Our actions should support our goals, but our goals should support our community.
It is important to have clarity with regards to our personal goals and to shape our lives in such a way that we are working toward them, not against them.
As we become more focused on what we want to achieve, we begin to notice that one of the greatest barriers to success, in whatever way we define success for ourselves, is overcommitment.
If we say yes to everything, it is very difficult to accomplish anything and discernment becomes imperative.
We have to learn how to say no to activities and commitments that do not help us achieve our goals because our goals, if they are worth achieving, require our undivided attention.
We cannot do this at the sacrifice of our meaningful relationships, however, because, as important as our goals are, it is equally important to remember that any goals that do not include other people in some capacity may not actually be all that worthwhile.
Even the most personal of achievements is better when it is shared in some way.
This is especially true when our achievement is shared with people who love us, support us, and help us along the way, the people who rejoice in our success and agonize over our failure, and for whom we do the same.
These are the people who understand our need to focus, who know that, even if we are not around, we will always be available when it truly matters, and who trust that what we must do, even in solitude, we do for the tribe, for the community, and for them as much as for ourselves.
Holistic Budo: As it is in budo, so too it is in life. As it is in life, so too it is in budo.
All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.
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