Every now and then a man’s mind is stretched by a new idea or sensation,
and never shrinks back to its former dimensions.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr
Feeling a bit stuck in life? Work? Relationships?
You might need to think about being more open-minded about things There is a certain comfort in being set in our ways. However, opening our minds to other possibilities for new opportunities, knowledge, adventure, and even relationships could bring greater fulfillment and happiness to life.
What’s Your Motivation
To make it possible for you to embrace new ideas, that we push ourselves to try new things. But before you start, ask yourself why you want to become more open? Are you committed to it? Are you willing to take action, even if it’s a bit uncomfortable, to make that happen?
Pick One Place to Start
Which areas of your life do you want to open up to new ideas?
Perhaps you’ve grown bored with eating the same things all the time, and desire some variation in the menu. A simple and realistic approach is to commit to trying one new food or recipe every week.
Start with one small area to open up to new ideas, and then gradually include more areas of your life. Starting small helps us ease into having an open mind, instead of the sudden jolt of trying to change several things or everything at once.
1. Think First.
- Push back against the urge to react in anger when you hear differing opinions, things you might not totally agree with.
- Instead, take a breath, step back, and embrace the wisdom that everyone will not hold agree with you about everything.
- Ask questions. Try putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and see things from their perspective.
2. Remain Receptive.
- Work to avoid closing yourself off from new information.
- Welcome new situations.
- Think of your exposure to differing opinions as learning experiences. You won’t agree with everything and everyone. But, you might learn something!
3. Step Out.
- Make efforts to journey out of your comfort zone often.
- If you have certain anxieties about new situations, you should still take this step, but make these changes slowly.
- Go to new places, meet some new people, and check out new things to try.
4. Interact, Network.
- Stay social and make new friends.
- You’ll find that you’re more likely to discover new opportunities to try new things when you remain social.
- Your friends might be trying new things that they can introduce you to as well.
- Also, when you make a new friend, they’ll likely have a unique set of interests for you to learn about to broaden your horizons.
Introvert to ambivert, sort of. I was much, much shyer and more introverted when I was younger. At the beginning of college, when I didn’t know anyone, one day, I intentionally started introducing myself to more people, entering into conversations, etc. This was a difficult and uncomfortable transition for me. By stepping out of my comfort zone, I was risking rejection, and being locked out of the non-academic side of life at college. The flip-side is that I would have intentionally locked myself out of making some great friends, brilliant study partners, and people to build life-long memories alongside.
5. If you don’t know, ASK.
- Stop being so afraid of asking questions.
- Often the only way to learn more about a situation and maintain an open mind is to ask a lot of questions to better understand.
- While you don’t want to intrude on someone’s personal life, if they’re willing to share information, you should be equally as willing and eager to listen.
6. If you haven’t done it before, TRY.
- Avoid making random assumptions about things.
- Go out and live an experience before you become set in your opinions.
- Rather than blindly believing what someone else says, or assuming that you won’t like it, find out for yourself if you like something or not.
- This exercise might be as simple as trying new foods, activities, or hobbies.
When we choose to keep a positive attitude and open our minds to new experiences, we can open ourselves up to fresh discoveries almost daily. It’s a great way to keep your life fun and add a little excitement to it!
What are you willing to try this week? Share in the chat…