies have helped. Bruce Lee is a bright beacon in today’s world where strong, actualized men are needed. He speaks to the idea of taking action within the context of compassion that resonates with today’s youth who are trying to find their way in a shifting landscape

OPower Saves Energy and $$

How does Opower save energy—and end-customers money?  Big Data.

OPower Serving

  • Collaborating with 95 utility partners
  • Serving more than 50 million customers

OPower communicates with utility companies and their customers to ultimately help reduce usage and customers’ bills. To date, they’ve created a cumulative savings of more than $600 million–and reduced carbon emissions by 8 billions pounds. OPower sends out communications to customers analyzing their energy use and making conservation techniques more effiective.

Result: $600 million savings in energy dollars and 5.2 billion Kilowat hours, all while reducing emissions of 8 billion pounds of CO2.

Pulling together the various data streams necessary to get a clear view of each customer, multiplied by 50 million, is a massive endeavor. One which, with the help of Hadoop and Platfora, lets Opower communicate more effectively with its customers and its customers’ customers for big savings and customer satisfaction. See for yourself by looking at the white paper on OPower published by Platfora.


Tiny House – Building & Design Workshop

This next workshop is in Memphis, Tennessee! April 11-13th 2014
Hosted by Derek “Deek” Diedricksen author of “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks”
HGTV will be there covering the action and fun!
You will actually BUILD and DESIGN 2 cabins. Possibly in the opposite order.

More information about downsizing and Tiny Homes, that you’ll enjoy.

YES, they are small, less to clean, less to fix, less to fret about when you’d rather be hiking. Are you wishing to be off the GRID? This kind of conservative design can make it possible. — Jim Avery

At the show you’ll enjoy these Notable Tiny Home lovers and builders …. and others that could not stay away….

  • Steven Harrel — Tiny HouseListings.com
  • Joe Everson – TenneseeTinyHomes.com
  • Kent Griswold – TinyHouseBlog.com  and TinyHouseMagazine.com800SqFtHome
  • Dustin Diedricksen – a Small House Dweller who has appeared on several TV Shows
  • Lloyd Kahn — Author of Tiny Homes, Simple Shelters reference book



How to Make your Home Eco Friendly

MORE INFO – click link: A great GREEN HOME graphic, interactive and easy to understand.

If you click on the image itself, you can zoom in and out of each section and there are hints and tips for each floor of the virtual HOME!  The  infographic (click link) shows what areas of your home you can make more environmentally friendly. From solar panels on the rooftop to energy efficient washer and dryers, there are many options to get you started.


BRR! Staying Warm Tips & Green Friendly Apartments

February is traditionally one of the coldest months of the year, which translates to increased utility expenses and energy consumption for renters across the nation. Winterizing your apartment to be more green-friendly will not only help the environment, but it will also save your wallet.

According to Multi-Housing News, 71 percent of residents are interested in learning more about best green principles and practices, so to help you and your readers, Apartment Guidethe trusted guide for finding your ideal place to live, is providing the below Winterizing Guide including tips for cutting costs and becoming more energy-efficient to save on renters’ budgets and the environment.

In addition, to help those who may be searching for a more eco-friendly apartment during ”frigid February,” Apartment Guide took a look at their listing data and put together a list of Top Metros for Green-Friendly Apartments.

Top Ten Metros for Green-Friendly Apartments*

1.       Seattle

2.       San Antonio

3.       Austin

4.       Phoenix

5.       Omaha

6.       Dallas

7.       Tucson

8.       Raleigh

9.       Denver

10.   San Francisco — We can do better than this!! Come on SF!!

Apartment Guide Tips – Winterizing Guide

When prepping your apartment for the freezing outdoor temperatures, being both cost and energy-efficient can make a big impact. Below are a few tips and tricks to help you live more sustainably and save money!

  • Lower it!

