I was talking to one of our beginners about the fundamental mindset of practice — of not smashing an attacker out of the way in a brutal confrontation, but being aware of and blending with his movement and intentions.
He said he had been practicing a discipline of “listening” in interpersonal relations, and said it sounded very similar.
I think that’s an excellent analogy. The fewer preconceptions and the more perception you bring to an encounter — being able to “listen” — the more likely you are to be successful.
Like most of Aikido, it is simple, but not easy.