Open is defined as being accessible to new ideas.
When I think about being open I think about the ability to receive something, to be receptive to information.
An open mind to me is a mind full of possibility. It provides the opportunity to be exposed to different ways of thinking.
Being open to the idea that your experience is like no other and what you believe to be true is true for you, but may not be true for someone else. Being open is accepting this as a fact.
You see, your version of the truth isn’t right or wrong it may just be different from the person in the same room as you.
To be open isn’t an attempt to change their thoughts, it is to listen and try and learn why they have come to think that way. Ask yourself, what is it about their experience that has led them to believe in what they do.
Being open is to have your perspective somewhat adjusted and for you to temporarily look through someone else’s lens. It’s about empathising with their experience.
Being open gives you the chance to learn something about yourself through the conversations you have with others.
Being open is having the awareness that your beliefs about the world are initially shaped by things outside of you, such as your: genes, upbringing, hormones, where you live, what school you went to, your friends, what you’ve witnessed, your religion, culture etc.
With that being said, initially is in bold because the factors listed are not absolute. Yes, they largely influence your ideas about life and the world around you. But at some point the onus is on you and you are responsible for what you choose to believe in. The caveat is that some people may not have this capacity, due to specific vulnerabilities, abuse, conditions, health reasons, a lack of awareness and I’m sure there is more, but I just wanted to acknowledge that.
Being open to the idea that some of your thoughts are a product of what you intentionally and unintentionally consume on e.g. via social media, the media in general, those around you, the places you have been to, what you watch, read and listen to.
Being open is to pause and reflect on the emotions you’re feeling and to think about what thoughts brought you there.
Being open minded is huge for me, and a definite green flag when connecting with others. My aim is not to persuade, agree or disagree with thoughts that are different from my own but to learn.
I’ve mentioned others throughout this post, but I think the first step is being open to and aware of your own internal experience.
A few questions you could ask yourself is:
- What is responsible for the thought I have about x?
- What thoughts do I hold on to that do not serve me?
- What are my self – limiting beliefs?
- Why do I feel this way when x is mentioned?
- What has happened in my life for me to think these thoughts?
These questions can help you examine your experience and begin the process of moving from closed inflexible stagnant thinking to more open flexible fluid thought. Merely for learning purposes over anything else.
Learning about yourself, others and the world around you seems likely a pretty useful thing to me. I hope this post encouraged you to think a little differently 🙂