While visiting my new niece in the hospital on Wednesday, I couldn’t help but think of the amazing amount of potential that lay before her. She has a whole world of experiences to explore for the first time. Her first song to sing. Her first taste of ice cream. Her first book. Her first blog post and even her first tweet. Because of her inexperience she will approach each one of these activities with an open mind and develop a truly unique perspective as a result. Because of this, she has an inherent advantage that others older than her don’t. She has a Beginner’s Mind.
In Zen Buddhism the beginner’s mind is an attitude of openness and lack of preconceptions. Many Zen masters try to establish a beginner’s mind in everything they do. Approaching a task as “a student” each time guarantees that you learn something new every time.
“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few. “ Shunryu Suzuki
Last week Digg relaunched their site with a dramatic new interface and system. As a result, many of the long-time users have reacted in anger over the changes. So much so that we have seen site wide support for Digg’s main competitor reddit.
While many reacted with disdain to changes to a network that they are used to, I actually have enjoyed and found value in the new Digg. I like the ability to customize my experience by following others. I like the fact that I can add RSS feeds directly into the system. I think both moves will make it easier for me to engage with the folks I am interested in and them engage with me. I can see where many of the complaints are valid, I just don’t see them affecting me that much.
I think I like the new Digg mostly because by and large I am a Digg newbie! I have had a Digg account for quite some time, but I have never really invested much time into learning how the system works, and how to leverage it as a marketing channel. Because of this I am approaching the new Digg with a beginners mind. I can see the value in the new changes, mostly because I don’t know any better!
About a week after Digg announced its new changes, Sphinn announced some new changes of their own. For those of you that don’t know, Sphinn, was founded as an alternative to Digg for Internet marketers. Just like many of the old time Digg users, I found a lot wrong with the changes at Sphinn. Now that I look back at the situation I can see that my inability to accept the new Sphinn is a direct result of not having a beginner’s mind. Therefore, I am going to try and find value in the new Sphinn by approaching it in a whole new light. I am going to try to have a beginner’s mind.
Having a beginner’s mind is very important when working on the Internet. Everyday, something changes online. Whether it be the way networks connect to users, or the absence of vital data that we rely on, things are always changing. If you want to stay ahead of the curve and continue to evolve with the technology, you must adopt a beginner’s mind!