Anxious Action

Anxiousness does not solve problems faster or more easily than patience.

It only blurs our vision, making solutions more difficult to see.

Blinded by anxiousness, we risk acting fearfully, selfishly, and recklessly.

This is not the way to achieve healthy, long-lasting solutions.

We may be able to alleviate some of our anxiety through hasty action, giving us a brief sense of accomplishment.

Typically such immediate gratification has unforeseen consequences for ourselves or the people around us, however.

The relief we feel is temporary, but the damage we do may be permanent.

A better strategy is to practice patience, to wait for our anxiousness to wane, and to allow solutions to present themselves in their own time.

We may even come to find that our anxiousness was all for nothing, that things work themselves out, and that no action was required of us after all.

If nothing else, at least we will have learned to not give in to our emotions when feeling distressed and this is accomplishment in itself.


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.*

*Robert Van Valkenburgh’s black and white photography can be seen at My Darkness To Light

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