Career Counseling

Every Journey Starts With The Decision

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The most important aspect of any undertaking, ironically, changes nothing about the concrete situation. But from the psychological point of view every journey starts with the decision, not the first step. It’s the decision that matters most, the decision that guides everything that comes after.

The decision we’re talking about is total commitment towards the attainment of the goal in question. As Mr. Miagi once put it, “Walk on road, hmm? Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later get squish just like grape. Here, karate same thing. Either you karate do ‘yes’ or karate do ‘no’. You karate do ‘guess so’, squish just like grape. Understand?”

Wise words from Mr. Miagi. Most people take on the ‘guess so’ attitude in their undertakings. From our existential point of view it’s often an unconscious strategy to protect the fragile ego. It’s leaving a way out without losing too much face if things go badly. Failure is a lot easier to stomach when you aren’t fully invested in the result. But caring about what you’re doing more than anything, giving everything you have, every last ounce of blood, sweat, and tears, and still coming up short? That prospect is terrifying.

But if you aren’t fully committed, not fully prepared to give everything you have, failure is pretty much guaranteed anyway. Talent and luck will only get you so far. It’s the unwavering laser beam focus, the commitment to keep going when times get tough, to keep working and adapting when things aren’t turning out like you hoped or planned, that gets you to the promised land. And this commitment is born at the very beginning of the journey with the decision that come hell or high water you’re always going to give your very best. Without this decision you might as well do something else unless you want to waste your time.