I’ve been reading “Heat” by Bill Bullford, and I can safely say this book is one of the most interesting things I’ve read in a long time. His accounts of working in Mario Batalli’s kitchen at Babbo are full of colourful details, painting a very vivid picture in the imagination of what it must’ve been like. You can practically smell the chopped herbs as you read! It’s also a very interesting read from a career standpoint – someone who had a successful career as the editor of The New Yorker, who chose to become essentially a kitchen slave, essentially starting at the beginning again.
About three-quarters of the way through the book, it dawned on me how Zen this person was – someone who had, for all intents and purposes, become a master of his field chose to “empty his cup” and start with a beginners mind. This is, to me, something that we should all strive for – to learn new things, or even to re-learn old things. By doing so, we grow as individuals, while continuing to contribute to society as a whole.
This beginners mind philosophy was part of the reason I recently undertook the training for the Red Hat Certified Technician. While in college, I studied Linux a fair bit. However, it was sporadic, and as a result my skills became dull. I knew this, and also knew that my career would benefit from better strength in this area. Rather than assume I knew anything, I chose to start at the beginning, and attended the introductory course (RH033). While the material was all review for me, it was a good refresher, and I believe it contributed to my renewed interest in Linux, as well as my success in the certification exam. Had I not updated my skills with the basics, I doubt I would have been able to pass the exam.