The Curiosity of a Beginner
As kids, our curiosity has no limits. We embrace the world around us by questioning every bit of it that we experience. We aren’t afraid of annoying anyone or seeming like we don’t have everything under control. Instead, we find joy and excitement in learning about our environments and all that is a part of it. Somewhere along the way doubt begins to cloud us. As strange as it sounds, we grow fearful of showing others that we aren’t perfect and don’t know everything. The truth is, none of us have ever met a perfect person in our entire lives.
It may seem like the reason our curiosity is so engaged as children is because we are fresh in the world without immense knowledge, but in reality we never hit an age of complete knowledge. There’s a word from Zen Buddhism that has really impacted me in my life which is called “Shoshin” or “beginners mind.” The word refers to being eager and open without preconceptions and I find that to be such a peaceful idea. We live in a world where we’re constantly moving and trying to discover the next great thing, but so rarely stop to ask ourselves what we want. Who do we want to be? What makes us happy? What could we do differently? Embracing the idea of a beginner’s mind is an incredible part of a path to growth but it is also something that could affect our lifestyles. When we allow ourselves to ask questions, be open and eager about everything we don’t know, we are able to learn so much more and grow into amazing versions of ourselves. Think of the most important moments of development in your life. Odds are that they didn’t happen when you were completely in control of situations. Rather, we often find the greatest impact in moments of failure and unknown situations.
One of the toughest steps in any kind of personal development is breaking habits. Doing things differently can push us deeply out of our comfort zone and asking questions instead of having answers is initially not the most comfortable thing to do. I encourage you to push yourself into getting uncomfortable. Start by asking yourself thought-provoking questions and allowing yourself time to figure out the answers. Embrace your inner kid and let your curiosity guide you into a path of constant growth.