Our Friends In Failure

There is very little chance that we will make progress at anything worthwhile without first embracing shame, embarrassment, and frustration.

Failure is not just part of the process for improvement.

It is the process.

Failure is our teacher.

But, failure hurts.

Failure is always painful.

Failure brings with it all kinds of shame, embarrassment, and frustration.

That is the price we must pay for success, however.

We will fail.

And, we will experience and struggle with all of the emotions, all of the doubt, and all of toil and torment that come with failure.

There is no way around this.

There is only through.

If we want to get where we are going, we must learn to make shame, embarrassment, and frustration our friends.

With these bedfellows of failure as our allies, no one and nothing can stand in our way.


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 Kogen Dojo Self Defense Academy where he teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

All photos by Robert Van Valkenburgh unless otherwise noted.

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