We have all been beginners at multiple points of our life time. However, people learn in two ways either by being active or passive.
The beginner who is ready to learn remains open to many possibilities.
It is the mindset that we have that impacts our creative process. It is only by commitment to learning that you start learning new things. The lack of eagerness will result in us losing many opportunities and we should be focused on what we want.
Fischer Josh Waitzkin, in his book 'The Art of Learning', describes the secret to becoming one of the greatest chess players in history.
'My growth became defined by barrierlessness,' he writes.
'Pure concentration didn’t allow thoughts or false constructions to impede my awareness, and I observed clear connections between different life experiences through the common mode of consciousness by which they were perceived. As I cultivated openness to these connections, my life became flooded with intense learning experiences,' the author said.
Waitzkin goes on to describe numerous instances through which his openness to learning reaped unexpected sparks. In one instance, he was sitting on a coastal cliff in Bermuda, watching the waves crash down, and suddenly the solution to a weeks-long chess conundrum came to him.
He sparked a breakthrough in his Tai Chi mastery after studying a single chess position for eight hours. Shooting hoops in Manhattan helped him finally comprehend the Buddhist concept of fluidity.
'The world of actors and musicians is brimming with huge expectations, wild competitiveness and a tiny window of realistic possibility,' Waitzkin explains.
'Two questions arise. First, what is the difference that allows some to fit into that narrow window to the top? And second, what is the point? ... In my opinion, the answer to both questions lies in a well-thought-out approach that inspires resilience, the ability to make connections between diverse pursuits and day-to-day enjoyment of the process,' he says.
Waitzkin sums up this approach by pointing to the Zen Buddhist concept called shoshin, which renowned Zen teacher Shunryu Suzuki first called 'the beginner’s mind.'