The Dividing Line Between Success And Failure

Some of the world’s greatest innovations were borne out of necessity and limited resources.

Limitations do not have to be seen as restrictive boundaries within which we are stuck and unable to escape. With a shift in mindset, away from hopelessness and toward creative solutions, our limitations, whether they be time, tools, or resources, actually become our muse, the source from which our inspiration arises. By accepting our limitations, we give ourselves permission to harness them to our advantage instead of being bound by them to our detriment.

When necessity demands that we act, either for our physical survival or our existential fulfillment, we must take stock of the time, tools, and resources we have at our disposal and determine how to best use these to achieve our goals. What we have may be all that we get. This may be the palette from which we must paint our masterpiece.

In reality, the difference between a novice and an expert is not the materials one or the other has at his or her disposal, but the way that they are utilized and to what effect. The dividing line between success and failure is drawn by creativity. It is our ability to bring creative solutions to the table and to execute them in spite of our limitations, whether natural or circumstantial, that determines our usefulness in service to both our community and to our ideas themselves.


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 unless otherwise noted.

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