The Power of Positive Community

“The secret to change and growth is not willpower or goalsetting, but positive community.”
—Neil Strauss

The process of growth and change is not always easy nor are we likely to be comfortable as we move through it. In fact, improvement is nearly always difficult. It is challenging and it is sometimes even painful, but that is why we need each other.

If we truly want to improve, if we want to grow and be better than we were yesterday, we need to be challenged and we need to be pushed. We need others to hold us accountable and to see past our present limitations to the possibility of who we can be, who we are destined to be. In order for us to live up to our true potential, we need a community of people who are working toward the same goal.

Growth does not happen in a vacuum, nor does it happen in isolation. If we want to be better, we need to surround ourselves with people who want us to be better, who push us to be better, and who give us the opportunity to be better. No one else can do the work for us, but a positive community can give us the courage, the motivation, and the will to do it for ourselves when we otherwise might quit.


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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