Today marks the 75% point — I’ve done tai chi daily for 75% of a year. There’s fewer than 100 days left in this experiment. I’ve gotten better and windmill kicks and spins; I’ve been fixing my feet; I’ve found my hinge point, and I’m currently on a plateau but I imagine that I’ll find away up to the next level of practice, sooner or later.
Arrival at awesomeness doesn’t come about all at once. It’s usually the product of a lot of hard word and deliberate attention over a long period of time. The 75%-finished mark is usually a point where either your project is going along swimmingly, or there seem to be insurmountable obstacles; it’s usually just blessed determination that sees a project through to completion.
All of which is another way of saying, “failure happens in the middle.” I don’t think we point this out to kids, or to ourselves, enough. Feelings of failure or inadequacy are not barriers to success; they’re temporary setbacks. Unless you choose to make failure the overarching theme of your life, success will come sooner or later if you’re working at it.
Yesterday I posted a song I wrote to a Facebook group I’m in. It’s not great, and someone said so. But it’s not about the quality of the song that matters. I can let the thing go, or I can fix it, or I can come back to it in three or four years when I’m ready to do so. But it’s a made thing, and no one can take that away from me, no matter how bad it is. Behind me, today, I have 75% of a year of tai chi practice. I want a year, of course. But even if I were to fail now, and lose a day, and people were to criticize me for my failure, I could laugh. I have done so much more than those who have not tried.