Along the path, your greatest obstacle is not going to be some thing, some person, or some event, but your own imagination.
When we pursue some goal or dream, it is inevitable that there will be obstacles along the way to achieving it. There will be people, attitudes, and barriers that stand in our way and that make us question whether or not our pursuit is worth the effort, the struggle, and, at times, the conflict we face as we move toward that which we seek. In reality, though, it is not these external forces, but our perceptions of and attitudes toward them, that we must overcome.
The true obstacles reside inside of us. They are our abilities to use our imaginations to come up with creative stories about and solutions for our perceived problems. The degree to which we can do that is the degree to which we can transcend our own resistance to change and use the forces we once perceived to be working against us to our advantage.
When faced with difficulty, the difference between success and failure is all in how we use our imaginations. We can let them run wild with fear and worry, coming up with all of the scenarios wherein we fail and giving us all kinds of excuses for why we should not proceed, or we can use them as tools for creative solutions. The problems will be the same either way, but, if channeled in a positive direction, our imaginations allow us to transform them into opportunities for growth.
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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