Back in the day I made plenty of mistakes because I was so “overconfident.” As a hot-shot, CEO publisher at 29, I huffed & puffed around the office like I knew what I was doing, wearing bravado like a gold record around my neck. It was only due to years of reading the words of many wise swamis and cool sages, like Suziki, that I learned to reside in a “beginners mind.”
Overconfidence causes artists & entrepreneurs to overestimate their knowledge and underestimate the risks. It provokes blurred reasoning and leads to flippant decisions. Overconfidence always precedes sloppy work, and gives way to dissention & frustration within the team, which can ultim ately lead to a total project breakdown. Why? Because overconfidence provokes arrogance & entitlement, which these days, is so transparent, it makes everyone squirm but the person who has it!
I know it’s obvious that as we grow in knowledge & experience, we also grow in confidence. However, I also think it’s equally true that the more we remain a vigilant perpetual student, the more we can access our deeper wisdom.
Consider the words of Suzuki as he whispers to us from his grave:
“It is better to remain in the beginners mind. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” ―Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
Best selling author J Michael Dolan is the founder and former CEO/publisher of Music Connection magazine. Today he writes, speaks and leads a creative think-tank specializing in “innovative solutions to impossibl e challenges.”