Fulfillment is rarely found through self-serving behavior.
Selfishness may get us more of what we think we want with regards to material wealth, power, or notoriety, but it has been proven time and time again that these, alone, do not actually lead to a life of contentment, fulfillment, or happiness.
To be sure, there is a certain amount of material wealth, power, and notoriety that we all need to feel safe in the world, efficacious in our lives, and loved.
With regards to material wealth, we all need food, clothing, shelter, and to be able to provide these for our loved ones.
With regards to power, we all want to be seen and heard, and for our opinions, decisions, and actions to mean something, to have an affect on our lives, and to make the change we want to see in the world.
With regards to notoriety, we all need to know that we are needed, wanted, and appreciated.
Not all material wealth, power, or notoriety are created equal, however, nor is there only one way to attain and keep these.
Simply put, we can either seek out, acquire, and hold onto material wealth, power, and notoriety with other people or in spite of them, but only one of these paths leads to contentment, fulfillment, and happiness because only one of these paths is not based in fear.
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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