We’ve all heard the expression ‘mind over matter’ – a very simple concept, but one with profound truth and consequences. Opening up your mind to new ways of thinking, different attitudes and ideas will literally open up the door to new and exciting opportunities and experiences. You are never too old to adopt an open mind and to experience the joys and benefits that come with it. All you need is a bit of courage and self-belief and you will soon discover that opening your mind up will bring a plethora of benefits.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO HELP YOU TO DEVELOP A MORE OPEN MIND.
Resist negative reactions when you hear a different opinion. You might not always agree with other people’s ideas, thoughts and opinions, but the key to being open minded is to listen, understand and learn from these different thoughts. Take a moment to understand the alternative thought process and try and put yourself in the other person’s shoes and see things from their perspective. Empathy has wonderful benefits.
Get out of your comfort zone. Be adventurous and inquisitive. Try new experiences and be open to new ideas and opportunities. You don’t know how good things can be if you don’t get out there and try them. If the new experiences are not great then at least you have learnt something from them and were courageous enough to try!
Read, watch, listen and ask questions. The more knowledge you have on a variety of topics the more educated and informed you are, so read a lot, watch inspiring programs, listen to podcasts and ask questions. When you meet new people take the time to get to know them and their interests and their opinions. The more you learn the more you will understand and appreciate people’s differences. The more interested you are in other people the more interested they are likely to be in you. When you engage openly with people, they are more likely to welcome you into their world and introduce you to new people, experiences and opportunities.
Keep yourself open. Be careful not to close yourself off to people or ideas when things get uncomfortable or difficult. When you are exposed to unfamiliar territory keep an open mind and try to gain insight and experience from the encounter. You don’t have to agree with someone to like them.
Be social. The more that you put yourself out there, the more you will receive in return. Try new social activates that will expose you to different types of people. Join clubs, groups or engage in projects that will expand your social network. Be careful not to ‘judge a book by its cover’, some of the most exciting and interesting individuals come in all shapes and sizes!
Try is before you criticise it. Don’t rely on other peoples experiences, attitudes or ideas to determine your own. If you haven’t tried it yourself, don’t criticise it. Just because one person had a certain experience, doesn’t mean that you will have that same experience too, so try things for yourself and don’t rely on other peoples experiences.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS YOU CAN EXPECT FOR FOLLOWING THE ABOVE TIPS.
Release of control. When you open your mind up you are also freeing yourself from having to be in complete control of your thoughts and this can be a very liberating experience!
Personal growth. Opening your mind up allows new ideas to enter and provides you with the opportunity to change how you not only view the world but also how you behave within it. With an open mind you can learn new things and learn lessons from previous experiences. Having an open mind allows you to really grow as a person and strengthens the foundations of your own beliefs, ideas and personal characteristics whilst at the same time recognising and respecting those of others. Personal growth almost always leads to the opening of new doors and a brighter more inspiring future.
Newfound vulnerability. When you open up your mind to new ideas you are acknowledging that you don’t have all the answers and allowing yourself to be vulnerable to new ideas and experiences. This newfound vulnerability can be a bit scary but it can also be exciting as it is leaving you open for new adventures.
Permission to make mistakes. Though this might sound like a negative result making mistakes is only a disadvantage if you don’t learn something from them. Some of the greatest achievements in life come off the bat from some big mistakes. When you have an open mind you are allowing yourself (and others) to make mistakes and to learn something from them. Sometimes what seems, as our greatest mistake can actually become our greatest gift.
Self Confidence. When you operate in life with an open mind, you are not limiting yourself to your own set of beliefs, nor are you constricting yourself to the beliefs of others. When you are not restricted in your thought process, you are open to growth and with growth comes confidence and a renewed belief in yourself and your own abilities and strengths. Being open-minded breeds self-confidence.
Honesty. Being open-minded means admitting to yourself, and others, that you don’t have all the answers. It involves understanding that things are not always black or white, and that there is always room for interpretation. When you admit this to yourself and accept it you are allowing yourself to live honestly and this is one of the strongest qualities that open-minded people possess.