In the mathematical field of Information Theory, an event has a probability of occurrence. When that event occurs, it provides a measure of information in units called bits. Consider that flipping a coin for heads has a probability of 0.5 or 50%. Getting heads on the coin flip provides 0.7 bits of information. Consider that the sun rising tomorrow has a probability of nearly 1.0 or 100%. When the sun rises tomorrow, that provides nearly 0 bits or no information at all. The odds of winning the California Super Lotto are 1 in 42 million. Winning the Super Lotto provides 17.55 bits of information. The upside is $1 billion. Just saying.
When a very unlikely event occurs, that provides a very large measure of information. As the probability of the event approaches zero, that occurrence provides information approaching infinity. That’s just math.
Consider the Japanese aesthetic wabi-sabi: There is beauty in our imperfection. There’s beauty in our own imperfection. By human design, we’re all imperfect. That’s just life.
Werner Erhard said that often our past is in our future. The past determines and limits our future. Consequently, the future can have a predictable already always feel to it. We live into our predictable already always future.
I’m an engineer. By my design, I don’t like taking risks. I don’t like uncertainty. In dismissing uncertainty, dismissing the possibility of the unlikely, I dismiss the possibility of surprise. Surprise can be either good or bad. Yet, in surprise– in uncertainty– is the possibility of discovering our infinity. Do the math.
Growing up at home, whatever I did or didn’t do was never good enough for Dad. I was no good. Period. My predictable already always future was that I’ll never be good enough. Consequently, I spent most of my adult life proving that I was smart enough, that I was strong enough, that I was good enough.
Over 30 years ago, I began Aikido training with the late Mizukami Sensei. Sensei profoundly got that I had to prove myself. He said, “Just train.” I didn’t have to get somewhere or prove anything. I could just be me. Sensei created the space to invent the greater-than versions of me. For the first time in my life, I was free.
Sensei taught Aikido, what it was to be a good man. He was a father to me. Mizukami Sensei was the most important Man on Planet Earth to me. Nothing but mad love and respect to Sensei. In many ways, he saved my life.
I’m Godan (5th degree black belt) in Aikido. Honoring Mizukami Sensei’s legacy, I pass on all that he bestowed to others. That I am Aikido Sensei was so very unlikely, nearly impossible. That was not my predictable already always future. There’s great risk in uncertainty. There’s great beauty in uncertainty, too.
I just trained. Put in the work. Worked on myself with Mizukami by my side. Before Sensei passed away, he said, “You’re a better teacher than me.” Although that was an overstatement, I got his acknowledgement. Sensei always saw my greater-than version that I didn’t yet see. He graciously brought me up to his level. I’m forever grateful. He gave me life.
Mizukami Sensei was the humblest man I knew on Planet Earth. He was also the most meaningful. Who I am is because of Sensei. The beauty in uncertainty.
I could avoid uncertainty, avoid risk, and forsake the wondrous surprise in life. I keep the faith. I work on myself, not on others. I don’t have to get somewhere. I discover and embrace my imperfection. There’s always something to work on. There’s beauty in imperfection, as there is beauty in uncertainty. Just saying.
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