Success and tai chi? How do YOU define success? In this article, we are going to explore a maybe new and different way of defining the term “success”. What is your definition of success? 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!
In this article, I will explain my own personal idea of what success is, 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. It was never about how much money I could make. When I think of a patient who came to me because they were suffering from high blood pressure, and through dietary changes and instituting a healthy exercise program, and stress management through meditation, their high blood pressure was “cured” – my question is, how much is that worth? Can we put a price on this? I think not! But back to my definition.
My definition of success is that I have the opportunity, the luxury, the great pleasure, to wake up early every morning and practice tai chi! Every night just before I go to sleep, I know that in the morning I will get right up and practice this art that I love. And love it more each day! Why is this success for me? There are many reasons why! First of all, I know I am doing something, the best thing for my health – I am talking about not just for my body, but my mind and spirit/soul too! Why is this?
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! Next, I have something that I am passionate about that does not require any special place or time or clothing or depending on other people – my tai chi is mine, it is self contained! Another reason is how tai chi helps me in dealing with everyday stuff – stresses, problems, worries… because while practicing tai chi, my mind is focused on practicing tai chi – 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 tai chi, but I also teach it to others! And I have to say, there is not a better job anywhere in the universe than sharing the wonders and benefits of this amazing art!
Tai chi is a martial art. Many people I think do not realize this, and think it is just a slow motion flowing exercise for elderly people to practice in the parks all over the world… but this is far from the full meaning of tai chi! By my definition, a martial art must fulfill two functions – it must be good for your health, and it must be applicable for self defense. When one learns and practices tai chi’s original training program as passed down through the generations, they are learning the true meaning of self defense AND health – all in one package!
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 46 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! I would LOVE to share this with you!
What do you think of my definition of success? I would love to hear your comments! I look forward to them really. 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 what I love! 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 this definition of success, please contact me. I will be very happy to share with you what I have learned about this wonderful art!
Dr. Bob Bacher