Many years ago, Albert Einstein said: “The mind is a parachute, it only works when it is opened”. The question is whether we can develop positively as people with a closed mind.
Throughout this article we will talk about how to open your mind , as well as the importance of open-mindedness and the benefits of being open to change.
The flexible mentality
It is obvious that living life with an open mind can provide us with many benefits and advantages, both in experiencing positive emotions and in perceiving and taking advantage of the countless opportunities that are available to us.
Keeping an open mind is basic to personal wellbeing and stress management, as well as facilitating the achievement of our vital objectives and maintaining a good relationship with the rest of society. In the end, it is our ability to adapt cognitively and emotionally to those changes in life to which we cannot remain indifferent, living with our old habits and mental shortcuts.
Although the concept “open-mindedness” refers to a personality trait, it can be trained and developed through different techniques and steps, helping us to be more open to change, flexible and understanding.
In the work environment, having an open mind is extremely useful in those jobs that require creativity or that are related to science and research. On the other hand, in our daily lives, keeping an open mind helps us to live without prejudice .
6 steps to open our minds
As mentioned above, although open-mindedness is a personality trait, it can be exercised and improved, thus bringing us several benefits at the personal, social and professional levels.
Next we will see a series of techniques or methods that can help us develop open-mindedness.
1. Practice listening
Listening to other people gives us a great deal of information about what surrounds us and, most importantly, provides us with other views about life that can give us another perspective on certain aspects of our world.
However, listening does not mean hearing. This listening must be active, eliminating our prejudices and allowing other people to express their opinions. Always from the respect of both sides.
2. Questioning things and ourselves
This includes both our surroundings and our own beliefs. Maintaining a critical stance with ourselves and with what surrounds us is fundamental to developing open-mindedness, since this does not imply that we have to blindly accept or believe everything that surrounds us .
People tend to assume as true what the media or society transmit to us, as well as not to question what we have always believed.
However, to develop and maintain an open mind it is necessary that, from time to time, we reflect on and question our own decisions, beliefs and customs, as well as the information that comes to us from other media.
3. Leave the comfort zone
Usually, people tend to stay in those places or situations where they feel safe, where the risks do not exist and where the unexpected appear as few times as possible .
In this way, the person maintains a routine without contingencies or shocks, but also without incentives or motivations, and with the risk of developing a dependency on what provides us with this security.
This is called the “comfort zone” and although it is positive to some extent, we should not settle into it. A good way to get out of our comfort zone is to make small changes and actions that help us to get out of it little by little.
These small changes will give rise to bigger ones and little by little we will get used to living new experiences that will help us develop other perspectives of all that surrounds us and expand the vision of our reality.
4. Don’t be afraid to be different
This step is closely related to the previous two. Assuming as our own the habits and behaviours imposed by society , will not help us to develop open-mindedness.
In order to get rid of them, the first step is to eliminate the fear of being different from the rest, as well as to take away the importance of what the rest of the people may think of us.
5. Don’t be afraid of mistakes
At the very moment we decide to step out of our comfort zone and open our minds to other beliefs or life experiences, we must accept that we may be wrong at many points in our lives.
However, this cannot be a barrier to improving our well-being. Making mistakes gives us the opportunity to learn from our mistakes , and these lessons will help us develop and grow as more complete people.
Therefore, it is necessary to get rid of the fear of being wrong. Since it is impossible to develop an open mind if fear conditions us both to think and to act.
6. Opening up to our surroundings
The world around us, people, things, nature, can serve as a stimulus and inspiration for any area of our life .
Learning from other people and cultures will bring us new ideas and insights that can serve us well in the future. And doing so on an ongoing basis will help us keep an open mind and enjoy our lives much more.
Benefits of keeping an open mind
Once we are aware of what we want to achieve and the steps or techniques we need to follow to achieve it, we can start enjoying all those benefits that an open mind can provide.
Among the advantages of open-mindedness are the following:
- Ability to enjoy life to the fullest.
- Greater productivity and excellence at work.
- Ability to assume changes and carry them out successfully.
- Improve the quality of our relationships.
- Be aware of new opportunities .
- Ability to solve problems more easily.