You are not perfect, but you are unique and hiding what makes you special is unfair to the rest of us because the world needs more of you, not more of us.
We all want to feel like we make a difference in some way, to someone and to feel like what we are doing matters. Beneath that desire is the potential to actually fulfill it. It is in us. That is what we are here for. We are all here to change the world in some way, large or small, in a way that only we can accomplish.
Unfortunately, the journey is long and there are many detours and dead ends along the way. It is easy to get distracted and to perceive the rewards we receive for our work, such as praise or financial success, as evidence that we have made our difference in the world. It is easy to accept the praise, the money, or the status and to stop, to accept that we have made it, that we are done and can rest on our laurels. It is at exactly this moment that we must keep going. We have more work to do. We have more change to make.
True change is not so easily praised or rewarded. True change is new and scary. True change is something unrecognizable and unimaginable. It is the faint light in the distance of a clouded dream that only we can see. It is up to us to show others the way, but we must walk through the darkness first, alone.
“As in life, so too it is in budo. As in budo, so too it is in life.”
-Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu