How to foster ‘shoshin’ — Summary

Randula Koralage
3 min readJun 6, 2020

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“If you want to learn more, don’t think you are an expert”

Recently I read the above article from LinkedIn and I wanted to share it with you as it gives a really important message for all, even for students, entrepreneurs, scientists, and all.

This article is written by Mr. Christian Jarrett and I’ll put the link down if you are interested more.

I am writing a quick summary of the article as I feel it will useful for everyone.

Closed Mindedness

According to Mr. Christian Jarrett, you are more likely to close your mind for a particular subject, if you know more about it. He highlighted Zen monk Shunriyu Suzuki and according to his view, overestimation about knowledge and even be feeling like an expert causes to Closed Mindedness.

Earned Dogmatism Hypothesis

As researchers have shown, expertness leads to dogmatism. As we like to think of experts as they know well and they are more logical it is more inclined to produce a dogmatic mindset. When a person begins to think he is an expert, the confident level also increases which we see as a good thing, but it leads him to ignore others’ points of view during a matter and he becomes dogmatic.

Beginners Mindedness/ Open Mindedness / Shoshin

Beginner Mindedness gives the opposite meaning of closed-mindedness. When a person becomes more intellectually humble it leads to Beginner mindedness and also opens your mind to others’ perspectives.

The best way to enjoy life is by thinking in a wide and open mind. Otherwise, we won’t see anything new and any good thing in the world.

How to be Beginner Minded

According to Mr. Christian Jarrett, the first step to be open-minded is having a correct estimation about our knowledge. Most of the time we overestimating our ability and knowledge about a subject and it leads us not to grow. As the article mentioned, the best way to address overestimation is by explaining the thing we know to ourselves or someone else. This is better to do loud or written. This helps to understand the gaps still we have.

Challage Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias is the phenomena, that we tend to collect information that to prove our knowledge is correct. This leads us again to closed-minded as we are trying to prove that we are the correct. To overcome this the writer says that we must be aware of the situations that we going to confirmation bias and we should try to collect information to contradict our knowledge.

Practice Intelectual Humility

In general terms, humility is the status of being humble. So the Intelectual humility can simply introduce as being humble in ideation and gathering knowledge and being more open to other perspectives. The article highlights some research already done which proves that intellectual humility encourages beginner mindedness well.

The article finally mentions the activities that find you emotionally awe help to improve your humility feelings and then your open-mindedness.

This is a simplified summary of the article and you can find the complete article: https://psyche.co/guides/how-to-cultivate-shoshin-or-a-beginners-mind

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