Success and Tai Chi: A New Perspective?
How do you define success? In this article, we are going to explore a new and perhaps different way of defining this term.
I think this is different for each one of us, based on our upbringing, life experiences, education, etc. For some success is acquiring great material wealth, for others it may be developing a new energy source, or sharing some form of artistic expression… whatever it may be, surely these are all ways of defining success!
A new definition
In this article, I will explain my own personal idea of this term, in hopes of maybe getting the reader to imagine another perspective. I went to school for many years to become a doctor because I wanted to help people. And throughout the years, I have been very fortunate to help many people with many different types of health issues.
When I think of a patient who came to me because they were suffering from high blood pressure for example, and through dietary changes and instituting a healthy exercise program, and stress management through meditation, their high blood pressure was eliminated. So my question is, how much is that worth? Can we put a price on this?
Success – a personal definition
My definition of success is having the opportunity, the luxury, the great pleasure, to wake up early every morning and practice tai chi. And every night just before going to sleep, knowing that in the morning I will get right up and practice this art that I love.
Why is this success for me? There are many reasons why. First of all, I know I am doing something really healthy, not just for my body, but my mind and spirit too. Because tai chi is an art. An art is something that we can practice our entire lives and always learn more, and continue to reap benefits until our last breath. It is the same with any art, or anything in the universe that we approach as an art.
A passion that continues
Also I have something that I am passionate about that does not require any special place or time or clothing, and is not dependent on other people or money. My tai chi is mine, it is self contained.
A vacation from stress
Another reason is how tai chi helps me in dealing with everyday stuff – stress, problems, worries. Because during practice, my mind is focused only on what I am doing in the moment. It is fully intent on how I move and connect my whole body and how to relax and breathe. So I have a mini vacation from reality. How valuable is that?
I am doubly blessed, because I not only practice this wonderful art, but I also teach it to others. And I have to say that there is not a better job anywhere in the universe than sharing the wonders and benefits of this amazing art.
The function of a martial art
Tai chi is a martial art. I think many people do not realize this and think it is just a slow motion flowing exercise for elderly people to practice in the park. But this is far from the full meaning of tai chi.
By definition, a martial art must fulfill two functions:
- It must be good for your health for your whole lifetime
- It must be applicable for self defense for your whole lifetime
When one learns and practices the original training program as passed down through the generations for hundreds of years, they are learning the true meaning of self defense and health – all in one package.
Sharing the wonderful benefits
When we eat at a great restaurant, read a good book, or hear inspiring music, it is only natural that we share it with friends and loved ones. And so it is no different with tai chi.
I have been faithfully practicing this wonderful “internal” martial art every day since 1969. Yes I said every day. In almost 55 years, I have never missed a day of practice. And this is because of all of the reasons I have listed above. And a lot more. And it is only natural that I want to share it with you.
What do you think of my definition of success? I would love to hear your comments. I look forward to them.
But if you don’t write to me with your thoughts, it is OK.
Because I know that tomorrow morning I will wake up early. Very early. And I will go to the park or the beach and practice this art that I love. So I am not only successful, I am the richest man on the planet!
If anyone reading this article is inspired or it made you smile, and you are curious about my definition of success, please contact me. I will be very happy to share with you what I have learned about this wonderful martial art.
Dr. Bob Bacher
Click here for an article on the benefits of tai chi for body and mind.