A beginner’s mind– The Value of learning something all over again

When you are a kid, you have no fear. You want to see everything, touch everything and taste everything. There are no boundaries to your capacity of following your curiosity, try new things, stumble along the way and try again. The best part? Everything seems like a game and you get smarter along the way.

When I went back to taking music-writing lessons over a year ago at the “Garden Street School of Performing Arts” in Hoboken, it was quite an experience. I remember being excited like a little girl and scared at the same time. Even though I had played the piano for a few years until I was maybe 8 or 9 years old and was actually good at it, I could not remember where my fingers were suppose to go on the keyboard just by glancing at the music sheets. I had to think again and re-learn what I already knew. The other challenge was that my music education was in Quebec. Just like in the movie “The sound of music”, we say “Do-Re-Mi” and so on. So on top of relearning everything, I had to read the notes on the sheets and translate them in my head. It is kind of wild to think that a sound can also have a language.

Overall, it was very humbling to know the knowledge was there somewhere and that I just needed to reactivate it. The process could not be rushed and I would have to be patient. My husband can testimony once again that I am very patient, too patient even, except when it comes to learning something I either don’t like, don’t make sense or already know. Ask him about the four times I failed my NJ driver’s license theory test just because I was too stubborn to study something I have been doing fine for years! His version of the story is very good!

For anyone doing personal and professional development, we often say how important it is to see everything from a beginner’s mind, especially with the things we have seen before. Revisiting something we know all over again opens up the opportunity to see it from a different angle. It also acts as a growth barometer. We suddenly realize all the ground we have taken, how far we have been or what things we neglected. Not one thing we learn is static and when we want to master something, it takes time. Malcom Gladwell would say 10,000 hours.

And then what? As adults with careers and busy lives, we want to learn everything as quickly as possible and not waste time with “déjà vu”. We become SO serious about everything.

Think like a kid. Make everything you revisit a game. It is no secret that practice makes better and repetition shapes a master. And guess what? If you really play, you will get even smarter than you are now. And what happens to smarter people? They get ahead.


Self-Expression Manifesto of the week: Revisiting something we know all over again opens up the opportunity to see it from a different angle.

Join the conversation: What did you notice or realized from the things you reluctantly or whole-heartedly revisited again?

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