Updated: Apr 7, 2019
By Mark Sentoshi Russo
“So you’ve been doing this for a very long time, why do you keep doing it? I mean, when do you think you’ll give it up?”
This question came from an acquaintance that I have been bumping into for many years at my local Starbucks (those of you who know me are aware that I am a Starbucks addict). Now, reading between the lines I knew that without actually saying it this person was asking,
“Aren’t you getting a bit old to keep doing this?”
The nature of the art is what allows us to actually get better as we age, as opposed to losing skill as our flexibility, speed and raw strength diminishes with age. What happened here was that this person kept pressing me.
“Can you elaborate on ‘I love it’? What exactly do you love about it?” I had to pause. “Give me a minute to think about that,” I said.
After a little reflection here is how I got to “I love it.”
Everything we as humans do in our lives is for the purpose of feeling better or avoiding feeling bad, or suffering. Everything. It may not seem so at first, but if you drill down to the essence of your behavior and activities you will find that this is a fact. People will argue, “I do it to benefit others.” Okay. Does creating benefit for others make you feel good? “Yes.”
People will argue, “I work because I have to.” Okay. Does being able to afford things make you feel better? Of course. Does not being able to afford things or support yourself make you feel poorly? Of course. And so on.
So this was my list:
I love seeing people “get this art”.
I love seeing them motivated by their success and skill development.
I love seeing them excited and motivated by the possibilities as they continue their journey.
I love doing something for a living that improves people’s life experience.
I love doing something for a living that affords me a healthy lifestyle.
I love that I never stop growing and learning myself as I continue to practice and teach this art.
I love that I get to meet and work with new people all the time and impact their lives in a positive way.
I love that the training has helped me navigate my way through many challenging situations.
I love that many people appreciate me for what I bring to their lives.
I love that I don’t walk around feeling vulnerable like a frightened victim as I see many people do.
I love that I can still practice this art even with some challenging physical limitations.
I could go on. It is plain to see that everything I considered fits the fundamental premise – seeking pleasure, avoiding suffering. A deep dive into that simple truth; because I love it!