A Little Perspective Goes A Long Way

Some days, all we can do is to show up and that is okay.

There is no doubt that, at the end of each day, we feel better knowing that we accomplished something or that, at the very least, we put in a little bit of work toward our personal goals or our dreams. Sometimes, however, the day gets ahead of us and we never quite catch up. We feel ourselves being dragged in by its undertow, tossed around, struggling to find our bearing or catch our breath, and then unforgivingly tossed back on the shore, shaken, frustrated, and powerless.

Regardless of how well we have prepared, how strictly we stick to our plans or our schedules, and no matter how strong our will may be, there will always be circumstances that arise which are totally outside of our control. If too many of these crop too quickly, or at the same time as one another, our day no longer belongs to us and what we perceive as order gives way to chaos. Frustratingly, this may even happen more than once in the same day.

On days like these, when we feel beaten down and lost, it helps to keep in mind that at least we showed up and made it through, and we get to try again tomorrow. Perhaps we can take a quiet moment to reflect on what went wrong and why, but also what went right, even if what went right went totally unnoticed by us or anyone else at the time that it happened. While we may not be able to change our past experiences, we can change our perspective on those experiences and, through that, change the way that we approach tomorrow.


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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