Desire Is Not Doing

We can talk about what we want forever, but no one will take us seriously until we actually take action.

Basing our lives on shoulds, oughts, and wants does nothing to move us in the direction of our actual desires. In fact, quite often, we find ourselves saying the things we want as a way of excusing us from actually doing anything about them. It is as if simply speaking our wishes out loud makes them real enough in our minds that we can go back to procrastination, distraction, and postponing our desires without the responsibility of regret.

In spite of how much we hope that it does, saying something enough times does not make it manifest in our lives. In reality, saying it enough times, without taking action on it, only dulls the edge of our intention, making it less and less true over time. When we say we want something, but do not follow through on it, we make ourselves out to be liars by default, even if unintentionally and only to ourselves.

This does not mean that we should keep all of our wishes and wants to ourselves. On the contrary, we should share our ideas and desires with those we love and respect, and especially with those who support us and who want the best for us. What we do not want to do, however, is to use up our credibility, with ourselves or with others, by being all talk and no action because a single decisive action has more value than a thousand shoulds, oughts, and wants put together.


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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