Buffering Regret With Consensus

If we let other people’s opinions determine our path, it is no longer our path.

Life is hard enough without adding other people’s doubts, fears, and insecurities to our decision-making processes.

Most likely, we have enough worries of our own that having more will not really help us anyway.

If we use other people’s opinions to justify our indecision or inaction with regards to that which we know we must do for ourselves, our lives, and our dreams, we are simply buffering regret.

We may be able to postpone it and soften its blow, but regret over opportunities not taken, goals not pursued, purpose unfulfilled, and truths denied cannot be avoided forever.

It will always find us eventually because it resides within our hearts.

No matter how much logic, rationalization, and justification we use to push it down, push it aside, or push it away, it will always creep back into our consciousness until we face and overcome that which created it.

No one else can do this for us, least of all those people who we allowed to influence the decisions that led us here.


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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