Begin at the Beginning and Go on Till You Come to the End: Then Stop.

Written by Anthony Nguyen
Published on Sunday, 28 February 2010

This is moreso a personal thing, but then again, I would say the same of all my blogs, and this is just a place where I share a part of me.

I’ve been sick during the previous two weeks and prior to that, my practices were depressingly horrid. Yesterday was the only time I’ve put in work for the past few weeks, and it wasn’t even a good workout but we have to start somewhere.

It had less to do with the season at hand than it had to do with the work I had to get done in school. But for whatever reason, everyone who practices anything knows that there are points at which our dedication falls off from its usual frequency. There’s nothing wrong with a break so long as we are able to pick ourselves back up and continue our practice. Nothing wrong, if we as we are supposed to in picking ourselves back up. This was exactly what I was having trouble with though.

There’s always so many things that stand in my way when I am trying to pick things back up from a standstill. There’s concern that you won’t be doing it right, there’s the concern that your diet isn’t yet back up to speed to support your progress, there’s the fear of being too far away in skill from what you used to be, but the longer you hold on to this fear, the weaker you grow. The fear of doing anything that is barely competent. This is the same fear associated with my procrastination, I put off work because I’m afraid I’ll do it less than perfect, I put it off until I have no choice but to produce something that is not perfect. These thoughts and consequences have happened in other preceding breaks. I know that everyone has that one time of the year where practice just isn’t what it used to be, and for most people that season is winter. And so in the previous few weeks, and even now, I find myself in a sort of physical slump. It’s hard to put work in because I’m afraid, afraid because I know I’m weak and vulnerable now. Although I put work in the prior day, I haven’t completely arisen out of the muck, and there are still the bad habits that I have gained from not practicing.

For most of us here, what we are doing is a lifelong practice, and as a result, it is acknowledged that there will be many obstacles along the way and many holes from which we will have to pick ourselves up out of. As something we intend to indulge ourselves in permanently, we accept that there is no point where we decide to climb off. Despite the obstacles and burdens that may exist, we must withstand. In this endurance we learn to live as strong.

So when we falter, it is important to not let that lead us away from our paths. It is understood that people rise and fall, it’s natural. With that said, it would do me good to let go of expectations. To acknowledge that work is work and that it always won’t be my greatest. What we are doing, we are doing for a lifetime, so we press on. We persevere through mental and physical obstacles. It’s important to learn quality of character is more important than quality of product. If there’s one thing all successful people have in common, it’s a good and realistic attitude towards the subject at hand. This is that “it’s not about the destination, but about the journey” idea chewed up and vomited for the millionth time because it’s something I have yet to learn. Be proud not of your achievements, for you are not done achieving, rather be proud of your character, from which you base your achievements.

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