Beginner’s Mind Superpower
The mind of the beginner is empty, free of the habits of the expert, ready to accept, to doubt, and open to all the possibilities.
When you are a beginner, you don’t know what to pay attention to, so you pay attention to everything.
As you approach expert, your understanding becomes more sophisticated. You recognize subtle clues that allow you to make useful assumptions.
These are essentially logical shortcuts.
They allow you to quickly understand a complex situation and to determine the appropriate action to take.
This is a powerful ability.
But this ability can also become a liability.
This is the very thing that magicians exploit to leave you saying, “How’d they do that?”
Optical illusions work because the brain makes logical assumptions that are misleading. Magic tricks do the same and are also called appropriately illusions.
The smarter you are, the easier it is for a magician to fool you.
Have you ever had this experience?
You are looking for something in your home that you have misplaced. You’ve looked everywhere but can’t find it.
Then you become frustrated and desperate, so you start looking even in places where it couldn’t possibly be.
And there it is.
In your initial search you told yourself something like, “There’s not enough space for it to be there,” or, “I would never have put it there,” or, “That can’t be it; it’s the wrong color.”
Your logical shortcuts failed you.
Those shortcuts had you searching every possible location the item could be and then searching there again.
In desperation, you then look in the “impossible” locations, only to find it.
What if you could decide to look in the illogical places sooner, at much lower levels of frustration?
That ability is called the beginner’s mind.
It allows you to ask questions such as:
“I know this makes no sense, but what if this is what’s happening?”
“What if we are looking at this all wrong?”
“What would a five-year-old do?”
The ability to switch off the expert mind and switch on the beginner’s mind is another superpower.
This takes practice.
But mostly it takes the willingness to be wrong and look foolish.
Now available at Amazon: The Courageous Heart: Wisdom for Difficult Times in paperback and eBook.