A few weeks ago for the first time in my life I ate steamed artichoke leaves. To me, the idea of putting thistle leaves in my mouth
sounded awful and I had always managed to successfully avoid the experience. But since I was an overnight guest in the seaside home of friends, I gamely gave it a try.
What a pleasant surprise. I am totally hooked and look forward to having them again. Yes, Dr. Seuss wrote about a similar food experience in his book Green Eggs and Ham. Yes, to borrow a phrase, “Thank you. Thank you, Sam-I-am.”
The reason I share this is because the truth is, we’re all rigid in our thoughts at times. We’re rigid in our thoughts when we refuse to consider something new. Or when we insist on doing things a certain way. Or when we judge others and find them lacking. Or when we hear some words or ideas that offend us. Or when we work to serve our own interests at the expense of others.
Decisions about food are of course minor compared to your choices about the people around you. When you can keep an open mind free of judgment about the people you meet and interact with, you open your world to new possibilities. More than that, you foster tolerance and encourage those around you to keep an open mind as well.
Here are 16 reasons to keep an open mind. You may think of some others.
- Promotes empathy.
- Allows you to explore different perspectives of an issue.
- Makes it easier to accept unexpected outcomes.
- Increases your contentment with your own life.
- Is liberating.
- Lets you change your own mind.
- Helps you use new ideas to build on your old ideas.
- Makes you vulnerable.
- Gives you confidence to fail and get back up again.
- Removes bias or emotion when listening to others.
- Builds your sense of self.
- Permeates your character with honesty.
- Opens more opportunities for you.
- Makes it easier to accept criticism.
- Allows you to grow as a person.
- Removes defensiveness from your relationships.
If you’re interested in becoming more open-minded, start small. Be patient with yourself. Each week, introduce one new experience into your life. Each change you make will spark additional new experiences. The new ideas you hear will bring you new perceptions about your life and the people in it.
Life Is Honest, Open and True: Being open to change will put you in the path of new experiences that can make your life richer, your relationships with others stronger, and you a more honest, open and true person.
Can you think of some other benefits of being open-minded? What’s stopping you from being more open? Tell me about it in the comments or tweet me @lifeishotblog with the hash tag #LifeIsHOT!
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