The path towards is not the path to: why you will never be perfect

We strive to master the art.

Can any of us truly say that we have? I know I can’t.

We are on the path towards perfection. Perfection of technique, perfection of character, perfection of society.

But we are not on the path to perfection. This path is not like the path to your house, or your workplace. You will never get there, never reach the end, never get to your destination.

Photo by Alexander Milo on Unsplash (edited)

You can only move towards it.

However far we go, there is always more that can be done. Some small improvement that can be made.

You will never be perfect.

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” – Salvador Dali

Does that mean our efforts are worthless? What is the point if we will never achieve what we set out to do?

In my opinion, the effort is the point.

Shorinji Kempo is a gyo, a discipline. It is a tool to help us develop ourselves. Yes, the techniques are useful in themselves, at least once you’ve learnt them well enough to be able to do them correctly under pressure, but that’s not the entire point.

The effort involved in learning a technique, in figuring out how and why it works, in practicing it so much that it becomes natural and easy. These are the things that help us.

I’ve learnt so much from this process. Patience and perseverance, determination. The ability to keep calm when things go wrong. Empathy.

I’m not saying that this is the only way to develop those things. There are many paths towards perfection, and each is suited to different people. But this path is my path, and I hope that you will join me on it.

“Never give up!” – Guidelines for effective training

Practice every day. Practice everywhere. Practice until the sun goes down.

Published by Nicola Higgins

Nicola Higgins is a 30-something* martial artist, Girlguiding Brownie and Ranger Leader, and actuary. She somehow also finds time to read, fuss her cat, and occasionally spends time with her husband. * please note that "ten or more" is still something.

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