“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”
— Shunryu Suzuki
Part of the Originate culture is we have a bit of a swagger. We know we’re a cut above and we’re proud of it. We’re confident in our ability to solve problems and deliver value. That’s a good thing. There’s a difference between confident and cocky however, and it’s an important one.
A major reason why we’re so good at what we do is that it’s in our nature to keep learning and getting better. And there’s the rub. In order to keep learning you have to keep in mind that you always have more to learn. Once you think you know it all you close your mind to learning more.
The optimal way to learn is to approach every learning opportunity as if you don’t know anything about it yet. This is the Zen concept of “beginner’s mind.” The beginner’s mind is completely open to learning. The beginner’s mind is never done learning. The beginner’s mind is always curious, always seeking, always seeing with fresh eyes. The beginner’s mind is creative, able to “think outside of the box.”
The beginner’s mind is also open to un-learning—letting go of what you thought you knew when you find out it’s incorrect. The more you learn, the more mastery you think you have attained, the more important it is to keep a beginner’s mind in order to keep your knowledge true.
So keep that Originate swagger. It’s part of what defines us and sets us apart. Just don’t let it go to your head, and always be willing to be a beginner.