Have you wondered what people mean when they say someone is open-minded? Let us paint a scenario to you to help you understand better. You are walking to your house after a long day at work. You suddenly decide to stop by at that local grocery store to pick up a few things. As you were about pushing the door to the store, you suddenly see a man standing at the counter reaching over to take a few dollar notes by the cash register. Now, what is your impression? Would you not likely think that man is a thief? What if you decide to accuse him and he says he is the store owner? You would probably conclude in your head that you should have evaluated the situation with an open mind.
Open-mindedness means the ability to believe there is another explanation for what you are seeing or experiencing, despite the values and beliefs you have. We all grew up with strong ideas about things. If a situation does not conform to our values, we throw it out of the window. And we refuse to believe anything to the contrary. This action hurts relationships and breaks bonds that have been created over the years. There are many benefits to being an open-minded person and here are some of them:
- Better view of people: With an open mind, you tend to deal people with better understanding. You will not judge a book by its cover but rather wait for the story in the book. Nobody wants to be judged before they have a chance of telling their story.
- Better experiences: Opening your mind to other possibilities other than what you are accustomed to will give you better experiences. That is not to say you should neglect your beliefs. But seeing the world through someone else’s eyes might change your opinion on certain things. Those actions you condemned so much might be the very thing that brings color to your life.
- Better outlook on life: The mistake people with a closed mind make is they believe everything is black and white. The world is many shades of beautiful colors. You don’t have to limit your options in life because you have a closed mind. Open your mind and have hundreds of options knocking at your door.
- Better tolerance level: When you believe in just one thing, and you refuse to consider another person’s opinion, there might be a break in the relationship. We all want to feel accepted by our friends and family. With an open mind, you will have the ability to tolerate people more. That thing you find irritating will become something you overlook and just accept as part of the person.
- Better lifestyle: Happy people live their lives to the fullest because they are not weighed down by so many thoughts of “ifs,” “why’s,” and much more. When you have an open mind, the need to figure out why people act the way they do disappears. You can focus your energy on more important things like your goals, dreams, and aspirations.
It is not easy to have an open mind when you have strong beliefs and values. In fact, you might struggle with looking at the world through another person’s eyes. However, the benefits of living life with an open mind are far greater than the advantages that come with a closed mind.
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