Working with the "beginner's mind"

From the excellent Presentation Zen blog (which is always filled with immediately useful advice on delivering compelling presentations), here’s a post that references the concept of “the beginner’s mind,” a term that was unfamiliar to me until now, but one that describes an approach that seems to be common among people I most enjoy working with (especially when coupled with the ability and determination to execute on ideas):

Zen teachings often speak to the idea of the “beginner’s mind.” Like a child, one who approaches life with a “beginner’s mind” is fresh, enthusiastic in approach and open to the vast possibilities before them. One who possesses a “beginner’s mind” is not burdened by old habits or obsessed about “the way things are done around here” or with the way things could have or should have been. When we approach new challenges as true “beginners” (even if we are seasoned adults) we need not be saddled with fear of failure or of making mistakes. As children, Tiger Woods and Yo Yo Ma (and many others less known) made thousands of mistakes along their path to greatness. With an open mind and childlike optimism about what we can become, learning and improvement can be quite remarkable.

I work with a lot of people who fit this description these days — it’s a great way to live.