I seriously injured my knee when I was in Ukraine.
I got there right at the beginning of the coldest winter in almost 50 years. Snow, ice, the whole 9.
Being an AZ boy, these concepts were extremely foreign to me. I had no idea there’s a difference between walking on pavement, walking on freshly fallen snow, and walking on roads where the snow has compacted into ice.
The thing is, in that third situation, the ice is usually disguised with a thin layer of snow, making it really easy to mistake for freshly fallen snow (especially to a n00b like me).
Long story short, I had a few missteps that resulted in some pretty nasty falls, which messed up my knee bad enough that I had to come home for surgery.
Had I taken the time to really get a good understanding of my new environment, had I not ASSUMED that everything was always going to be exactly like I was used to, I may have avoided what turned out to be a pretty terrible experience.
I learned my lesson a bit better later, when I started fighting.
If you go into a fight (or even just a sparring session), with ANY assumptions about how your opponent is going to perform, you’re just asking to get punched in the face.
Even if you’d sparred with the same person every week for a year straight, assuming they are going to do exactly what they did last week just gives your opponent the upper hand. Your opponent’s assumptions about what you’re going to do is the EASIEST thing to exploit in a fight.
And here’s the punch line - life is like the perfect sparring opponent. Life doesn’t make mistakes. Life is REALLY good at exploiting your assumptions.
The only way to gain the upper hand in the battle with life is to make NO assumptions.
No matter what you have done, no matter who you are, no matter your history, life will always have an unexpected trick up her sleeve, and if you’ve let life lull you into that false sense of security, it’s going to crack you with something when you least expect it.
And it’s the unexpected punches that do the most damage.