Courage to Act (Impractically)

Courage, by definition, is impractical (and practicality is not courageous).

Doing what is safe and practical keeps us moving in the same direction, at the same speed. The problem with this strategy is that life is moving faster than whatever speed we feel is safe and practical. For this reason, instead of getting us ahead, doing that which is safe and practical actually keeps us in a constant state of falling behind.

Doing that which is risky and impractical requires courage. Risk is not the same as recklessness, however. There is nothing reckless about risking safety and security for something we believe in, for a truth that pumps through our veins and nags at us from the backs of our minds in all of our waking hours.

The only way to get ahead is to take a chance, to unshackle ourselves from fear and what often seems like logic, but is actually just our insecurities and doubts masking themselves as explanations and excuses as to why what we truly want can not and will not ever succeed. We cannot think our way into following our hearts, our instincts, and our inspiration. They live beneath our fears and thrive through our actions, not our intellects.


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, as well as a founding member of the Severna Park and Baltimore Holistic Chamber of Commerce.

Artwork by Ana, except where otherwise noted.

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