10 years, 11 months ago

Shoshin – The Beginner’s Mind and Exercise

Over the last 4-6 weeks I’ve been able to establish some kind of an exercise routine in my life. Its nothing earth-shattering. I’m up early first thing in the morning at my hotel and spend 20-30 minutes either on the treadmill or the elliptical. I’m usually jamming to the rougher Rdio playlists I have on my phone. I’m a morning person so this sort of a routine works rather well. I reward myself after this torture with time watching Morning Joe, reading the paper, and catching up on blog posts.

So what value am I deriving from this regular activity?

The first is the physical benefit. I live a mostly sedentary life with sitting either when flying, driving, or working. So anything that gets my arse moving is a good thing. The second is the routine and discipline. While the workout is not much, I’ve been able to do it consistently ~3 times per week. There are exceptions when I’m out too late the night before with my co-workers on the road (its not personal, its business). Having the consistency provides a small sense fo accomplishment which provides some personal reward. The final benefit, and I think this is the most profound, is the mental clarity it provides. For my best work, I need mental clarity. A beginner’s mind — Shoshin. Its a concept I learned a few years ago in leadership training. The clearest mind is the best mind for tackling new problems and challenges with the utmost accuracy and, when dealing with people, compassion.

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