a beginner’s mind

7 Jun

“A beginner’s mind is a brilliant place to come from. After all, beginners are granted permission to fail. In that sense, it’s not uncommon for beginners to have more fun.

I have the word beginner tattooed in cursive on my right arm. I almost wish it were tattooed across my face so I could remember to breathe when I feel like I don’t have it all together. Oh yea, I’m a beginner at writing 4th albums. I’m a beginner at intimate relationships!

I didn’t start surfing until I was 28. It was with a beginner’s mind that I excelled, not taking flopping around in the water as a sign of weakness. Instead, all that flopping made me more buoyant and a much better surfer.

I didn’t start playing guitar until I was 18. During those awkward college years I could’ve quit as other boys my age already had bands and tight jams. I knew as a beginner I had permission to suck and that eventually I’d rock. And now I do.

So remember this. We are all beginners. We haven’t done this before. You haven’t been you on this day before. I haven’t been someone’s solid rock before. I haven’t been me at 33 before. Each day is new and we’re all allowed to fall down as often as we need to. It is through these mistakes and fumbles that we’ll likely get it right next time.”

-Jason Mraz, musician, Beginners Only

I read this and afterwards, I felt a little better. I would have never thought Jason Mraz or any famous and signed musician has difficulty with writing songs and albums. To me, it seems like all the musicians I admire produce their songs flawlessly out of a factory. Then, the rest is history. But that’s all I’ve ever thought about.

I’ve had this constant frustration for many few years running. I’m not even exaggerating. This frustration I’m talking about is I haven’t written a song I am in love with. And I think I’ve said and thought this a million times by now.

I’ve never really allowed myself to be a beginner. I’ve always jumped steps ahead, thinking I want to be pro, but never reaching where I want to be. I want to be the best, the expert at my very craft and ambition. It’s never easy to admit or even want to be a beginner. But I’ll try to begin somewhere with truths that allow me to work harder to where I want to be in the future.

I am a beginner musician. Although I’ve sang in several choirs, played the piano, guitar and violin, I’m still learning new things. I never really had any desire to learn music theory until these past two years. Despite writing my own songs on the piano and guitar, I’m still learning to find ways to place hooks and rifts together. I’m still learning to write lyrics while learning more about poetry.

I am a beginner at teaching or being a guide to discovery. I was a teaching assistant in biology for the first time in my life, last fall in 2010. Then I started teaching music in December 2010. Unexpectedly, I became an ESL tutor in March 2011. I’ve learned a lot from these experiences, but sometimes I have downfalls and think someone else should take on my job because I’m not good enough. I’m still learning, but overall I’ve enjoyed my opportunities I’ve been grateful to have.

I am a beginner athlete/surfer/snowboarder. I’ve surfed in Waikiki a few times. I go up to the mountains at least a couple of times a year. I danced for about eight years when I was younger, but now I’ve started dancing again. It’s always easy to ask what if or what I could have been. But I don’t think my heart would have been in the right place if I wanted to seriously pursue sports. I’ve come to accept that I do all these for fun.

I’ve been rambling and I’m not really sure what my point is. Except I was inspired by Jason Mraz’s thoughts about being a beginner with a beginner’s mind. I can never go wrong with a positive mindset and moving forward in the direction I want to be. All I  have to do is keep moving forward, never allowing the winds or tides sway me. No set backs, no excuses and never ever giving up.

One Response to “a beginner’s mind”

  1. ivoraudiophile June 17, 2011 at 03:26 #


    Jason Mraz truly is a genius. With this attitude he will continue to grow.

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