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The Happiness Choice: The Five Decisions That Will Take You From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Marilyn Tam

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Next Steps

I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life—and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.

—Georgia O'Keeffe

Many years ago in my first tai ji (this is the proper spelling although “chi” is how it is commonly spelt, please feel free to use the more conventional spelling if you wish) class, I thought I learned all the basic moves easily and quickly; I must have talent! It seemed so simple and graceful, I was eager to go home and show my newfound artistry to my family. At home, without the music, the teacher calling out the moves as he demonstrated in front of the class, and my peers performing around me, I felt stiff, awkward, and had barely any recollection of what I thought I knew. It took many, many lessons, repeated questions, and practice before I was able to do the tai chi (please see above) forms. But all along the way I had fun improvising and doing what I could recall, and happily forged ahead with whatever style and grace I could muster, which, in retrospect, was amusingly minimal. What kept me practicing serenely as I bumbled along was what my teacher told me: if you can breathe you can do tai chi. (as above) I felt I had permission to ad lib and do the best I could at whatever stage I was at, and most of all have fun doing it.

You, too, can do the same thing, whether you are learning a new skill or doing something ...

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