Scott’s Thoughts: The Novice’s View

“Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.”

Mark Twain, (November 30, 1835 — April 21, 1910), American author. Quote from “The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson and the Comedy of the Extraordinary Twins”

Child playing with letter blocks.

Just as you only have one chance to make a first impression, you only have one opportunity to see something for the first time. As children, our entire world is composed of “first time” experiences. At times it is enchanting. In other ways it is terrifying.

As we gain experience, and our collective library of “first impressions” changes our ability to see the world with fresh eyes. This is helpful when it saves us from mistakes, but it can be a hindrance to perceiving new opportunities or solutions. Once lessons have been taught, they can be enormously hard to unlearn.

We often have to rely on others for a new perspective. The practice, however, of trying to see the world from the child’s mind by yourself can be enlightening if you cultivate it. Try to strip down your storehouse of knowledge and look at a situation as though you’re a complete novice. As your biases and accumulated knowledge resists, acknowledge them and set them aside.

Attempting this can help you develop empathy for people who do not have the same level of familiarity with a subject as you do. It can teach you patience and remind you that the root of communication depends upon true mutual understanding. It helps you remove assumptions and thwart miscommunication.

Can you remember a time when you didn’t know what a title search was? Can you honestly recall the first time someone explained a mortgage to you? You may not, but there are people out there who come to you with zero understanding of the home buying and selling process.

The child’s mind not only protects you from your biases, but it helps discard half-truths, rumors, and assumptions you may have held (but don’t recall their origins or can’t vouch for their accuracy).

Cultivate this state of mind–one filled with curiosity and useful ignorance–to help you become a better listener, problem solver, and intuitive professional.

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