Luís on the Keyboard

Beginner's Mind

When I first spoke with my friend Ivo about leaving Tomtom, I told him of a quote by Pat Metheny, a jazz guitarrist:

Whenever young guys ask me what they should do to get better, I always say try to be the worst guy in whatever band you’re in.

This is exactly what drove me to leave Tomtom. I’m no longer the rookie, the new guy. I no longer feel this excitement of not knowing where things are or how things are done. I needed the next challenge, next Level-Up opportunity.

So a bit more than a week after having arrived in Berlin, I started reading Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, a book on the practice of Buddhism, and I bumped into the following words:

In Japan we have the phrase shoshin, which means “beginner’s mind”. The goal of practice is always to keep your beginner’s mind. (…)

In the beginner’s mind there is no thought [like] “I have attained something”. When we have no thought of achievement, no thought of self, we are true beginners. (…)

There is no need to have a deep understanding of Zen. Even though you read much Zen literature, you must read each sentence with a fresh mind. (…)

This is the real secret of the arts: always be a beginner.

It is curious that I get this “beginner’s mind” feeling not only in my new job but with everything that I’ve been through during this past week: leaving Spain behind, leaving my comfort zone of a steady job and a nice warm place, where life was pretty much unsurprising, and go to a place where hardly no one knows me, where the language is totally alien and start all over.