Beginner’s Mind

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

Keeping a beginner’s mind does not mean that you must be a beginner. It means that regardless of your level of advancement, you approach your work or study with the open, humble attitude of a beginner.

“The mind of the beginner is empty, free of the habits of the expert, ready to accept, to doubt, and open to all the possibilities.” – Suzuki

Beginners notice details that are invisible to experts, because experts know things. When we know things, we think less about them. And thinking less about them means we’re less likely to notice when, for example, they become less important, or don’t apply to the problem we’re trying to solve, and there’s a better way.

Beginners are more likely to fail, so they’re more open to failure. Experts often have the role of “expert” to lose if they fail.

Beginners think more about questions than answers. Experts think more about answers than questions.

“If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything.” – Suzuki

We’re never complete. There’s always more to learn.