The Beginner’s Mind

Shoshin is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning “beginner’s mind.”

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”

 

There is a lesson here for those seeking innovation enlightenment.

The beginner’s mind refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would.

Much like the concept of confirmation bias, human nature is to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s beliefs or hypotheses, while giving disproportionately less consideration to alternative possibilities.

A manager blind beyond the category norm.

A specialist failing to see new possibilities.

A CEO blaming the economy.

Experience is powerful. Yet, if we are closed to new ways — intentional or otherwise — how can we ever truly be innovative?

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Yoda Wisdom (5 min video)

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