Have you noticed it’s never the ones with the most knowledge that succeed? That ‘new’ knowledge always beats ‘most’ knowledge? That those who don’t know what can’t be done often beat the ones who do?
What if the greatest thing holding you back is that you already know too much?
All the best entrepreneurs are as good at unlearning as they are at learning. The Japanese have a word for this: ‘Shoshin’ – To have ‘a beginner’s mind’. The concept is captured in this Buddhist story:
“Once, a professor went to a Zen Master, and began to explain what he knew about Zen. As he spoke, the Master began to pour a cup of tea until it was full. And then kept pouring.
The professor, noticing the tea spilling everywhere, got irritated. He then questioned the Master, “Why do you keep pouring when the cup is full”?
The Master replied, “You are like this cup. You are trying to understand Zen when your mind is already full. Empty your mind before attempting to understand.”
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”
Is your cup full? You know it is if you rely more on your opinions than your curiousity. You know it is if you give answers more than you ask questions. You know it is if you already know the reason times are tough and your dreams are distant.
> Knowledge: The more you know, the more you think you know.
> Wisdom: The more you know, the more you know how much you don’t know.
How do you empty the cup? Begin by knowing you don’t know. As Socrates said, “I know one thing: That I know nothing.” Question all your judgements and assumptions. Then, surprise yourself with awe and wonder as you learn anew.
That doesn’t mean approaching everything empty. As you empty your mind, fill your heart: Approach everything not with a full mind and empty heart, but with an empty mind and full heart:
“In a full heart there is room for everything, and in an empty heart there is room for nothing.” ~ Antonio Porchia