Last year, my colleague Dan Kleiman of Qigong Radio interviewed me on my experiences as a life coach and teaching energy arts like tai chi since 1995. He wanted to find out if I had any insight into how to improve practice and teaching results of students and teachers alike. I shared with him four qualities of the mind I see crop up time and again in successful students. The New Year is a great time to reconsider these influential factors as many of us are naturally more open to creating positive changes.
As I told Dan, the students who achieve real and sustainable benefits from their practice are those who approach their training with patience, dedication and consistency. Admittedly, this is a bit of a vague set of variables. I mean, you are either practising or not, so if you are you can check the box on all three, but the real questions are:
- Can I be more patient with my progress and myself in general?
- How consistent am I with my practice and what I accomplish in a training session?
- What are my training goals and how dedicated am I to achieving them?
You’ve got to observe yourself, be honest with yourself and define these three aspects of development for yourself, playing and experimenting as you go. Then, when you’ve taken inventory and have a good mindset, you must ask yourself: How willing am I to work towards balance?
Patience, consistency and dedication will be needed to work towards balance, which entails systematically searching for and rooting out any weaknesses you encounter–in mind, body or qi energy–rather than only playing to your strengths. This process takes place over many years, an approach more suited to an Eastern learning strategy than a Western one. So, in the beginning, it may take you some effort to change your frame of mind, but once you do, you have a whole world of possibilities available to you–not just in your practice, but in your life.
You can learn more about how the proper mindset can transform your training, including how:
- A circular learning progression creates a multiplying, self-sustaining positive feedback loop in your practice and the results you can achieve.
- Continually searching for the balance between form and flow can improve the benefits you get from mind-body training.