Are You a Beginner or an Expert?

Are you a beginner or an expert? Before you answer this, consider this statement from Shunryu Suzuki: “in the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities and in the expert’s mind there are few.” Why is this? Why are the experts so narrow minded and what opportunities might they be missing because of this?

Think back to when you were just a child and see if you can remember all the questions that you asked. Kids can drive adults crazy sometimes because of their continuous stream of questions! Kids do this to gain knowledge and to fully understand situations or concepts. They are beginners in everything.

As they grow older and gain knowledge, the number of questions they ask drop because they take their knowledge and apply it to identical and even to new situations. They find out that they can understand the new situations by extrapolating their existing knowledge into the new areas. They become self proclaimed experts and they slowly stop asking questions.