Steve Jobs was crazy.
“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world,” he said, “are the ones who do.”
I’m no Steve Jobs, but I guess I’m crazy too.
I’m crazy enough to think that I can change the world with qigong.
Humanity needs help, and fast. Our current level of consciousness is making us (and the planet) sick.
I want to do my part to heal this sickness.
The world is a big place, and I’m not crazy enough to think that I can help all 7 billion people.
But if I work hard, I believe that I can help a million people.
It won’t be easy. It might take me 60 years to accomplish my goal. I might even die trying.
But I’m crazy, so I’m going to try anyway.
Here’s how I’ll do it:
1. I’ll start with myself
I might be crazy, but I’m not deluded.
My desire to change the world is not a messiah complex.
I’m not Jesus. I’m not Buddha. I know that.
But I also know a secret.
I know the big secret to change. I’ll share that secret with you right now:
“If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.”
This quote is often attributed to Lao Tzu, but it is more accurately attributed to the Taoist master Wang Fo.
Either way, I think it contains a lot of wisdom. Don’t you agree?
My journey of self-transformation didn’t end when I became a teacher.
In fact, I founded Flowing Zen because I wanted to make my livelihood PART of my own self-transformation.
I am committed to this path. I’m committed to waking myself up, to dredging out all that is dark and negative in myself.
I am committed to giving the world — to giving YOU — the gift of my own self-transformation.
2. I’ll practice what I preach
I practice qigong. Every day. No matter what.
If you’ve read my article about willpower, then you know that I’m not a freak of nature.
I worked hard to make qigong a daily habit.
I’m in my 40s now. If I were a basketball player, then I would be past my prime.
But with qigong, there’s no such thing as passing your prime. You can continue to practice and grow for the rest of your life.
And that’s exactly what I plan to do.
I will continue to practice qigong every day for another 60 or 70 years.
3. I’ll train more teachers
I can’t change the world by myself. I need help.
In May 2016, I graduated my first class of Certified Flowing Zen Qigong Instructors after putting them through a rigorous, 9-month training program.
I have strong opinions on the subject of teacher training, and I’ll write more about that soon. For now, suffice it to say that my “certs” are among the best-trained qigong instructors in the world.
And this is just the beginning. I hope to train many, many more instructors before I die.
As the popularity of qigong explodes in the West, we will need instructors — qualified ones.
What is a qualified instructor?
I would argue that someone who doesn’t understand what it means to be a student — someone who rushes straight to teacher training — will never understand what it means to be a teacher.
We need teachers who understand not just what it means to teach these arts, but also understand what it means to be a sincere student of these arts.
4. I’ll teach online
The internet is the future. I see that clearly now.
Thanks to the power of the internet, the world is now my classroom. I can reach people in so many ways — with my blog, with my online courses, with podcasts, with Facebook, etc.
I don’t imagine online learning will ever replace in-person learning. It won’t, and it shouldn’t.
But online learning is a beautiful compliment to in-person learning.
And you know what?
In-person learning is also a beautiful compliment to online learning!
5. I’ll travel
Now that my studio is closed, I’m no longer tied down to a single location.
That gives me more freedom to take my teaching on the road.
For example, I’ll now be teaching twice per year in Costa Rica instead of just once.
This is wonderful because I believe strongly in the healing power of qigong retreats, even if it’s just a weekend retreat.
In fact, I believe that a mindfulness retreat might just save your life.
And that’s why I’ll be teaching more and more of them.
6. I’ll write my heart out
After I closed my brick-and-mortar studio, a student asked me if I was also done writing.
No, I’m not done writing. If anything, I’m just getting started.
The Western world desperately needs to be educated about qigong.
I recognized this need years ago, and that’s why I started blogging.
Today, I’ve got over 130 free articles on my blog. That’s the equivalent of 3 full books!
Actually, I have plans to write a traditional book. Several books, actually.
In the meantime, I will continue to blog. Every week, you’ll get a new blog post from me, without fail.
And if you enjoy my writing, if you find it helpful — then please share it on your favorite social media platform. Word of mouth is how my writing will reach the people who need it!
7. I’ll collaborate
If you practice or teach a powerful healing art, and if you’re as passionate as I am, then I want to collaborate with you.
I want to work with you, not against you.
Yes — even if you teach qigong or tai chi.
The amount of in-fighting among teachers and practitioners of qigong is something that greatly concerns me.
I will not contribute to this in-fighting. I will not let our differences divide us.
Instead, I will work WITH you toward our shared goal of healing our sick world.
8. I’ll stay transparent
I believe that transparency is a critical part of effective leadership in the 21st century.
Many of the older qigong traditions are incompatible with transparency.
Those traditions often use hierarchical, top-down leadership structures that serve to mask abuse, sexism, racism, and homophobia within the organization.
I believe that people have grown tired of those traditions. I know I have.
Leaders in the 21st century will not demand respect; they will command it by being completely transparent.
What do I mean when I say that I will be transparent?
- It means that I will never idealize the status of the teacher or the Sifu.
- It means that I’m human, and I’m not afraid to show it.
- It means that I stand against abuse, racism, sexism, and homophobia.
- It means I’m always open to constructive criticism.
- It means that I’m committed to listening to my students.
- It means that my organization fosters discussion in all directions.
- It means that I am accountable.
- It means that my movement is about YOU, not about me.
So there you have it. These are the 8 ways that I’ll change the world with qigong.
What do you think?
Did I miss anything?
I’m committed to helping a million people with qigong, so if there’s something that I’m missing, then I want to hear it!
The comments section below every blog post is a great place to start a dialogue with me. I’d love to hear your thoughts! From the heart, Sifu Anthony