A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.Frank Zappa
Open mindedness is usually considered a positive quality and it’s a personality trait.
But what exactly is open-mindedness?
Being open-minded means being receptive to a wide range of ideas and experiences with no judgement or prejudice. Open-minded people are willing to listen to another person’s point of view with curiosity, even when they don’t agree with it.
They may think “what can I learn from this person?” rather than argue or try to prove their point. The thing is that open-minded people know that they don’t know everything, and are ok when their ideas and beliefs are challenged.
Why would you want to be open-minded?
Well, It gives us the opportunity to review outdated concepts and beliefs so we can learn and grow. This allows us to gain insights about ourselves, to experience new things, to feel more optimistic about the future and to become mentally resilient.
How can you become more open minded?
- Nurture a beginners mind – instead of saying “I already know this” which closes your mind to new ideas, try shifting to a “what can I learn from this?” mentality.
- Keep in mind that every idea is valuable – don’t discount ideas that don’t agree with your beliefs straight away. Let them simmer in your mind. This way you’ll be more likely to see nuances that you haven’t considered before.
- Explore polarities – instead of labelling everything as right or wrong, true or false, look at things through different perspectives. Ask yourself – “what else could this mean?” or “what would be like if I was in this person shoes?”
- Look at everything with curiosity – when you look at things with the eyes of a child, your imagination kicks in. Your horizons expand and suddenly anything is possible. That’s when you get “ah-ha” moments.
- Allow yourself to experiment – if you look at every experience as an opportunity to try new things, you stop perceiving mistakes as “bad” and more like part of the process. It’s liberating!