Taiji Day 232: Acceptable Minimum Solution

Today, I opened my eyes in that vague, unformed way that I open my eyes on weekends, and looked around. The light coming through the blinds was a distinctly weekend sort of light, which means that I’d forgotten to set the alarm, and it was around 5:30 am.  I was waking up a half-hour later than usual, and that meant that something had to give.

Time to try out the Acceptable Minimum Solution.

Andrew Carle introduced me to this concept in design, which means something like, what’s the simplest set of features and explanation that I can get away with?  And while I have trouble producing that in the Design Lab, I have no trouble at all producing it in my morning Tai Chi routine, because I already know what it is.  I decided what the acceptable minimum solution was, back on Day 195 or something like that.  I still had to do all three forms, but rather than the usual 16 movements of the two qi gong forms, I’d do eight movements of each.  And that can be done fast enough.

It was important to have a sense of the Acceptable Minimum Solution because there was a day coming up — it will be day 237 — when I’ll be teaching a workshop on design thinking some distance away, and it starts early: but I can’t get up any earlier than I’m getting up now, because then I’ll be rather dead on my feet by the time I GET to the workshop to teach it.  So that meant devising a plan for what was a ‘complete’ tai chi session.  The answer was the full form, and half the usual repetitions.

It felt like it was going to be a good solution; and deciding it on a day when I’d had a good form practice was a way to be responsible about it.

Unfortunately, the Acceptable Minimum Solution is apparently not enough for peace of mind, I’ve just discovered.  I will have to do a full set later in the day.

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