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Beginner's Mindset

1 min

To be a beginner again. Not many wish for this.

It means starting from scratch. There are many shortcuts in life. This is not the default choice.

Why spend hours trying a new recipe for home-made cookies that might not turn out, when you can buy a batch at the store? It has a guaranteed outcome of being pretty good. The latter decision makes more rational sense. It is a low effort with a fixed outcome. The messier option has high effort with the uncertain outcomes from the variables. Not many people are willing to do it.

As the writer, Stephen McCranie puts it, “The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.”

When mustering up the courage to be a beginner, it means sticking to a decision to pursue novelty. This exercise forces you to compare yourself to yesterday’s version. The enemy becomes looking at others who are thousands of steps ahead of you instead of a couple. This perspective offered from being a beginner grounds you in yourself. It reminds you of tendencies and how to tackle a new uncertain scenario.

Pursuing new activities keeps us humble. It reminds us of our humility. This keeps us out of ruts. It checks the ego. Don’t get me wrong, it is good to be thriving, though the ego needs frequent reality checks.

TV personality Ira Glass wishes that he could have known this earlier on. “Nobody tells this to people who are beginner, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple of years, you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.”

Keep this in mind the next time you are deciding to dive into something that is uncertain. Facing this risk helps you in the long term.


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