Progress Over Completion

We cannot control all aspects of life, nor should we expect ourselves to be able to.

A lot of things come at us from day to day, probably more than we can effectively address, manage, or resolve.

That is okay.

Trying to solve every perceived problem, complete every task, and make progress in every direction of our lives all at once will inevitably lead to frustration, overwhelm, and undue amounts of stress because, simply put, it is an impossible task.

In fact, it is a fool’s errand to even try.

Instead of focusing on completion, closure, and resolution in all things, we must learn to focus on progress with regards to those things that matter most.

The goal, after all, is not simply to get things done, but to get things done that make a difference, that move us forward, and that change our lives and the lives of those around us for the better.

This requires that we direct as much of our attention, our effort, and our energy as we can on the people, places, and things that not only need us most, but that we can most greatly and positively affect.

This becomes much more difficult if and when we take on stress associated with things we cannot or should not try to manage, control, or change.

Progress requires efficacy and efficacy requires discernment.


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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