Have A Beginner’s Mind

As a distance runner, I have never competed against anything but myself and the clock.  My first real event was the 2011 Surf City Half Marathon in Huntington Beach California.  My goal was simply FINISH, FINISH, FINISH.  The idea of a respectable finish of two hours was not in my plans.  I did, however finish with a two hour and 31 second time without really trying.  That is not where the story ends, though.  After several events over the past few years, I have never been able to duplicate those results.  Whether I blame it on injury (not really, but a great excuse nonetheless), or lack of training (no way!), the fact remains that I ran that February morning in 2011 with a  beginners mind.

Kids marathon (17)

Kids marathon (17) (Photo credit: carlaarena)

 Author Dan Miller, in his 48 Days to the Work You Love, tells us “in the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few”. In life we run into beginners who bring energy and possibilities everyday.  They are in the Spring Training mode of life.  The possibilities are great, but they aren’t yet playing for keeps.  We also meet the “experts” who bring a lot of experience, and with that, some measured success. For many experts, their success traps them in a “yesterday” mode, unable to change with the environment.  They “know what they know” and it’s got them this far.
For those of us seeking our own personal “awesomeness”, success comes from being extraordinary.
We all have met the know-it-all guy.  He is easy to spot.  Most likely, he’s still at the base of the mountain of success.  You and I are already ahead of him.  We are already halfway up the mountain struggling to see the peak through the fog. This isn’t about him.  This is about you and I.  A beginner looks at every possibility without making assumptions.  The “expert” assumes he’s exhausted his opportunities and moves on. Be intentional to avoid these limiting assumptions.  They are closed doors to possibilities. you are intentional depends on you.  Journaling, logging opportunities for future review, or conversations about decisions with partners, help challenge your assumptions.   Leverage your experience to approach difficult situations.  Most likely you have faced many similar challenges with success.  Work backward and reconstruct those success.  Read my article on being intentional . Be intentional and make this happen.  Don’t forget that there is always possibility.

What one assumption are you going to challenge today?

Rocco De Leo
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About Rocco De Leo

I am Rocco DeLeo. For years, I felt like I had so much more to offer the world than simply going to work and coming home. While I've always found my work to be engaging and rewarding, I knew I had much more to offer. Over the last few years, I've started focusing on personal development, my relationship with God, and what to do next. I write and podcast (And Dad Makes 7 Podcast) at www.roccodeleo.com about this journey. Mostly, I enjoy sharing the struggle, but sometimes I find some wisdom to share. My wife Jamie and I are raising a blended family with 5 children. Thankfully she stays home. When I'm not creating, I'm usually running trails, fishing with my kids, or enjoying a cigar in my backyard.

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