recovering stress junkie.
There is a concept in Zen Buddhism called the Beginner’s Mind. We’re all born with a Beginner’s Mind, a mind without limits, without constructs, without anything or anyone to tell us no. As we get older, go through school, watch TV, learn about people, social cues and whatever else we can interpret in some way or another, we quickly lose our Beginner’s Mind, citing different sources as to why we can’t do things. Zen teaches that by sitting and meditiating, we can achieve a Beginner’s Mind again. This whole concept is pretty interesting. We go to design school, for example, to learn how to be an designer or an artist but all the design school does is tell us that there are certain techniques or ways to do things and there are other things that you shouldn’t do at all.
On the other hand, learning from others - or schooling - can teach us how to do things well. Learning from others can teach us what made them successful or what made them fail. This also puts up walls around our creativity and our path going forward, in whatever we do.
In thinking about how I do things, especially for the first time, rather than making a mistake, I’ll take someone else’s work and use it as a template of my own. My resume right now is someone else’s resume without their experiences - mine inserted. The’re walls to avoid failure, no matter how small.
We dress like the people we admire because we think it’ll bring us closer to what they’ve done to make us admire them. We buy guitars to think we can play like our favorite musicians when the skill to play is inside of us, not in the tools we own.
A mentor and good friend of mine has said to me a few times, “Zack, no one knows anything.” He said this because, collectively, no one knows anything concretely. One person’s advice clashes with another person’s advice. What worked for someone didn’t work for someone else. Since no one knows anything, everyone knows everything. As a collective, we have a Beginner’s Mind. As individuals we don’t.
If in the last few years you haven’t discarded a major opinion or acquired a new one, check your pulse. You may be dead.