To Try Is To Know

A consensus tends to round off the the edges, but the edges are what cut through convention and lead to innovation.

Wabi-Sabi Street Art Photo by Robert Van Valkenburgh (artist unknown)

There is a fine line between brilliance and insanity, as the saying goes, between a great idea and a crazy one. The problem is that great ideas often sound crazy to the people around us, even to our biggest supporters. For this reason, asking for permission or waiting for consensus tends to shut down great, but crazy sounding ideas before they ever see the light of day.

Obviously, not all crazy-sounding ideas are good ones. In fact, most are not. However, often the only way to know if something is worth doing is to do it, to try it, to experiment, execute, and then evaluate the results to adjust, pivot, and re-execute with better information.

Crazy ideas are only great ideas if they work, but there is only one way to know if they will work or not. This does not start with permission or consensus, but with risk, action, and even failure, maybe a lot of failure before our idea reaches its true potential. In order to know if our ideas are crazy or great, we have to take a chance, make our art, build our dream, and see what happens.


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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