Friday, January 02, 2009

A goalless goal

All my life, I've always been driven to be the best at whatever I took seriously. Sometimes I even made it, or pretty close, but at least I always strove to work as hard as I could. When the Japanese are about to do something, they don't wish each other luck, they say rather, "Gambate!" which means to "Do your best!" I admire those who always strive for perfection.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with being driven and I don't plan on changing my ways any time soon. However, this sort of thinking can be over done and lead one into the trap of competitiveness.

I no longer care for being "the best" at something. I only care that I am doing my best. Which is a subtle but significant difference. One promotes the ego, the other may take it down a few pegs.

I know I should strive to not only do my best, but rejoice in the accomplishments of others. There is no need to prop myself up by putting others down.

Of course, I don't always succeed in this, but when I fail and catch myself with envious thoughts, I'm able to center my mind and bring myself back to a more quiescent state about the whole thing.

For a guy who has lived his life in unbridled desire to win, this is an improvement.

There is a peace and beauty in letting the other guy have his moment in the sun, too...

The famous motto of Osensei, "Masakatsu Agatsu", contains the essence of the spirit of Aikido: "True victory is victory over the self."