A Thousand Deaths by Hesitation

Waiting for perfection before taking action is just procrastination masked by a poor excuse and unrealistic expectations.

Street Art Photo by Robert Van Valkenburgh (artist unknown)

Perfection may be an ideal, but it is unattainable. Waiting for perfection to manifest prior to doing the thing we know must be done or even simply doing the thing we know that want to do is really just a way of excusing ourselves from risking failure. There is more failure in fear and inaction, however, than in one single act of failure taken on bravely.

The time to do the thing, to take the action, to make the move is not when we are or the situation is perfectly ready. By then, it will be too late, for the opportunity will have passed. The time for action is when action is possible.

By taking action, by risking failure, and by making mistakes, all in the direction of our goals and dreams, we come closer to perfection than waiting perfectly will ever get us. None of us make it out of this life alive anyway. It is better to risk our lives on a dream over and over again and to fail than to succeed at dying a thousand deaths of fear and hesitation each day.


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.

Street art photo taken by Robert Van Valkenburgh, artist unknown unless otherwise noted.

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