These are a few reasons why you should adopt the beginner's mind!
I recently drew out a quest for myself; a personal mission that I've been marching towards for quite some time. I set a goal to be the strongest man in Oregon. That means my weight class is 198 lbs in powerlifting and under 200 in Strongman.
Setting this goal actually includes the setting of other goals at the same time. I want to:
- Dramatically increase strength
- Dramatically increase muscle mass
- Improve Range of motion and joint stability
- Improve muscle, tendon, and ligament capacity to prevent injury
- Learn how to eat more and more cleanly
- Learn new lifting techniques and training strategies
- Use all-new physical training tools
- Get used to doing massive amounts of work
- Get used to being sore DURING the workout
- Improving recovery in and out of the gym
- Re-learn what it's like to be a beginner...
That last bit is the most important!
The qualities of being a true beginner are so important to success of any kind, whether it is mental, physical or emotional. All too often, our expectation that we are good at things gets in way of our ability to GET good at things.
The mind of a beginner can come equipped with traits such as the following:
- Few expectations about what lies ahead. The white belt doesn't need to know the whole lesson plan. In fact, they shouldn't know it.
- In general, the beginner will have very few "shoulds" because aside from showing up on time and being enthusiastic, not much is expected of them in terms of performance. They don't have a reputation to live up to, so they needn't be distracted by it.
- They can literally only focus on their next step because there isn't anything else to distract them.
- Failure is expected and embraced as part of the process. Trying new things and falling down is how we all learned to walk, whether it took months or years. Yet for some reason, with other tasks, we expect not to have any trials or tribulations.
- Fall down 7 times, get up 8. It doesn't matter whether you win early or you win late, so long as you win. The habit of not quitting makes all the difference and the best time to cultivate the habit is ALWAYS.
With a new journey beginning with some new mindsets to cultivate, I'm going to have an achy adventure in strongman training this year!
Yours in strength,