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Think Like a Beginner to Become an Expert

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Sticking to your old ways leads to bad habits.

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Extremely successful people are extremely adaptable and often embrace the famed Buddhist's belief: "In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few."

This Buddhist quote reminds me of a good joke my Grandmother Eva once told me…

"Which came first: the chicken or the baking pan?"

There once was a mom who was baking a roasted chicken for her 10-year-old daughter. The mom began by cutting off all the chicken's legs and various extremities, then placed it into a large baking pan. "Mommy," said the little girl, "Why do you cut off all those parts?"

"You know, I don't know," said her mom. "My mom did it and so I do it."

"Does it make the chicken more yummier?" the girl asked.

"You know, I don't know," said her mom. "My mom did it, and so I do it."

"You never asked grandma why?" the girl prodded.

"Never occurred to me to ask," admitted her mom. "But let's call grandma now and find out."

Grandma answered the phone on the third ring then answered the question after a second round of laughter.

"There's only one reason I cut up that chicken," explained grandma, "It was because when you were growing up we only had money to own one very small baking pan, and so the entire chicken didn't fit in the pan and I had to cut it apart. Now that you have the money to own lots of baking pans -- small and large -- there's no reason to cut up that chicken at all."

My Grandmother Eva's joke speaks volumes about the perks of the "Beginner's Mind" belief. Unfortunately, all too often in business we get stuck in our ways with a "Limiting Expert's Mind" -- doing what's always been done -- never wondering if there's a better way.

Here are two good questions to ask yourself to spur a "Beginner's Mind:"

1. How might a 10-year-old child look at your present business problems?

2. How might someone from an entirely different industry look at your present business problems?

Here's this week's assignment:

Keep in mind that being comfortable is overrated. If you want to go for the gold, you must be ready to exit your familiar comfort zone so you can rise up higher. Whenever that immediate feeling of discomfort strikes, repeat the following Gold Magnet Mantra:

"By increasing my willpower to be more, I'm increasing my dollar-bill power to make more!"

Basically, if you want to get outside your present box of a limited income, you must get your thinking outside of a limited box.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

© Karen Salmansohn

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