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Bruce Lee was a hustler, fighter, and a Hollywood superstar. But he was also a Zen master, philosopher, and perpetual learner. This was one of his favorite stories:

A learned man once went to visit a Zen teacher to inquire about Zen. As the Zen teacher talked, the learned man frequently interrupted to express his own opinion about this or that. Finally, the Zen teacher stopped talking and began to serve tea to the learned man. He poured the cup full, then kept pouring until the cup overflowed.

“Stop,” said the learned man. “The cup is full, no more can be poured in.”

“Like this cup, you are full of your own opinions,” replied the Zen teacher. “If you do not first empty your cup, how can you taste my cup of tea?”

You're ambitious. You've got big plans. You want to achieve your lofty goals. But you also want to be a good person. You want to be calm and compassionate and kind. You want to enjoy life along the way, be happy in the now, and stay curious.

These seemingly opposing goals can make us feel torn inside. But if you asked Bruce Lee, he would've told you they're two sides of the same coin: Living a balanced life.

Achieving this balance requires lots of things, but, most of all, it requires an empty cup. To challenge our preconceived notions at every turn. To engage with new ideas. To always keep an open mind. Empty Your Cup will help you do just that.

Learn To Live A Balanced Life

Empty Your Cup is a free, daily newsletter with ideas on living a balanced life.

In every email, you’ll get a bold perspective, an old piece of wisdom, a short story, or a harebrained idea. Whatever it takes to get your gears spinning, open your mind, and look at life — look at yourself, really — from a new angle. So that you can move forward without losing the spring in your step.

Bruce Lee undoubtedly possessed this quality. In a life that spanned just 32 years, he achieved everything we've ever dreamed of and then some. Yet, he didn't let any of it get to his head. We could do worse than follow in his footsteps.

I hope you'll join me on this quest. May we all find balance in his legacy.

“I have to leave now, my friend. You have a long journey ahead of you, and you must travel light. From now on drop all your burden of preconceived conclusions behind, and "open" yourself to everything and everyone ahead. Remember, my friend, the usefulness of a cup is in its emptiness.” — Bruce Lee

Who Writes This Newsletter?

Hi! I’m Nik.

Just a shy German kid with a laptop, a love for stories, and an obsession with writing.

I don’t know what I’m doing any more or less than any other artist, but somehow, I’ve now managed to write professionally for almost a decade.

I write a daily blog, have been featured in places like Medium, Quora, Business Insider, and many others, and I’ve been fortunate to have my work read by millions of people over the years. When I’m not working on Four Minute Books, my “day job,” I’m writing my next book — like right now with this very publication!

What’s This Thing About a Book?

After running and growing the newsletter for several months in 2019, I graduated college and decided to make a few changes. I also started working on the Empty Your Cup book — a daily read with the same weekly themes as this newsletter, covering a full year’s worth of reminders to keep your balance.

Then, life happened, I took a few detours, and now, here I am! In restarting the newsletter, I hope to…

  • Generate momentum for my writing. It’ll force me to work on the book every day.

  • Get feedback on chapter ideas from you and all the other, wonderful Empty Your Cup readers.

  • Grow the email list until the book is ready. I hate showing up out of nowhere telling people to buy something. It’s time to restart the conversation. Eventually, I’ll just be able to say, “You know, the thing we talked about? It’s ready.”

If you enjoy the posts, please vote on the polls, and don’t hesitate to share your feedback in the comments, email responses, etc.

Good or bad, harsh or kind, I appreciate all thoughts that go towards this project. Every single one of them will help bring the book to life!

How Much Does It Cost?

Right now, Empty Your Cup is free. It will stay so for the foreseeable future.

Each email is a potential book chapter. Not all of them will make it into the final product, and many of them will be heavily edited by the time they do so, but at the very least until the book is live, all emails will be 100% free.

After the book is out, there are several paths forward:

  1. Keep the newsletter going indefinitely, and perhaps write a second book once more chapters are ready.

  2. Make the newsletter a paid subscription, keeping only some of the posts free.

  3. Changing the newsletter format and frequency.

  4. Stopping the newsletter altogether and focusing on another project.

Which one do you think I should take? Feel free to tell me in an email response.

Until then, however, enjoy the posts, and remember:

“The usefulness of a cup lies in its emptiness.”

— Bruce Lee

Images via brucelee.com. Logo via Freepik on Flaticon.

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