Beginner’s Mind

When we are learning something new, it’s easy to maintain an attitude of a beginner, that is, being humble and being receptive to new information. It is clear to us that we don’t know enough, and that we need to learn more. But as we grow in our knowledge, it becomes harder and harder to maintain this attitude. We start to feel like we know a lot about whatever it is we are learning, and eventually may reach a point where we feel we know enough.

The belief that we know enough is not a useful one, because it almost automatically stops our learning. Because we feel we know enough, our brains stop searching for further knowledge and further answers. And this results in stagnation.

But we do this because it makes us feel good. It makes us feel that the time we invested was worth it, and now have something to show for it. We get an ego boost. But the price you pay of stagnation is not worth it.

When we strive to keep the mind of a beginner, we feel worse initially because it feels like we have not achieved much. However, the reward for humbling ourselves is that our brain will continue to hunt for new information and continue to put together new ideas which will lead to continued growth.

So whatever you are learning, keep the beginner’s mind. Keep yourself humble and acknowledge that you don’t know enough. Not only that you don’t know enough, but that what you know is so tiny as to be insignificant. This will lead to faster growth.

JP

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