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Beginner’s Mind


In the past years I would set out my year-ahead goals both on the personal and career fronts by looking ahead at the things I want to attain or accomplish in the coming year. I would have a list of these goals at the tailend of the previous year or at the beginning of the new year. This practice puts me in a retrospective mode, or a process that helps me navigate through my choices based on the maps laid out in the past.

This year is a bit different. This year we saw a new decade commencing. This year would lay the foundation of what lies ahead. It is the cornerstone upon which the next decade will be built.

It is is the perfect time for not only looking back to see where you’re at but also, more important, for prospecting for all the possibilities of the future to determine your bearing. Thus, I am embracing a prospective mode, or a process that helps me determine the right directions for all the things that I want to attain or accomplish in life in the year ahead and beyond.

I need a different mindset to do that, one that will keep me grounded to my roots and all the things that I have accomplished so far. But since I am preparing myself not only for the year ahead but also for the decade ahead, I need to challenge myself with bigger goals – specially on the personal front.

Bigger goals could mean a lot of things. But for me it’s about becoming a better person over all – wether that’s me being a husband, a dad, a son, a friend, an employee, or just being me. Every aspect of my life is intertwined with everything that I want to do or accomplish.  Being a good provider to my family, for example, means that I must be a good employee. Being a good employee means that I must improve on my skills. Improving my skills means that I must find time to learn. And, so on.

To become the better me, I must embrace the Mamba Mentality – get better everyday at everything that I do. It’s “all about focusing on the process and trusting in the hard work when it matters most,” according to Kobe Bryant himself. If you listen to one of Kobe’s interviews, he would say that Mamba Mentality is “perfecting the basics”.

The only way to perfect the basics is when you open yourself up as an empty vessel, as a student of life.

Then for this, I must embrace Shoshin. According to Wikipedia:

Shoshin (??) is a word from Zen Buddhism meaning “beginner’s mind.” It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner would.

This year is so unlike the last ten years. This year opens the door to an exciting decade ahead. There are tons to learn. There are possibilities to test. And, there’s that great opportunity to become that best ME version.

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