Beginner’s Mind

Change -- galloping, exhilarating, stomach-churning change -- has made most of us beginners again at some aspect of our jobs.

No matter how many years you have invested in becoming really, really good at what you do, chances you are now having to learn new things — and learning to think differently — in order to remain effective.

And you’re probably going to stink at the new stuff for a while. That’s according to Ira Glass, the extraordinarily successful host and producer of “This American Life.” But being able to tolerate being not-so-great at something while you work to become as skilled as you want to be is not only okay, it is absolutely necessary, Glass says. In the second part of a three-part video on storytelling, Glass generously shares some of the not-so-great work that he did on the way to becoming a master.

The segment brought to mind some of the ideas we’ve presented in Convene, including my talk with Stanford psychology prof Carol Dweck about the difference between a “fixed” and a “growth” mindset, and Chris Durso’s exchange with author Malcolm Gladwell about the ingredients of success.

And, come to think of it, my yoga teacher, who said this morning as I lost my balance in a challenging pose: “Falling is doing.”

Barbara Palmer

Barbara Palmer is senior editor and director of digital content.