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Return to Zero

Two years ago, I attended a program on leadership. One of the highlights was about how we can block ourselves from continuing to improve due to our upsizing ego as we progress. 

Throughout the session, the trainer repeated these four words in mandarin:

归: reset/return/go back to 
零: zero/start point/nothing
学: learn/study
习: practice/habit

归零学习- Learning with an attitude of zero. 

How often do you catch yourself being in a sticky relationship with your past experience or past knowledge? Or even old habits that are no longer helpful to you anymore? 

Even after years of practice, I still have moments of letting my ego get into my own way. When I caught myself in a situation like this, I would recite the above 4-letter phrase mentally as a reminder to always learn with a beginners’ mindset. 

Progression is never about how advanced you are in the practice sequence. It is how deep you can root your feet into the basics regardless of whether you are advancing or getting stuck in an unpleasant situation on the mat. 

Exactly how we start our first sun salutation at every practice, it is a reset every time. Perhaps you are heading towards primary, intermediate or advanced series, who cares? We still begin the same. 

Never forget how you started and it doesn’t matter what happens – the good or the unpleasant, your ability to learn with an attitude of zero is your basic qualification.

There are no shortcuts to true knowing – relax and take one step at a time.

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