The name of my business is Shoshin Leadership, Inc. Shoshin is a Japanese term that conveys the concept of a “fresh mind,” or “beginner’s mind.” But what does that really mean?
One application is that by cultivating an attitude of beginner’s mind, one can approach each endeavor as if it is the first time one is experiencing it. Consider, for example, how enthusiastic people are when starting a new job, a new relationship, a new project. What happens to that enthusiasm one year later, when the exciting new job is not so new anymore? What would you be able to accomplish if you approached your work with the same level of “freshness” you had when you began?
As valuable as that idea is, I propose a deeper, more profound meaning to Shoshin; seeing into the truth of the present moment as all there is. The implications of being able to experience the present moment with full awareness are not only profound, but influence every aspect of daily life. One aspect profoundly influenced is relationship connection.
If the present moment is all there is, then connecting with someone in the present moment is the most meaningful type of connection I can imagine. Who are you NOW? Relinquishing my pre-conceived notions about you, giving up my judgments from past interactions, letting go of what I have liked about you and tried to hold onto, and merely being open to hearing and seeing you as you are right now, today, is the greatest gift I could give you. To truly connect, one must give up all attachments and aversions to past interactions, as well as let go of all hopes and anxieties over future possibilities.
Try experimenting by:
- Listening to your spouse or significant other as if you are just meeting him/her for the first time
- Finding out what your teenage children really think about any subject
- Talking with a “problem employee” as if you have just hired her/him