Do for Others and Yourself

Help others bring their dreams to life, but don’t forget to work on yours as well.

‘Icing’ by Ana and Ravy

Unless you are independently wealthy, you probably need a day-job and this most likely means working for someone else. Most of us earn a living this way, by helping to build and grow someone else’s dream. There is nothing wrong with this. We all need money and experience, and we all have to start somewhere.

Often, survival requires that we put or own personal goals, aspirations, and passions on the back burner for a while in order to earn a living and improve our lives. The need for food, shelter, and clothing requires us to do what we must, not necessarily what we want. While we are struggling to survive and, hopefully to get ahead, it is easy to lose sight of our deeper needs for fulfillment, meaning, and personal achievement.

Often, we conflate our lives and our occupations, our achievements at work with our true desires and aspirations. In the hustle and bustle of trying to get by, everything begins to blur. Our own dreams become a distant, fading memory. If ignored or forgotten for long enough, they begin to manifest as regret, disappointment, sadness, or even anger.

Unless we have found the rare opportunity where our dreams align with the dreams of those we work for or with, it is imperative that we take some time and make some space for ourselves. It is okay to help others build their dreams, but we cannot ignore our own in the process. Like our children, our dreams need our attention, nurturing, and effort.

Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.

-Robert Van Valkenburgh is co-founder of Taikyoku Mind & Body, Severna Park’s Holistic Chamber of Commerce, and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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