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Expecting less or nothing can indeed be calming, but it's not the only Way.

Rather than letting go of all expectation, simply shift your expectations as required by reality, and shift them without anger or regret. If one of your predicted expectations goes wrong, use Bayes' Theorem to adjust your probability functions until your expectations are right. If expectations turn out to be unpredictable, then we might wish to not have them. I don't think that is the case.

Here's more from the Tao Te Ching:

    The Master's power is like this.
    He lets all things come and go
    effortlessly, without desire.
    He never expects results;
    thus he is never disappointed.
    He is never disappointed;
    thus his spirit never grows old.
People focus their thoughts in the "results tank" but not in the "effort tank" or the "action tank". It's always "I want money!" not "I will learn a valuable skill and start working to use this skill." It's not that people have expectations, it's just that their expectations are often wrong and they don't adjust or take action.

The concept that verse espouses is Wu Wei. It's worth anyone's time to understand. My favorite explanations of it come from Alan Watts in Tao: The Watercourse Way [0], but Wikipedia [1] is not terrible.

The other concept indicated in the last paragraph on "results tank" not "effort tank" is lust of result. There aren't as many sources discussing this topic directly, but Zen in the Art of Archery [2] is good, as is Watts' Way of Zen [3].

I highly recommend them all for anyone interested in creating things.

[0] http://www.amazon.com/Tao-Watercourse-Way-Alan-Watts/dp/0394...

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wu_wei

[2] http://www.amazon.com/Zen-Art-Archery-Eugen-Herrigel/dp/0375...

[3] http://www.amazon.com/Way-Zen-Alan-W-Watts/dp/0375705104

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