The symbol for shoshin.

Photo by Robert Boni

Undoing the belief that mastery is the goal can enable you to truly unleash your creative potential.

The great Zen master Shunryū Suzuki once said, “In the beginner’s mind, there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s, there are few.” Reflect for a moment on how we spend the majority of our lives constantly accumulating, winnowing, and refining, with the majority of our efforts geared towards attaining greater and greater efficiency through massive repetition, which in turn deeply ingrains habits. This is considered to be the path towards mastery. But it is also the path towards fewer and fewer choices, an unconscious reliance on those ingrained habits (the good and the bad), and diminishing creativity.

Read MoreShow less