Three years ago, at the age of 51, I walked into the jiu jitsu gym. I wasn’t returning to some skill I learned when I was younger. I was starting fresh. As a beginner. To be honest, I had some idea about what jiu jitsu involved… but I had no idea on how to participate.
I was a beginner!
The fact is, every accomplished person in every single field started the same way. As a beginner. It is an unavoidable part of starting anything and learning anything. And at that point, you don’t even know all the things you don’t know!
This is the first discovery of mastery. The NOT knowing of everything. So that you can start learning. It is what the Zen masters refer to as “The Beginner Mind.” It is the natural state of beginning, and a good mindset to nurture throughout life, even as mastery comes in other areas.
Which is why it is interesting that many adults hit a point in life when they are unwilling to start new, to become the beginner. And unfortunately, that cuts off the path of growth. It holds us back from new experiences and new learning.
My guest on this episode is Tom Vanderbilt, accomplished journalist and author, and intentional beginner. His recent book, Beginnings, recounts Tom’s decision and path on learning some new skills and interests. He decided to learn to play chess, draw, sing, juggle, and surf. He even learned how to make a titanium wedding band to replace the ones lost learning to surf.
In this episode, Tom and I discuss the process of learning, the Beginner’s Mind, why we struggle to reengage with beginning, and how to do it anyway. We also discuss the powerful advantage to the learning process, straight through adulthood.
Tom’s book is a must-read, since growth and learning are Thrive Principle skills for thriving people.
Listen in below.
>>Tom’s Website and Book Info<<
Lessons Learned in Jiu Jitsu
MORE Lessons Learned in Jiu Jitsu
Even More Lessons Learned in Jiu Jitsu
Still Even MORE Lessons Learned in Jiu Jitsu
The Growth Mindset
Growth Mindsets for Tough Times
The Power of a Challenge
Learn or Learn