But Not Unnecessarily

While we should not turn away from difficulty purely for the sake of comfort, we also should not seek out difficulty unnecessarily for the sake of itself.

Sometimes, things are difficult for no reason other than that they are difficult.

Not all difficulty is meant to be faced head on, moved through, or overcome.

Some obstacles, challenges, and hardships exist specifically to be avoided, bypassed, or circumvented.

That is their lesson.

Sometimes, the only thing to be learned from some circumstance, environment, or relationship is that we should find an better way, a more efficient path, and more effective means.

Intentionally seeking out difficulty, pain, and suffering for their own sake is not only counterproductive, but it is actually self destructive.

Difficulty for the sake of difficulty wears down our minds.

Pain for the sake of pain wears down our bodies.

Suffering for the sake fo suffering wears down our spirits.

Injuries do not make us stronger.

Sometimes, the path of less resistance is actually the better path.


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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