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It’s easy to get stuck into ruts mentally. Many times, when we come up against something new or different, we may try to fit it into the structure for similar information that already exists in our brain. By doing so we may miss something different and important about this information.

I have a friend, who I work with occasionally, who talks a lot about the beginner’s mind and how to utilize that beginner’s mind on a regular basis. When we utilize our beginner’s mind, we see things as new and different, rather than immediately putting it into a category in which it may or may not belong.

As children we would try something again and again until we mastered it. It wasn’t as if we tried to walk, stood up, fell down and thought, “Well that’s done.”

When you activate your beginner’s mind, you are more open to whatever comes up. You may hear something from an employee, colleague, or guest that you might easily dismiss if your mind is only open to one structure or one way of thinking. However, if you take the time to open your mind, you may find that this different idea or concept has a great deal of merit that will help in business or your personal life.

This quote says it all:

“If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything, it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.” Shunryu Suzuki

Take time to examine the different concepts we may hold and see if the concept is the only answer to a question. Perhaps it is one of many answers to the same question. Open your mind to a myriad of ways of looking at the world, your business, your job and everything else in your life.

If you disagree with someone, take a moment to examine their point of view and see if perhaps rather than their point of view being wrong, it is your unwillingness to reassess what you believe. After all, the world is full of right answers.

A tip of the glass from me to you.

Elizabeth SlaterE Column
by Elizabeth “E” Slater, In Short Direct Marketing

A recognized expert in the fields of direct marketing and sales in the wine marketplace. Slater has taught more wineries and winery associations how to create and improve the effectiveness of their direct marketing programs and to make the most of each customer’s potential than anyone in the wine industry today.

Follow E on twitter @esavant and facebook.

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