On Effort And Overwhelm

We risk being overwhelmed by life’s challenges whether we try too hard or not hard enough, but only one of these options can lead us beyond our difficulties to success.

Life will not always be easy.

We will struggle.

At times, we will be overwhelmed by decisions, challenges, and setbacks.

This is true whether we are trying to get ahead or not.

Effort, trying our hardest, doing our best, does not guarantee us success.

It certainly does not guarantee that things will be easy, that we will not be overwhelmed, or that we will not fail.

The only thing that effort promises us is that we can be successful, not that we will.

Lack of effort, on the other hand, does not offer us any promises of success either.

Lack of effort does, however, guarantee that we will not be successful.

The choice we must make, therefore, is whether we want to take a chance on the possibility of success or if we want to guarantee our failure.

Through effort, at least we have a chance.

At least we have hope.

Life will still be difficult.

We will still struggle and get overwhelmed at times.

As long as we do not give up, as long as we continue to push forward, we give ourselves the opportunity to make our suffering temporary.


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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