The Importance of an Open Mind

In addition to keeping things in perspective, trying to limit petty upsets, and a few other mindful habits…keeping an open mind has brought peace to my life in a really big way.

The result of the presidential election has been distressful and shocking for many people, including myself. When my brother texted me Wednesday morning that Trump won, I cried. For the women, the ethnic minorities, the LGBTQ community, and any other group that has been targeted in Trump’s campaign. I legitimately believed that he’d discriminate against these people in his public policy, I still do, but upon some introspection I realized something: where the government falls short, the people take over. If he discriminates against people, it’s our time to stand up and advocate for our rights. Also, I’m pretty sure that Congress/President Obama will be able to reel him in.

Then, the other day, I met with a tutor for the first time ever in my entire life. I’m reading around the topic of Finite Math in my spare time currently to better prepare myself for when I re-take it next quarter and I needed some help understanding some concepts. Now things didn’t exactly go anywhere near as planned. At first, I couldn’t even find the tutor. Then, by the time I figured out who he probably was, I was almost too flustered to go back at all. But I told myself that he’d probably understand my confusion and, if he was mean or not helpful, I’d know not to book him again!

A big component of my open-mindedness is my eagerness to learn not just what does work, but what doesn’t work. Thomas Edison put it beautifully when he said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10000 ways that won’t work.” Failure doesn’t always have to be this negative thing that ends all. I’d go so far as to say that we should be just as excited when we fail, compared to when we succeed, because we’re one step closer to success and that’s genuine progress.

Then, there’s the positivity aspect of open-mindedness. It sounds cheesy and it’s super cliche, I know, but you really can do anything if you believe. Truly and wholeheartedly believe. Yesterday, I sat with my philosophy essay on my computer confounded on how I’d ever get it to 1500 words let alone 1000. I’m now at 1460 and I’ve yet to write a conclusion.

Telling yourself that you can’t actually affects your brain. By saying that something is too difficult or impossible, you’re reinforcing that notion that it’s out of reach. Remember: your brain can’t tell the difference between reality and your thoughts. That’s why imagining yourself practicing a sport, for example, actually can help you improve at that sport. It’s a well known fact in the field of psychology. Therefore, telling yourself that you can do something facilitates you actually doing that thing. Not because some self-help guru said so but because your brain is wired that way.

Now…another slightly more obvious aspect of an open mind is the ability to accept all kinds of people. And I mean all kinds. Liberals often make the mistake of saying that they’re open-minded because they accept the LGBT community, for example, but they don’t accept the people against the LGBT community. I’m not 100% innocent of this either but I make an active attempt to listen to the other side once in a while at the very least. I can say that doing this has taught me a whole lot not only about other people’s views but how to be humble and patient. I think both of these traits are something that everyone can use in their everyday lives to be a little healthier and warmer.

To sum it up, having an open mind helps me achieve my full potential, it brings me inner peace, and it brings me closer to the truth. That’s why it’s so important to me to keep one on a daily basis! How does open-mindedness help you lovelies? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked what you read, don’t hesitate to stop on by my blog for more like it!

~Live boundless.

3 thoughts on “The Importance of an Open Mind”

  1. A lovely and inspiring post. You are so right, it is easy to be think we are open minded when we feel we are on the side of ‘rightness’, non-judgmental and inclusive people. But how often do we stop to consider the differing, and what we might consider extreme and discriminatory viewpoints of others. Their beliefs and vehemently held views may be poles apart from our own, but we cannot claim to be open minded if we discount them as human beings. Their views may come from a very different place than our own, we may find them offensive, but opening ourselves to trying to understand the roots of where these views germinated can only help in bringing people together rather than forcing further saddening divisions. Thank you for helping me think about that today.

    • Exactly. We’re all a product of our environments, so we shouldn’t be snooty or proud that we celebrate diversity because — if we grew up in a less diverse place — our opinions would be different. The question now is how to bring everyone together.

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