It is clear from the outset that learning Tai Chi is difficult – but, in that respect and many others, very similar to a wide range of activities. Different people learn at different rates, in different ways and to varying levels of skill.
However, in any difficult project we need to address the question of “how to keep going?”
First perhaps it is important to understand why we are engaged in the project and the level of energy and other resources we are prepared to devote to it.
Second, we should continuously review our progress and in light of that then review the level of commitment we are prepared to invest in the activity.
Thirdly, we should recognise that regular frequent practice is necessary to nurture and achieve further skill.
In doing this I have found it is important to realistically assess progress and benefits as it is the positive achievements and outcomes that can provide the motivation to continue each day.
This regular frequent practice is absolutely vital in developing skill and understanding.
Recognising outcomes such as enhanced health management, improved balance and physical mobility, increased skill in partner work such as push hands or greater fluidity in movement such as in practice of forms, coupled with internal power such as expression of power (fajin ).
On a daily basis these changes can seem imperceptible but by tracking these outcomes over the time span of our practice we can see that month to month and year to year we change positively and with the change comes greater enjoyment of our bodies and of our lives.
Thus, from daily practice we build our skill – the gentle layer upon layer creation of inherent ability we call our accumulated Kung Fu.
Our time as we reflect upon our changes and observe them occurring we naturally gravitate to practice of those things that we enjoy and find useful – in short we find a motivation to carry us through the hard work, the difficulties, the confusion – which all ultimately melt away, leaving us the fun and the rewarding experience of working with our bodies, our minds and our spirit.