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Expect Nothing, Appreciate Everything

So much of our experience in life is dictated by how closely life aligns with our expectations. We are often disappointed when reality does not live up to the expectation that we have created for it. Though we all know what it is to be disappointed, we might not be as keenly aware of how our expectations affect how we experience it.


One of life’s most challenging ironies is that drunk drivers are not the most injured party in a crash that they caused. If you know you are about to get into a car crash, how do you react? Instinctively, your body probably tenses up. Due to an impaired ability to recognize an imminent collision, the drunk driver's body probably does not tense up. It can only respond in the moment to what is happening.


This fact holds wisdom, though, that is not in the alcohol. We create expectations for future experiences based on past experiences. This can be useful, but it can also be binding.


You may have taken a class and been asked what you wanted to get out of the class. Certainly, if you have taken a martial arts class, you probably went into it expecting to learn how to punch and kick. If you go in with that expectation, you are already attuned to information about punching and kicking. Other things taught in the class might be interesting, but they are not what you are prepared to hold on to. Your expectation of the experience also confines what you can get from an experience.


What happens if we approach new experiences without expectation? What if you go into class with no agenda? Anything that is taught has the opportunity to speak to you. This is the only way to be able to take in everything from the experience. The truth is, our experience can only ever tell us so much about what a new experience might be like. We only live right now. Right now has not happened before – it is new and pregnant with possibility. At Tumfo Tu, we embrace possibility. We discipline ourselves to approach new experiences without expectation so that we can appreciate all the gems there may be. On the floor, this means constantly challenging ourselves by doing things we have never done before and doing things we do not feel prepared for. Off the floor, we make this a way of life. We do not sabotage ourselves by imposing expectations on life; rather, we dare to live life.

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