Our Difficulty

Doing the easy thing now does not make the difficult thing go away.

The best time to address difficulty is as it presents itself.

Waiting will not make it go away.

Time does not make that which is difficult easier to deal with.

Ignoring a difficult problem, task, or truth in favor of comfort, convenience, or complacency merely delays the difficulty.

Often, difficulty delayed becomes harder, not easier, to face and overcome.

As time elapses, difficulty left unaddressed and unresolved grows, or at least our fear of it does.

The harder we try to hide from the reality of that which we have to face, the more overwhelming our fear and trepidation become.

Even if the difficult thing itself does not change, our perception of its gravity does and that makes it more difficult to face.

Sometimes we try to overcompensate in other areas of our lives in an attempt to make up for that which we are avoiding.

We want to believe that enough little wins, enough easy choices, and enough progress in other directions, all layered on top of each other, will cancel out the difficult thing we are avoiding, but rarely is this true.

The sooner we accept, embrace, and take responsibility for the fact that this burden is ours alone to bear, this challenge is ours alone to face, and this obstacle is ours alone to overcome, the sooner our lives will actually become less difficult.


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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