I spend probably 90% of my aikido attention on thinking about concepts and dreams, and maybe 10% on actually doing aikido movements. This isn’t necessarily bad, because I think about aikido a lot; when I’m bored, when I’m excited, and all throughout the day. But it can interrupt and distract your actual practice when you bring all of those other thoughts into the movement. I found myself very distracted at times during tonight’s practice when I was screwing up a movement. I would think “I’m doing it wrong”, “when I become a black belt it’ll be fixed”, etc. No matter your level, when you’re doing an aikido technique with a partner, you’re doing aikido. It may not be as good as others around, but you are doing it. By being stuck in your own extra-special anomaly world, you’re not only robbing yourself of the experience of what’s actually happening, but you’re also robbing your partners of that moment as well. These moments are special and precious! The point of aikido is to see the moment for what it is and react accordingly, not thinking about two moves ahead when you’re supposed to throw the opponent. I want, and thusly somehow expect that one day I will have practiced aikido for 80 years and will be a 10th dan whose written many books and won acclaim, but what if I don’t make it there? Is that OK? Screw all that. I’m a dude practicing aikido, which is the same as being a dude in the future doing aikido. Just do it and have fun. Success and failure are your own arbitrary judgements, not the law of the land.