The Beginner's Mind

During one of the Prime Minister's visits to Kerala, I saw first-hand what keeps the PM safe. No, it is not the guns or high-tech gadgets - instead, it is what Buddhists call a "Beginner's Mind". Let me share a story.

Before this particular visit by the PM, a high-ranking team from the PM's security (SPG) was visiting Kerala for a coordination meeting with the local officials.

One senior local police officer was getting annoyed with the micro-level details the visiting team was getting into. He told the visiting Inspector General (IG) from PM's security, "Sir, we have done VIP security many, many times. Don't worry about these small things - we are experts. We can handle it."

The IG replied, "This is probably the 500th time I am coming for a PM's visit. And even I don't consider myself an expert. I approach every visit as if I am doing it for the first time."

That, in short, is "Beginner's Mind." It is an antidote to arrogance, which leads to ignorance, and ultimately, mediocrity.

In business, finance, and many areas of human endeavor, we don't need an IQ of 160 to be exceptional. All we need is a child-like curiosity, humility, and openness to learn.

In other words, we just need a Beginner's Mind.


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