Don’t forget to turn down the heat on your thermostat when you leave your apartment! By doing so, you will save money and energy, and who wants to pay money for something you aren’t using? According to Energy.gov – you can save up to 15% by simply turning your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours (that’s almost 1% for each degree!). Investigate this:  Switching out an OLD thermostat is so easy – and to your advantage – yes you can do it!  You can program your heating range with the new models.

  • Check it!

Check the weather stripping around the doors and windows in your apartment. If it looks worn, contact your property manager or superintendent.  Also consider buying or making draft stoppers. If you have broken windows or drafty windows, talk to the landlord / maintenance team, sometimes they can do something, and they may not know about breaks or drafts. Speak up! 

  • Insulate it!

To minimize heat loss, try using insulated curtains and heavy area rugs to keep heat in your apartment. A quick fix:  Making draft busters from long socks to so under the doors can help. Not so pretty, but it works. Close the doors on rooms you don’t use. Heat the part of the home or apartment you live in!

  • Caulk it!

Often plumbing areas leave gaping holes between the pipes and the wall leaking heat and wasting energy. Caulk and seal these or use pipe insulation.

  • Clean it!

Every winter, you should have your furnaces cleaned in addition to regularly changing your filters (this is very easy!! Really!) maximize efficiency and even reduce the potential risk of fire!

  •  Defrost it!

Prevent frost from forming on your windows by running a dehumidifier at night. Air will become less moist, which will keep the frost from forming on your windows. For a cheaper cleaning alternative for your windows, try using rubbing alcohol. You can also check out these Apartment Guide tips for ways to help your heater run efficiently.

  •  Download it!

Download these apps on your phone to help you live a more “green” lifestyle! Whether you’re on the go or just relaxing in your home, these apps will serve as great resources:

o   iRecycle – provides access to more than 1.5 million ways to recycle plus the latest in green news and ideas to match your lifestyle

o   Goodguide – makes it fast and easy to find safe, healthy and green products both in a store or on the go

o   FindGreen – helps you find local businesses and resources to live a sustainable lifestyle

*Methodology: Apartment Guide looked at their data for the top cities with the most properties noted with green communities. Properties listed on Apartment Guide as green communities provide offerings/certifications such as LEED certification, energy-efficient windows, lighting and plumbing and drought-resistant landscaping to reduce water waste. 

Getting Ready for the Cold

Keeping your house warm and cozy during the winter months is necessary for the safety and comfort of your family. However, it can also be expensive. In fact, space heating accounts for nearly 30% of total annual energy costs for the average American household, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Take the following steps now to ensure household comfort and minimize heating costs when the cold weather comes:

  1. Before winter begins, have a qualified technician inspect and clean your heating system to ensure that it is running efficiently and safely.
  2. Change your furnace filter at the beginning of the heating season and once per month thereafter. Specialized filters may need to be replaced less often. Follow manufacturer’s recommendations.
  3. Check windows and doors for cracked caulking or loose weatherstripping, and replace if necessary.
  4. Check ductwork in the attic or basement crawlspace for leaks or disconnections. Insulating ductwork in these unheated areas helps increase energy efficiency as well.
  5. Gaps around electrical lines, plumbing, and gas pipes entering from outdoors can result in significant air leakage. Seal these gaps with spray foam insulation, which can be purchased at your local hardware or Do-It-Yourself store. Home Depot often has classes!
  6. The chimney is an outlet for warm air generated by your heating system. If you do not use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue. If your fireplace is still in use, check the flue damper and make sure that it is as snug as possible. Consider installing tempered glass doors and a heat exchange system that blows warm air back inside.
  7. Install a programmable thermostat. These are relatively inexpensive and can help you save significantly on heating costs by adjusting the temperature inside your home automatically; whether you are at home or away.

