Life gives opportunity to learn every day.
One of my recent lessons is that sometimes you need to give up your goal in order to achieve it.
Or perhaps it’s not just sometimes? Maybe it’s a universal principle?
That could be.
My philosophy has always been not to give up. Now I claim one needs to do so. I can formulate this as a paradox (at first sight):
Never give up on your goal.
Give it up to achieve it.
By not giving up I mean a very simple thing: try on and on until you succeed. Perspiration, perseverance and patience are keys to success.
By giving up I mean your goal must not eclipse everything else in your life. It must not cross out the feeling of here and now. A goal must be just one of many side lights, not the end of the journey.
Any goal lies in future by definition, yet the focus must stay in present.
By relaxing and enjoying the present moment we reach our goals much quicker than if we would be completely absorbed by a future achievement.
When my body needs a rest, I take a sleep.
When my mind needs a rest, I read a book.
When my soul needs a rest, I play the guitar.
As already mentioned in previous posts, martial arts are not restricted merely to fighting and self-defense techniques.
Every kind of budo develops tons of other useful skills and qualities, such as perseverance, determination, responsibility, confidence, and discipline, to name a few.
Yet when speaking about “the highest goal” of martial arts, different styles – whether it is taekwon-do, karate, judo or aikido – agree on the common: the quintessence of the way of the warrior is peace.
As the founder of aikido Morihei Ueshiba put it in The Art of Peace:
The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.
Other posts on the essence of martial arts:
Tsuneo Ando on the Main Goal of Aikido
Keiji Tomiyama on the Essence of Martial Arts
What Is The Way of The Marital Arts? (Part 3)
What Is The Way of The Marital Arts? (Part 2)
What Is The Way of The Marital Arts? (Part 1)
Sensei Tsuneo Ando is an 8th dan master of Yoshinkan aikido. His views on the goal of aikido reflect the philosophy of peace and love embedded in this Japanese martial art by its founder O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba.
Interestingly – but not surprisingly – the words of Ando Sensei on the essence of aikido have a lot in common with the views of other masters on the purpose of their respective martial arts.
The main goal of aikido is not just to learn how to fight or defend yourself, but to learn how to pacify an opponent so that he loses his intention to attack you. The purpose of learning aikido is to replace desire to attack with joy and surprise with the mastery of an aikidoka. That is why by training we not only practice techniques, but also create an atmosphere of harmony and joy.
Aikido aims to make a person stronger, teach him to act, take decisions and hold responsibility for his deeds. Today martial arts are not used to wage wars. Their main purpose is to educate robust individuals capable to become mature members of society.
Indeed, we need to shoot for the moon to land among the stars.
If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
… all you have to do is listen.
If you haven’t see August Rush yet, check it out.
Even if you’re not a music fan, you’ll find something for yourself there for sure.
The film may seem like a fairy tale, but as the title suggests, all you have to do is listen …