The Beginner's Mind, How to Fail, & More
Today at a Glance
- Question: The artist hidden inside you.
- Quote: The value of friendship.
- Framework: The beginner's mind.
- Tweet: 30 lessons from 30 years.
- Article: Fail (and feel good about it).
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A question to reveal what is hidden:
What is the artist hidden inside of you?
I recently came across this beautiful quote:
“Inside you there’s an artist you don’t know about.” - Rumi
We all have an artist hidden inside of us.
- The artist may be a painter who brings scenes to life.
- The artist may be a musician who embeds emotion in the notes.
- The artist may be a writer who captures the human condition.
- The artist may be a listener who allows their friends to feel safe.
- The artist may be a speaker who brings words to those without any.
Sadly, for most people, that artist will remain hidden for their entire lives. Cultural, social, and financial pressures create a weight that may keep that artist buried deep down within.
But our duty is to uncover that artist and reveal its gifts to the world.
It doesn't have to be for financial gain—in fact, it very rarely should be.
The most beautiful art is often the art created for no reason at all.
So, what is the artist hidden inside of you?
Quote on the value of friendship:
"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art...It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival." - C.S. Lewis
Friendship is the most necessary unnecessary thing in the world.
Never let a good friendship atrophy.
The mindset that creates transformation:
Shoshin: The Beginner's Mind
Shoshin is a Zen Buddhist concept that means "the beginner's mind."
Over the course of your life to date, you have filled your mind with an endless array of beliefs, assumptions, and understandings about the world around you.
These form the basis of how we experience, process, and make sense of the world.
Every new thing we encounter is placed onto this map of reality.
It insulates us from the embarrassment of feeling like a beginner—of feeling adrift in an ocean of uncertainty.
The problem: When we are too entrenched in our map, we may fail to see the beauty of something new. New information that doesn't fit how we see the world is rejected and cast aside.
Shoshin is the idea that we should approach everything with a beginner's mind. Be willing to scrape away those old assumptions, to embrace new beliefs, to feel new ideas, and to lean into being wrong about things.
We all need to embrace the embarrassment of being a beginner.
Every expert started out as a beginner. The only way to accomplish something meaningful is to endure days, weeks, months, or even years of embarrassing failure. Those who lean into the embarrassment of feeling child-like again will eventually win.
Lesson: Embrace your Shoshin—embrace your beginner's mind.
30 learnings from 30 years:
I'm a sucker for a good "life lessons" post—and this one did not disappoint.
A few of my favorites:
- It's always possible to learn.
- Improving personal inputs improves output. Treat your daily habits as non-negotiable priorities.
- Swallow your ego.
Worth a few minutes of your time.
Embracing the art of failure:
Very good, quick read on leaning into failure.
The article cites a post from Kara Goldin with a brilliant quote:
"Every scar has a story...Every challenge you encounter. Every sh*tty person or stage that you endure along the way WILL be that story that makes you more valuable. More knowledgeable. Stronger."
The reframe to view failure as something with a specific purpose is powerful.
Always ask yourself: What is your failure for?