Seek Stillness To Find Purpose

The number of hours in the day do not change for us, so we must change to make the most of them.

As we get older, time feels like it flies by faster and faster. The days feel too short for all that we need to accomplish. The weeks blur into months and the years just seem to disappear behind us. All too often, we find ourselves saying that life is too short, that we have too much to do and not enough time, and that, if only there were more hours in the day, we could accomplish more.

When we have free time, however, especially an abundance of it, our tendency is not to start doing all of the things we have been putting off or claim to not have had time for. Instead, we distract ourselves with more, often aimless and purposeless, busyness. When our schedules clear up, if we take a moment to step back, reflect, and be honest with ourselves, we may actually see that our problem was not really a lack of time, but an inability to prioritize our time effectively and purposefully.

Prioritization begins by first establishing and understanding our personal values, and determining, of all of the things we have going on in our lives that are vying for our attention, what is truly most important based on those values. Establishing our values should not be seen as another busy task, however, but something we do with deep reflection and intention, focusing on uncovering who we are and what in our lives is essential to who we want to be. In order to know ourselves, we must first be still.


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.

All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh (artist unknown, unless otherwise noted).

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