As much as we feel as if we are chasing what we value, more often than not we are simply running away from what we fear.
Fear is a much more powerful motivator than hope. The fear of not having security, status, health, wealth, or love, not to mention food, water, clothing, and shelter, drives us to do more, to accumulate more, and to achieve more. We fear running out, having less than others, or not having enough for ourselves. Many of our hopes and dreams are really just fears turned into positive emotion or even action.
Fear clouds our judgement. It blinds us to everything that is not perceived as a means of relief. It is impossible to see clearly when we are afraid. So, we run. Often, we even run away from what matters most, from the work or the relationships that would bring us the deepest satisfaction and would result in the change in the world we are truly meant to make.
Once we understand our fears, it becomes much easier to clearly define our motivations and our goals. If we can admit what we are afraid of, we can determine if that fear is legitimate or if it is shallow and self-centered. Some things are worth being afraid of. Most are not. The things that are not, once we face and rid ourselves of them, free us up to do great work, to fulfill our deeper purposes. Fear, after all, is more than just a thief of joy. It is also a deceiver of the will.
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