vulnerability or excuse?

The Tao Center) teaches Tai Chi. Tai Chi is only one aspect of Tom’s approach to wellness, but it is the one that is relevant to the point of this post. Most of us have at least heard of Tai Chi and have a vague simplistic idea that it is a series of moves and poses that require a lot of concentration which carry significant stress relieving and strength benefits. Tom tells me there is a lot more to it than that, but I that would be a whole post (if not a book!) by itself. What intrigued me was a story Tom told me during a meeting we had recently. Tom was running a booth at a chinese festival when an elderly couple approached and engaged him in a discussion about Tai Chi. After a bit, the couple told Tom that it was all very interesting, but they “were too old” for Tai Chi. He tried to politely correct them; that thousands of elderly people practiced Tai Chi, and that it was actually extremely beneficial for older folk. They stuck to their guns though, insisting that they “were too old” and finally wandered away. Age can be a vulnerability in some cases. Engaging in contact sports like football, lacrosse, or hockey is simply not a good idea after a certain age. However, as Tom pointed out to the couple, thousands of older people practice Tai Chi and rather than putting themselves at risk, enjoy many benefits. That couple used their age as an excuse. Why? I cannot know what was going through their minds, but often it is the fear of failure that is the culprit. We fear failure. We fear looking foolish or dumb. As you look inward to identify your vulnerabilities (so you can find ways to work around them), ask yourself: is this truly a vulnerability or am I just making an excuse so I will not even have to try? ]]>

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