The question of the day is, how open-minded are you? Verywellmind.com defines open-mindedness as “how willing people are to consider other perspectives to try out new experiences,” But did you know being open-minded is necessary for figuring out who you are? Being open-minded allows you to ask questions, weigh your options, and see if your beliefs, values, plans, or goals work for you. Throughout my life, I figured out that an open-mindedness is a tool everyone possesses, whether they like it or not. The mind’s “what if” facture allows you to choose who you are today. If you don’t like who you are, you can change. Once your minds gather information and learn the lessons, you have a choice. Whether to keep doing what you are doing after everything you learned or change.
As the American Musician Frank Zappa states, “A mind is like a parachute, and it doesn’t work if it is not open.” Know that being closed-minded doesn’t help you in any way.
- It makes you focus on your point of view without considering anybody else’s. You think you’re always right, and you’re willing to try to convince everybody that you’re right as well.
- Questioning their beliefs is not allowed because that leads to you being your genuine self.
- When you are an adult with a closed mind, you teach your kids to have a closed mind. Kids grow up fearing abandonment by their parents or have already been abandoned by their parents because of their parent’s closed minds. For example, when a child comes out of the closet and is lesbian or gay, they fear telling their parents the truth because they know their parents believe it’s sinful to be that way.
- It alienates your friends and family away.
- You stand without humility.
What are some characteristics of an open-minded individual?
According to consciousthink.com, the characteristics of an open-minded individual are that they are a great talker, not judgmental, and honest. They are not harbingers of doom. They are observant, inquisitive, have a sense of humor, are not easily offended, sympathetic, mavericks, possess youthful exuberance, are good at problem-solving, are not stingy, like all music, and are patrons of the arts.
If you look at history, you can see the dangers of having a closed mind—for example, slavery, the holocaust, and religious persecution, to name a few. Even when you read the bible, you have to read it with an open mind because what you might think one of the bible’s scripture means could be different than what another person thinks, especially when you learn that words have different meanings throughout time. How can you not be open-minded? But people choose to believe what they want to believe. It makes me wonder if there is a right or wrong way of doing things and if it is just what is governed by our choices and actions.
If you are closed-minded, ask yourself if it works for you. Do you like who you are? Look around and be brutally honest with yourself to acknowledge the people that used to be in your life that are no longer in your life. Your way of thinking is the main problem.
Are you the type that consistently wonders why they haven’t achieved their goals? You are why you are in the same position you were in last year—your unwillingness to change and do the work. We should live our life to know ourselves, and for us to know ourselves, we have to be open-minded:
- To get awareness, we challenge the old systems and beliefs. Deciding for ourselves if we will continue on the same path or go a different way and adopt new ideas is influenced by our experiences and lessons.
- Be accepting of new experiences. You have to experience life and get your hands dirty for us to figure out who we are. You have to be able to use your five senses to see if you are in awe or dislike.
- Be willing to grow and change your mindset. We must understand that we are like flowers; if not taken care of, we will wither away and die. Don’t be afraid to talk to different people and learn about their culture. It’s how we know about the world and ourselves.
- Be positive. It’s essential to think positively and live a positive lifestyle to achieve your goals.
- Be headstrong. Being open-minded allows your mind to grow stronger because you accept new experiences, ideas, and people. You get to decide what works for you and what does not. You get to change your mind when you decide it doesn’t work for you any longer. You can work out your problems when life gets complicated, find solutions, and seek help because you know that sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone and go the extra mile to seek an alternative solution.
The perfect example of open-mindedness comes from the movie, Another Self on Netflix. It discusses how our current trauma is linked to our past lineage. The stuff that our ancestors went through attaches to us in each generation and can manifest in our life in different ways. You can become sick, have relationship problems, etc. Those past traumas need to be healed. When being open-minded, we must remember that people have an agenda in this life to survive; therefore, sometimes it might be good to try the holistic way, go vegan, or become more spiritual than religious. Anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss states, “The wise man doesn’t give the right answers; he poses the right questions.” Sometimes the answer comes from other places, not from ourselves, because we all have different experiences and circumstances.