New Experiences Enrich You
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania tell us that open minded people live a more enriched life. They are more well-adjusted, curious, creative, and enjoy more unique experiences than those with a narrower mind. But you… you’re one of the people who are open to new experiences, aren’t you? You at least know that it is good to have open mind, even though the majority of us fall somewhere in-between. This isn’t a criticism; it just means that there could be room for improvement.
People located closer to the closed-minded side of the spectrum miss a lot of details during their day. They fail to see a lot going that’s on, and also tend to miss new experiences that would open themselves up to people. Leaving yourself open to new experiences does not come naturally for everyone, because closed minds believe they already know the outcome. They do not need to take on a new hobby, try a new food, or attend a party, because they already know what they like, who they like, and how most experiences are going to turn out.
But if you’re the kind of person who’s open to a little self-improvement, then here are a few important tips to broaden your mind along with your prospects.
Crack the Door
Closed minds live behind a burly wooden door. They may let new things in from time to time, but not without first checking to make sure that the new will get along with what’s already inside. Closed minds tend to hang out in the same social circles, listen to the same music, read the same books, and repeat the same argument facts whenever their opinions are challenged. If you live in the North Pole your entire life and claim to understand the weather in Hawaii, you’re pretty much just making stuff up as you go. Crack the door and allow new opinions and experiences to intermingle with your own on a regular basis. Even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone, it’ll do you good.
Dare to Prove Yourself Wrong
You’re probably already a victim of self-fulfilling prophecies. This means you expect one thing to happen so much that you don’t even bother trying to create an alternate outcome. And so you go out and allow yourself to have a terrible first date, botched job interview, or fall silent during an important speech. Having an open mind not only gives you permission to prove your expectations wrong, it gives you the hope that you can put extra effort into it. Use your newly opened mind to visualize success anytime you feel doubt, because an open mind gives you permission to overcome most forms of negative thinking.
One a Day
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last,” confirms the late author, Zig Ziglar. “Well, neither does bathing [and] that’s why we recommend it daily.” Keeping your mind open to new experiences is not a decision that you make once and enjoy for a lifetime. It is a struggle to maintain, and the easiest way to stick to this path is to commit to making one small (sometimes large) effort every day. Open your mind to a new restaurant, attend a lecture from a speaker with a differing opinion, or let a friend dress you for a day. Allow yourself to experience everything unknown before you form an opinion about it, and as a bonus you’ll end up conquering a lot of fears in the process.
Seeking Understanding Vs. Righteousness
Closed minds love to be right. They don’t like change, and therefore they fight against anything that challenges what they already know to be true. Every argument is focused on trying to make the other person agree with them, rather than understand how or why their opinions differ. Seeking understanding allows you to appreciate an alternative idea, learn something new, gain a better understanding of your own beliefs, and maybe even develop a friendship/ally in the process (friends don’t have to agree on everything). Whenever you’re faced with the possibility of change, rather than dig your heels in, relax, ask a few questions, and listen to the answers you receive.
Ignorance is never the bliss it’s promised to be. Open your mind, open your experiences, and discover the true bliss of living as a constant student.
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