7 X 7 = 48

Its a heartwarming story of a 100 million dollars lottery win. One of the numbers picked by the winner was based on her birthday of 7 July. The seventh day of the seventh month which she used to pick one of the winning numbers, 48, by multiplying 7 X 7.

Hey, hold on. 7 X 7 does not equals 48. The answer should be 49.

But if the winner had gotten her multiplication correct she would not have won the lottery. Ironically, by being wrong she got the winning numbers correct!

As the author of the book on creative thinking noted belief is what you have when you do not have knowledge or do not think. Belief is a powerful thing, even leading to the creation of systems. We are comforted by learning systems because we think there is security there; and I suspect because most of us hate to think.

Conventional wisdom is not always good for us, not when what is touted as conventional is actually not. Respectability does not equal fact; more so when respectability discourages thinking and questioning. Mass acceptance does not equal fact either. Check your learning. Ask questions. Try to understand it. You can’t learn without understanding.

Case in point – push hands. Nowadays when I look at people doing push hands I don’t really see push hands. Any pushing seems like an afterthought or a mere formality. Instead, more often than not players tend to go into a clinch, something that wrestlers do. So why do we call it push hands when what we are really doing is wrestling?

Want to Master Tai Chi Today? Don’t be afraid to question the terminology.


Want to learn Tai Chi in Singapore? At Singapore Tai Chi Yang Style (TaijiKinesis) lessons covering forms, weaponry, push hands, fajing and applications are offered. Lessons are conducted in English. Send enquiry today

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