The magic of beginner’s mindset

The magic of beginner’s mindset
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The magic of beginner’s mindset

It is true that our ability to easily pick up a new skill decline as we grow. But one could develop a specific type of mindset and avoid this trap and continue to learn effectively as an adult.

The beginner’s mindset is where nothing is certain, and there is everything to learn.

While children are especially good at understanding that certain actions will lead to certain kinds of events, this implicit understanding of patterns starts to decline by the age of 12.
That is to say that humans lose some of that capacity to absorb new information after the age of 12.

And while it is agreed that adults may not absorb new skills as readily as a child, we do have neuroplasticity – the ability for the brain to rewire itself in response to new challenges.

Principles of good learning

Learn from your mistakes (deliberate practice). Develop a focussed and analytical approach about what you did right and what you did wrong.

Ensure practice is varied. It forces the brain’s learned patterns to become more flexible, allowing you to cope with unpredictable difficulties.

Learn skills that you will have to teach. Sharing the skill that you are trying to master, increases the brain’s attention and helps in stronger memory traces.

While it is helpful to observe true experts executing a skill, it can be useful to watch novices since you can more easily analyze – what they are doing right and what they are doing wrong.

Why should you embrace a new skill?
Well, learning will ensure long-term brain changes that could offset some of the mental declines due to aging.

Try out multiple skills rather than just one.

It seems that the jack of all trades – the perpetual beginner – may have a sharper brain than the master of one single ability.

“Rather than grinding out a marathon, you are putting your brain through a variety of high-intensity interval workouts. Each time you begin to learn that new skill, you’re reshaping. You’re training your brain again to be more efficient.” – Tom Vanderbilt, Author

Learning new skills may lead to frustrations and sometimes failure – but these may be the most important experiences of the whole process. 

The capacity to recognize the limits of our knowledge – can powerfully improve our thinking and decision-making.

Whether it is for professional goals or personal interests, a beginner’s mindset is a hidden gem that we must explore.

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