The world becomes more interesting and far vaster when you’re open-minded. However, it can be challenging to keep an open mind.
We all have our beliefs, values, preferences, and prejudices that blind us to the truth and to new experiences. Our view of the world is tainted in ways we don’t even recognize. It’s a significant challenge to be open-minded.
Consider these advantages of becoming a more open-minded person:
- You learn more. Open-minded people are much more interested in learning about different ideas, people, places, and cultures. Close-minded people think they already know everything. They aren’t open to learning something new.
- You experience fewer negative emotions. Close-minded people are more easily annoyed and offended than are open-mind people. Open-minded people tend to have fewer negative emotions and more positive and neutral emotions.
– They more often give someone the benefit of the doubt, figuring that they might have good reasons for their actions.
- You get along better with others. Open-minded people like a greater variety of people. They are also more likeable in general and are less likely to get into disagreements and arguments.
- You have a broader range of experiences. When your mind is open to more possibilities, you’ll enthusiastically engage in new experiences. Close-minded people have much more limited lives.
- You’ll be wrong less frequently. The more open you are, the less likely you are to come to an incorrect conclusion. You’ll consider all the possibilities. You’ll also have a greater range of experiences and have learned more. All of these things will result in you being right more often!
- You have the opportunity to learn more from your mistakes. When an open-minded person makes a mistake, they can think about what went wrong on a deep level. They’ll consider that maybe they made an error in judgement, their knowledge is incorrect, or they just need more practice.
– A close-minded person, on the other hand, is less likely to consider all the possibilities for their failures, so it’s harder for them to benefit from the lesson.
- You are less limited. Anything is possible if you can only open your mind wide enough. When you have a very limited scope, you and your life are very limited, too.
- You’ll love more people, and more people will love you. Open-minded people are more accepting of others, are less likely to offend or to be offended, are potentially more interesting, and are more interested in others. All of these qualities add up to a person that has the potential to be more loving.
You can train yourself to be more open-minded with these strategies:
- Avoid reacting reflexively to the opinions of others. Rather than leap to a conclusion of the opinion of someone else, stop and think. Ask questions. Inquire why they believe that. You might learn something you either didn’t know or never considered.
- Read books on topics that are counter to your opinion. For example, if you prefer liberal ideas, read a book written by a conservative. Are you certain that global warming doesn’t exist? Read a book by a climate scientist that strongly supports the theory of global warming.
- Expose yourself to new people. We tend to hang out with people that are like ourselves. However, there are plenty of other people in the world that have something to offer that’s new for you.
- Travel. Explore new places and things. The most open-minded people tend to be those that also travel extensively. Have you ever been to a third-world country or to a place where no one looks like you? Different cultures value different things. Enjoy the adventure of traveling!
It’s challenging to become more open-minded. Close-minded people tend to find comfort in the fact that their beliefs are certainties to them. Many of them would rather not consider any other alternative. But there are so many advantages to being open-minded that it’s well worth the effort.
Try it! You might like it!