Martial artists prepare for years for that one fight.

They don’t know when it will come, or even that it will happen at all, but people who do martial arts nonetheless prepare for it every time they practice. Sometimes, they prepare forever, and no fight ever comes. Does that mean the preparation was a waste?

Buddhist monks do the same thing with meditation. The idea is that, when the moment of death comes, they will be calm, allowing them to be reborn into a better sphere, or possibly, not at all.

All of this preparation for one moment. Amazing, isn’t it?

I wonder if we should act this way with our whole lives. Preparing ourselves, honing our thinking, conquering our fear and being ready to act. I think we should do this for the opportunities that will come our way, which we know nothing about.

There is one thing we do know about those opportunities. If they arrive and we’re ready, our lives will be better. So will our family’s, and our friends’ lives. But if we let it pass us by, either because we’re afraid, or because we don’t recognize it, our life will be just the same as it is now. Likewise with every opportunity, forever.

Maybe I’m too hungry. Maybe I should be content with what I have now. But the way I see it, this is the one life we have. We should be doing everything that we can to make it amazing, and to make us happy.





6 responses to “Prepare”

  1. Whitney Avatar

    You can be content now but still constantly moving forward- it’s not binary.

    I feel like I am constantly evolving, gathering skills and building towards what’s up ahead. (It’s amazing how all my past skills come into play in subtle and not so subtle ways almost every day.)But I’m also pleased with what I’ve accomplished so far- but there’s always a new journey, a new path, a new challenge to take on. The people that accompany you may or may not always be the same; some may join for part, and catch up again later on- but I totally believe you can be satisfied with what you’ve accomplished to date and be content, but still feel that there’s a lot of life to be lived and a lot more stuff to accomplish in this life.

    Because frankly- who wants to clock in to the same thing, day after day, with no variation? I guess some people do, but that’s not me.

  2. Larry Avatar

    Good advice, but the trick is knowing exactly what you should be doing in order to put yourself in postion for… something as yet unknown.

    It’s the part after the “…” that makes it difficult. Martial artists have a pretty clearly-defined goal, as do Buddhist monks. (I assume; I really don’t know amything about Buddhism.)

    What if it’s business-related? Or health-related? Or animal-related? Some (most?) opportunities might require pretty specific preparation – and you can’t get yourself “ready” for all of them.

    I guess the best you can do is to always try to learn and improve yourself, do your best, and be honest, true, and helpful.

    And always be willing to face and conquer your fears. That’s the hard part. If you can do that you’ll be good to go for the “every opportunity, forever” that you refer to. And that’s a pretty good deal, if you think about it.

  3. Ryan Avatar

    A great point, Julien. But I think there’s also the difficult decision of preparing too much.

    Are you working your ass off now (to be “ready”), but look back later and wish you had slowed down a bit.

    Or do you look at the future and say, “God, I had so much time to devote to x, y, and z, and I just wasted it away.”

  4. Head2Heart Avatar

    Our society is all based on being prepared and being able to live in the moment… at which point do we know we’ve made the right decision? When are we ready to face challenges that everyday life brings us? We’ll probably only know when the challenge itself comes up.

    On one hand, you have the people who save up all their life in hopes of spending during their retirement years… and sadly enough pass away without having the chance to do what they ALWAYS wanted to do.

    And on the other, you have the ones that go to the gym everyday to stay in great health and then are faced with cancer.

    I’m maybe a little melodramatic with my examples…and my point is that we can gather all the tools necessary (and I do believe you should), but at some point, you have to make the best of it with what you have!

  5. Taylor Davidson Avatar

    “All of this preparation for one moment.”

    But perhaps the process of preparation has value far outside the application for that one moment. Preparing helps create those opportunities just as much as they prepare us to take advantage of them.

    Instead of “preparing”, perhaps it’s just “purposeful doing”; whatever happens from that “doing” is unknown, but it’s valuable in it’s own right.

  6. CT Moore Avatar

    If this is the one life we have, shouldn’t we be enjoying each and every moment of it, rather than preparing for something that might not be.

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