Source: http://www.sxc.hu/
Conduct an Energy Audit
Autumn is a great time to conduct a home energy audit. An energy audit will help you determine the efficiency of your heating system and uncover areas of energy loss. You can conduct a simple audit yourself or hire a professional to perform a more detailed assessment. Professional auditors use advanced techniques, such a blower door test to measure air leaks and infrared cameras to assess insulation levels. Take the first step by using the Home Energy Analyzer to better understand how you are using energy and identify simple steps to increase your energy efficiency.
Check out EARTH MATTERS published by the Palo Alto Utilities, this is an excerpt from that newsletter.

Google Clean-tech Investment

$680 million has been pushed into clean energy by Google:

  1. $280 million fund with Solar City
  2. $168 million goes to BrightSource Energy’s Ivanpah project which includes a solar thermal power plant currently under construction in the Mojave Desert in California
  3. $100 million invested in Sheperd’s Flat wind farm in Oregon.
  4. $55 million for Alta Wind Energy Center in Kern County
  5. $39 million for two North Dakota wind farms built by NextEra Energy Resources.

Regulation of Battery Chargers

A few days ago the Consumer Electronics Association and nine other trade groups sent the attached letter to the California Energy Commission on its misguided move to regulate battery chargers. Yesterday, CEC held a staff workshop in the proceeding.

The following statement can be attributed to Douglas Johnson, vice president of technology policy at CEA:

The California Energy Commission’s proposal to regulate battery chargers is misguided, wasteful and unnecessary. With a federal rulemaking underway, there is simply no need for this state agency to start a proceeding that would waste California taxpayer and ratepayer dollars.

This latest proposal by the California Energy Commission (CEC) to regulate battery chargers continues the agency’s unfortunate habit of pushing regulations based on poor data and analysis, misleading assumptions, and reports from third parties with vested interests. This latest regulatory proposal by the CEC follows its recent and flawed rulemaking concerning televisions, in which the Commission adopted prescriptive rules on TV power consumption, essentially adopting a backward-looking policy for a forward-looking industry. Our recent experience with the CEC’s rulemakings suggests that the CEC’s process is more about creating unnecessary regulations than saving energy.

From a policy perspective, the CEC’s use of outdated data artificially inflates the estimated energy “savings” from regulation, which in turn presents misleading claims to policymakers and the public regarding the Commission’s contributions to California’s energy savings and greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.

Flat-panel, high-definition digital TVs and other consumer electronics are highly energy efficient today because of technological innovation and the success of the federal government’s voluntary ENERGY STAR program during the past several years. A recent study commissioned by CEA showed that the active power use of liquid crystal displays (LCDs) plummeted 63 percent from 2003 to the 2010, and the active power use of plasma TVs dropped 41 percent from 2008 to 2010. TV manufacturers have invested millions to improve the energy performance of today’s digital TVs.

These manufacturers stepped up to the plate long before the Commission began its regulatory process. Manufacturers deserve to have their achievements recognized and accounted for by the CEC in hard, reasonable, and reliable numbers before the Commission decides that regulation is necessary or justified.

Please contact me with any questions.


Tim Doyle
Senior Manager, Environmental Communications Consumer Electronics Association
(703) 907-4322 (work)
(703) 624-1702 (mobile)
Follow me on twitter @DoylesDen

Thirsty Quick Dry Towels

A dear friend gave me quite a treat. Beautiful new towels for a surprise house warming gift and they are “green”. Let me explain, because actually they are a gorgeous blue-gray Nantucket seaside color. They are energy saving “Quick-Dri Linden Street Bath Towels“. They have a reduced drying time of 33% over regular towels.They are soft, have a nice feel, easy to wash and very absorbent. I love them. You can get these 100% cotton towels at JCPenney!

 I am not the only fan of these towels, Linden Street towels have been around for a long time, and have improved and gotten even better.

Green Sigma consulting service offered by IBM

IBM unveils a new green consultancy .With conservation as the main focus Green Sigma performs an accounting of a company’s water and energy usage, both at its own facilities and also those of its supply-chain partners.  High water, electricity and cooling costs can be reduced substantially. The group will survey the company usages and make suggestions that will achieve the best improvement.