Problems today run the complete scale from domestic to foreign of all kinds. Abortion, gun control, climate change, equal pay, immigration, minimum wage, terrorism, racism, you name it. Have you ever thought why can’t we just get along and understand each other? Maybe we can by practicing open-mindedness.
First, lets talk about closed-mindedness because it is a very real danger according to OdysseyOnline.com. The following are signs of closed-minded people and how they can be a problem in our society:
Closed-minded people generalize everything – If they see a couple of rude people in a group, they will generalize all the people in that group are rude. Generalization can inhibit further thought.
Closed-minded people are judgmental – They skip to conclusion or preconceived ideas without legitimate reasons. Being judgmental will limit yourself in the experiences to which you are exposed.
Closed-minded people enjoy pinpointing the shortcomings – Blaming others can contribute to feeling of helplessness, powerlessness, anger, and depression as well.
Closed-minded people do not like new ideas – They are unwilling to expose themselves to new opinions even if they are based from facts. They see change as inherently negative and they are unable to move forward.
Closed-minded people are obsessed of being always right – They are unwilling to admit that their opinions, ideas, or ways of doing things are flawed. They may be difficult to talk and they get offended quickly.
Closed-mindedness may be the root cause to some of our problems and by simply switching to being open-minded may hold the key to fix this dilemma.
Why do we need to practice open-mindness? Because according to Dreamstime.com, minds are like parachutes, it functions better when open. The following is a list of ways to become an open-minded person:
Explore the unknown – Embrace something that is foreign to you. You can try different route or try something new. Try to get out of your comfort zone.
Avoid assumptions – Don’t form any negative opinions on things you have never tried. If there is no evidence to prove, you should try things yourself before you say anything. Hearing other’s opinion is not a form of confirmation.
Learn to examine situations in multiple perspectives – You may think that your way is the best way, but you should listen to some arguments from the other side to see what the other people are saying. You may find that they may have some good ideas on their own too.
Always think more positive than negative – You can always find good in almost all situation, even bad situations. Most people stay away from problems. If you have an open mind, you see problems as an opportunity rather than a bad thing.
Try a new hobby – Try something you have not tried before. Learn a foreign language. Your new hobby may turn into a passion and will change the way you look at the world.
Educate yourself – You have to broaden your horizon any way you can by going to school or reading books. Being educated will make you more informed and less likely to form closed-minded opinions.
Travel as much as you can – You should make a habit of traveling if you have the budget. If you cannot afford to travel, watch Travel Channel or National Geographics so you can see how people live in other countries.
Ask a lot of questions – Don’t be that know-it-all person. Surround yourself with people smarter than you and ask a lot of questions. You will be amazed by how much you will learn.
Befriend with a person from different interest or culture – It will give you insight into different perspectives on the world.
Open-mindedness will give new meanings in your everyday life, and not only that, it also comes with advantages. The following is a list of benefits for having an open-mind:
You free your minds from limiting thoughts – You can challenge the belief that is holding you back. Sometimes your belief is the one blocking you to become successful.
Open-mindedness can strengthen yourself – It can provide a platform on which you can pile up ideas on top of another.
You can have a strong sense of self – You are able to gain confidence as you learn more and more about the world around you.
You will have more fun – You are willing to try new and exciting things, and you will have more experiences.
It will be easier to find solution to a problem – You don’t get stuck trying the same thing over and over again. You can easily think outside the box.
You are in a position to be loved and become a leader.
You have a higher tolerance level.
You have more energy.
You will be smarter.
I encourage you to open your eyes, see things in different perspective, and have an open mind. Once you have an open mind, share it to your family and friends. It does not demand a major investment of your time but rather, a fresh new way of thinking. Open-mindedness makes you more intelligent and it is something that you can do right now. “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change,” said Albert Einstein.
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