Are you working toward a health and fitness goal, or are you training to perform to the best of your abilities in a sport or athletic endeavor? If you are, I’d like to let you know that you were born with the supreme potential to reach your goals! This sound wisdom comes from the ancient philosophers and martial artists who developed the time-honored practice of Tai Chi.
Tai Chi translates to the “Supreme Ultimate,” which recognizes the supreme potential (Tai) we’re all born with — to be able to overcome the ultimate challenges (Chi) we face in life.
If you’ve ever observed someone performing the Yang style Tai Chi form, you’ll notice that the movements are performed very slowly and gracefully, like the flowing water of a river meandering through a forest. Why? The reason for performing these martial arts movements very methodically is to heighten the individual’s awareness of how they feel both physically and emotionally while executing, with the utmost precision, a variety of martial arts techniques such as punching, blocking and kicking.
The ultimate goal of practicing Tai Chi was, and is to this day, to be able to use the principles of this mind-body exercise in real life situations such as overcoming a difficult challenge, achieving a goal, mastering martial arts techniques or mastering the techniques of any athletic endeavor with greater patience, poise and physical prowess.
Thankfully many of us don’t find ourselves in combative situations. However, in modern times these same principles of practice can be used by anyone, including you. They can help you realize your supreme potential when you’re working to succeed at an emotionally and physically challenging personal goal.
What are these principles? The good news is you don’t have to learn an entire Tai Chi form to learn the basic principles of practice. I do recommend you learn a Tai Chi form to experience all the evidence-based benefits of Tai Chi such as strengthening the body, improving joint stability and improving balance.
Here are four principles that are simple yet profoundly powerful when you’re working toward achieving any goal.
As it’s often said, and practiced in Tai Chi, be like water, my friend, and go with the flow!