Shoshin – Beginner’s Mind, Part One

Hi, I’m Jill, and I’m a big nerd.

When I was a kid, I was first a swimming nerd.

Then around grade 4 I became a computer nerd.

In high school, I became both a curling nerd and a band nerd – complete with my own collection of “this one time at band camp” stories.

Then I went to University and was formally introduced to Shotokan Karate, and became a HUGE BIG karate nerd, to the point where every other workout activity ceased to make any logical sense to me, and my best friend saw karate as the one and only topic I could talk about all day and night.

(thankfully I have the world’s bestest and most supportive best friend)

And while I don’t train actively today, I’m still a karate nerd in my heart, and what I learned through years of training, repetition and deep introspection is a part of me that can never be dissected away.

One BIG concept I learned from my time training and teaching martial arts was the concept of Shoshin, or “beginner’s mind”. In it, was the instruction that no matter how much we learn and no matter how much we (think we) know as we progress in our journey, to look at the world a second time as if through the eyes of someone who has never seen it before, and who is seeing it for the first time.

For example, take a look at the most recent video, social media post or blog post you made for your business, as part of your attempt to attract new clients.

When you re-watch the video or re-read the post, of course you understand what you’re trying to express – you created (or coordinated) the video or post.

Now, imagine you’re someone else: Someone who has never heard of your business before and has never seen a single video of yours nor have they read a single social media or blog post about your company or service.

Watch the video, or read the post again with this perspective in mind.

If you were shocked to realize that your message isn’t as clear as you thought it would be for someone new to your world, I’d love to hear about your epiphany in a comment below!

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