The Beginners mind…

“In the beginners mind there are many possibilities, in the experts mind there are few.”

I saw this saying on someone’s blog recently. And I instantly felt validation. I googled the origin of the quote and found it on several Zen websites. Surprisingly, many of them interpreted it to say the beginners mind is good and the expert view is narrow, or bad.

In the true spirit if Zen … neither is good or bad, they just are what they are.

It really helped me resolve an old hurt. I had been accused of “narrow thinking” at work. On my yearly review, someone had said I was not willing to do consider their pitch to do things differently. I was devastated. I truly do listen to all other points of view, and factoring in the constraints of the environment, choose a path that achieves the end user needs. When I heard this quote I realized the accuser had a beginners mind, they thought many things were possible, that simply WERE NOT possible. I used my expert knowledge of the subject to rule out the impossibles and was left with the few possibles. The problem was that either I did not explain this sufficiently, or the accuser simply did not trust my judgment. The next time I run into this situation, now I will know what to say.

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