Mind at the beginning is an interesting concept I’d like to share with you. Do you ever start a project with great excitement, and not a lot of knowledge? Let’s avoid the idea that many times when we do that, the project gets abandoned.
Just focus with me on the beginning. That state of possibilities, imagination, and the desire to see what opportunities and paths you can discover—all at the beginning.
That’s very much like “mind at the beginning”, an idea that originated from Zen Buddhism, but it’s entirely useful for any of us at any time. Mind at the beginning is open, not highly critical, more tolerant, eager to explore, and not particularly affected by downturns or events that are less than optimal. It’s a good way to be.
A Zen master said “a beginner’s mind has many possibilities; an expert’s mind has few.” That’s more accurate than is pleasing. Once you become a true expert on a topic or a subject, you fall “inside” the area. You become part of it. There are advantages to that state.
However, you lose objectivity, largely. You lose the ability to see how your discipline fits into a broader context. Sometimes we become fossilized in doing things a certain way because over time we’ve learned those ways work. They do work.
We reject change because we haven’t the time to bother around with “re-inventing the wheel,” and money is always limited, and….do you see how the list goes on?
As we become more knowledgeable, we forget that the area, the things we know about—are in constant flux. The universal constant is change. Beginners can sometimes see new paths, more effective means of accomplishing things that experts, may miss.
We need to try to avoid becoming fossilized in our ideas about our areas of expertise.
It seems as if there is a price to be paid for everything we achieve in life. To become an expert on any topic is to risk losing our energetic enthusiasm for all the potential possible.
What do you think? I’d love to hear your comments