"There is no greater curse than discontent."
Once again, the words of Lao Tsu as written in the Tao Te Ching.
I bet any one of us can relate to this idea. It emerges during the periodic frustration due to our striving for results.
Such discontent is entwined with our ego's need to recognize it's own achievement. I am reminded of mythologist Joseph Campbell, who equated the many tales of slaying dragons as an act of overcoming our own ego-self. However, we need not slay or suppress such a beast, rather just acknowledge that it exists and is merely an aspect of ourselves that need not oppress us or be feared.I don't view defeating one's ego as eliminating individual identity--merging into a mass military mindset--but instead, permitting a balance to exist within one's mind while on the path of bettering oneself (as a martial artist or a person). In other words, understanding that some struggle is needed in order to grow, but not becoming a slave to, or rushing towards any specifically desired outcome.
For while the Tao of Heaven does not strive, Lao Tsu insists that it still overcomes.
Take this concept back to practical martial application. To strive intellectually for results usually leads to sub-par form, and therefore frustration. When effortless reaction is used, based in repetitive practice, a harmonious feeling is achieved.
A proper balance.
And therein can be found the skills to defeat the dragon.