Do we really need a January to begin anew? Every day can hold new possibilities. It depends on your state of mind.

“In the beginner’s mind are infinite possibilities, in the experts mind very few,” says Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki Roshi.

A Beginner’s Mind sees the world as though peering through the eyes of a child. Life is a wondrous event and the scrape on one’s knee from yesterday’s disaster is almost healed. At least there is a scab.

A Beginner’s perspective allows one to reframe a situation, to see a new view of an old circumstance.

For example, a client recently felt frustrated when her schedule shifted. She is a working-stay-at-home-mom-who-owns-her-own-business. With two young children beginning pre-school, she was initially excited at the start of the year. She believed she would have more time to run her business.

“By the time I drop the kids off and return home, I have only an hour and a half before I need to leave again to pick them up,” she shared. She also felt that the driving time, almost 40 minutes round trip, further placed her in time-debt. Only five to six hours per week of freedom to work a 40-hour position could be daunting for any small business owner.

We focused on re-framing the situation.

With a new pair of eyes, she could look at her situation differently. What she really was dealing with was a new schedule. She had the same amount of time, but the structure of her routine needed to shift. And she also had a new opportunity: An hour and a half of uninterrupted work time.

She decided to utilize that block of silence for tasks that she typically had to perform after children were in bed and she was already exhausted. This new chunk of time became as productive as a four-hour work day.

Her drive to and from school now became an opportunity to return calls or listen to voice mail. Her car was now a mobile office.

By the end of the process, she felt renewed, as though she could accomplish more with this new schedule. She had more energy and felt a new sense of excitement about her life instead of overwhelmed.

This is Beginner’s Mind. A mind-set that is excited about the next great adventure instead of Expert Mind full of dread.

See, the Expert Minded people believe they have seen it all, done it all and have grown as large as they can in their lives. They have forgotten that the cycle of inner growth is in constant progression. It looks like this:

1. We Explore. We feel the need to change, maybe because of new opportunities or because we are in pain. But one thing is certain, before we can change, we explore and examine our lives.

2. We Learn. We educate ourselves, re-vamp our way of thinking and adopt new ideas. We learn new things.

3. We Apply. Application is the method to long-term transformation. This is the physical manifestation. We find techniques we are willing to apply. We find ways to include that which have learned.

4. We Grow. Now we can grow into new skin with our new skills.

And so we repeat and begin this process over. Once we become comfortable at our new level, we are ready to explore and examine and again, move forward.

Beginner’s Mind embraces this cycle.

Expert Mind is unaware this cycle exists.

It takes fresh perspective and the eyes of a child to look at life in a wondrous way. It takes great courage to continuously grow and change.

My challenge for you is to explore and examine your life, to take brave steps forward and live a life that becomes better every moment you breathe. Live your life with Beginner’s Mind.

Author's Bio: 

Rebecca Evans is a motivational speaker, author and empowerment coach. She founded Inner Element as a way to combine her experiences as a woman in the military, mom and world class athlete into an organization that provides effective life breakthrough strategies. Her core philosophy, “fitness from the inside out” resounds for men and women of all ages. As a frequent columnist, radio show host and frequent television guest, she shares her empowerment techniques with thousands of individuals weekly. Her accomplishments as a business woman have landed her as Idaho Business Review’s “Idaho Women of the Year” honors, the National Association of Women Business Owners Business Women of the Year honors, and Boise State University's “Women Making History in Idaho”. She is a former Girls on the Run program director, Mrs. Idaho International 2004 and a decorated Gulf War veteran. She is the author of The Art of Self Discovery and Inner Fitness for Empowerment and lives in Idaho with her husband and three children.