Monday Morning Tai Chi Training Tip #334
How often have you heard the expression -”Learn from your mistakes”? It is a well accepted idea. I’m afraid I have to disagree. Let me explain.
When one wants to “learn” something, what does that person do? He or she studies it. Think about all the effort you’ve put in to learn Tai Chi, and generally speaking, the more time and effort that goes into studying the topic, the more knowledge and skill one accumulates. Study takes time. Most people have a limited amount of time in their life, so serious students don’t waste it.
So “learn from your mistakes” means putting energy into your mistakes. Besides leading to a lot of wasted enenrgy, there is a better way.
“Study your successes so you can repeat them”. Say you have two papers to be written for a class. On one you got a D, and on the other you got an A. Wouldn’t your time be more worth while figuring why the A, rather than why the D. Or you are entering a push hands tournament. Would you study the winners and why, or would you study the losers and try to figure out why.
You have a bit of extra money and want to invest it in the stock market. Would you research the companies that failed, to figure out why, or would you study the companies that are successful so you could choose the next big winner. I think you get the idea.
Tai Chi is made up of many specialized areas – martial art, meditative art, natural medicine, Asian philosophy in action, group interaction, and more. Say your instructor is into the martial aspects and you aren’t really interested in that aspect, but feel the instructor knows best. Your time might be wasted. We all have areas that attracted us to Tai Chi in the beginning. Put most of your time into what you do best and you will gain success. You gain more success from working with something you do well then trying to bring up something you don’t do well. 10% gain on 100 is 10, and 10% gain on 50 is 5. Pretty obvious.