Taking the path of least resistance now leads to the path of greatest regret later.
Avoiding difficulty does not, in fact, make our lives less difficult. It simply postpones the inevitable. This is especially true when we avoid difficult situations, conversations, or actions that we know, deep down, are what we want to, or must, do. Attempting to circumvent the truth does not change the truth, but it changes us in a way we may not be able to live with later.
No matter which path we choose, it will be difficult. Life is difficult toward, or away from, what we want and what we know is true. It is better to choose difficulty in the direction of the truth, even if it’s simply our truth, than it is to try to avoid difficulty by heading down a path we know, in our heart’s, is dishonest.
The dishonest path, the path of least resistance, leads to regret, self loathing, and resentment. Whatever dubious outward ease we gain in our lives by avoiding difficulty today we will more than make up for with internal strife later as we realize that we squandered an opportunity to live our best lives sooner, but were too frightened to do so. By choosing the path of difficult truth now, our life may not be any easier, but at least it will be honest.
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.
Wabi-sabi street art photo by Robert Van Valkenburgh (artist unknown)
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