“Mental Aikido: The Necessity of Unhappiness in the Ideal Life,” by Scott H. Young

“I believe happiness is important, and all else being equal, the happy life is better than the unhappy one.

But this doesn’t mean I believe the ideal life is free from unhappy moments. I have plenty of unhappy moments, and I think that’s okay, perhaps even necessary, to live well.

Some Unhappiness is a Necessary to Live Well”

Click here to read entire article.


  1. From the same blog…


  2. “Ask yourself whether you’ve ever changed your mind (that is, held one opinion strongly and then either had that belief overturned or seriously weakened) on any of these huge ideas of life”

    * Abortion
    * Vegetarianism
    * Atheism
    * Political party
    * Whether humans have free-will
    * Capital punishment
    and add AIKIDO.

  3. Ups and downs are what makes life livable and worthwhile. We are always doing great in my opinion, even when we seem to be lost and foundering. How one feels about given situations are usually unconscious decisions. One can consciously decide to be happy. This comment from my book, “Stepping Off The Mat,” may be something of what you refer to in your excellent blog.

    “We look at contentment

    As doing what we enjoy.

    We long for the contentment

    Of doing what we enjoy.

    True contentment is finding joy

    In the doing of…anything.”

  4. Roshi to student,Why do you do what you do?…student to Roshi I will think on it…years later..I have the answer Roshi…because I like it…Roshi AH!…good enough.

  5. Having just glanced over this. I must say that I disagree in certain respects. Rather than unhappiness as necessary, I think _EVER increasing AMMOUNTS of happiness are necessary__.

    This is sort of from a Christian Aikido perspective. :)

    It seems in heaven, there would be no unhappiess. I think in the art of peace, it talks about merging heaven and earth or something like that; or bringing heaven to earth.

    This is of course, all in theory, right now. :)

  6. It’s contrast that builds appreciation. Here we are with few (real) material worries. Our so-called poor people are often fat. Saw a “homeless” guy’s camp right over the fence from Buchanan Field on Walnut Creek. Looked good to me. Would look super in Haiti. We’re spoiled. But like most “spoiled” types, doesn’t mean we don’t have moods in which we feel hard done by, or in other ways the victim of circumstances.

    There’s an old “Zen Comic” in which the samurai asks the Roshi, “Master, please show me the Gates of Heaven.” R – “What an excellent question. You must be both intelligent and advanced in your studies.” The samurai then asks the Roshi, “Master, please show me the Gates of Heaven.” R – “That’s a stupid question. How mistaken I was about you. Go away.”

  7. …oh. technical comment on the photo. Osawa sensei didn’t break his posture like that. the forward lean also brings the back foot off the ground…

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