Practicality precedes longterm happiness, but it must not come at the cost of it.
Once we reach the age wherein we begin to become responsible for ourselves, there are certain necessities that we must consider. These are the needs that, for our own survival, must precede our wants. We must have food, clothing, and shelter to survive, but, once we begin meeting these basic needs for ourselves, we start to face choices that sometimes pin practicality and happiness against one another.
Simply put, sometimes the things that make us happy, the pursuits and passions that resonate with the deepest parts of our being and bring out the best in us, don’t pay the bills. At least, that is what we are told and that is what we tell ourselves. If we are ever to make a living, if we are ever going to make it in life, we must learn to put our happiness to the side and pursue that which is practical.
The problem with this sentiment is that unhappiness is not practical at all. There is nothing good that comes from ignoring that which calls to us for the sake of that which simply pays us, at least not in the long run and not as long as our basic needs are being met. There is nothing practical about regret.
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 and Kogen Dojo where he teaches Taikyoku Budo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
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