I had lunch with two men who run a cyber security company at my office in Dublin, Ohio last week, and they talked about “Shoshin*”- A beginner’s mind. They said, when one of their clients get hacked they will contract out novices (individuals unrelated to the cyber security industry) to look at their client’s firewalls and security system and try to hack it.
Why a novice? These owners of the company said, “A novice hasn’t been trained and conditioned to think and act like those in the cyber security industry and they can come up with the most creative, original and thought-provoking answers and solutions in cyber security.” In short, they have a beginner’s mind.
You get a beginner’s mind by being open, eager, and having a lack of preconceptions on the subject you are tackling. Openness is saying “Yes” to opportunities as you face them on your journey in life. Your ability to say “Yes” in 2018 will have a big impact on your beginner’s mindset. While saying “No” to new opportunities and experiences keeps you trapped in your current mindset.
Eagerness is energy, it is what propels us to do new things, take on new challenges, and stretch ourselves both personally and professionally. Being open and eager to your new adventures/ projects will allow you to experience new thoughts and feelings that may have been absent for years in your life.
Finally, you must have a lack of preconceptions. As you begin a new project or adventure, and your inner thoughts are telling you it is crazy, stupid and will never work, you are doomed from the start. We must let go of our judgments and stereotypes of people and situations if we are to have a beginner’s mind.
Would this cyber security company hire you to tackle their next project- Do you have a beginner’s mind?
Are you ready to “Rip Off the Rearview Mirror” and forget the past, stop anticipating the future, and live for the “Now?”
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*Shoshin- A word from Zen Budhism