“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” – Zen Master Shunryo Suzuki
Be Present.Don’t get caught up in wondering what should come next or the grand illusion that there is a sequence of events that one should follow. Throw yourself into your coaching and immerse yourself with the science, application, and training. Dan John said something that I wrote down in my personal journal and it was “plan the hunt, hunt the hunt, and then discuss the hunt”. If you never truly are present in the moment, you’ll miss the intrinsic joy that comes from coaching.
- Forget Often. There are some things within strength and conditioning that are universal understandings. Our field is data driven and backed by scientific resource articles and studies. When you are learning new information, regardless of the topic, attempt to leave your biases and previous ‘truths’ out of your mind. This does not mean to forget them in the long-term sense but rather having the capability to suspend biases while learning new information. Time doesn’t come cheap and it’s the one element in the world money cannot buy so it makes complete sense that we develop systems to conserve it (personal biases we can quickly compare new ideas to). The problem with quickly judging new ideas is that we never are able to look at the complete picture holistically in a manner that may spur new ideas. We become trapped by what we know rather than expanding our minds on what we do not.
- Don’t Seek Expert Status. The journey is the reward. I had a mentor say that to me during a moment where I had a momentary setback. Don’t believe that a title, a certification, a landmark win, or any other expert status will ‘make you’. Remember that an expert doesn’t think they are an expert. A guru doesn’t think they are a guru. Studying the most successful people in the world reveals that experts and gurus carry the belief of “constant learning and evolving” and display more developmental attributes of beginners i.e. a constant quest to learn, challenging status quos, focusing on long-term development, than most self-proclaimed experts in the field.
- Failure. We will all fail at some point of our lives. It can become frustrating and defeating. Understand that failure does not define you nor does it label you; failure is a singular event if you can learn from your mistakes in order to not repeat them again. Beginners have a uncanny ability to bounce back up to their feet and try again where experts have a difficult time moving past failure. Why you might ask? Beginners are expected to fail where experts are not. Bumps in the road are going to happen so you should anticipate the hardships,the bruises, the momentary events that act as a setback. Remember that an arrow reaches its final destination, only after it is pulled back; if life pulls you back with difficulties, remember that it is going to launch you into victory.