Photo by Pedro Ribeiro Simões
“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend” ~ Henri Bergson
Keeping an open mind is one of the most difficult things to practice.
It means you are open to everyone and everything that comes your way, allowing yourself to embrace different possibilities, opportunities, people, views, suggestions and interests.
You need to be unprejudiced, without stubbornness and flexible at all times.
I try to practice this in every situation and it makes life a hell of a lot easier and less complicated. Better yet it is fun to practice. Trying to understand someone’s point of view, even when you disagree or don’t like the person very much, can change and free your mind in a way you would have never expected.
I don’t claim to master this skill, but I do see great improvement and it makes me feel powerful having the ability to change my way of thinking and not to get stuck in a mindset that makes me frustrated, angry or helpless.
Keeping an open mind is one of the best tools I use in simplifying my life.
It doesn’t mean I believe or accept everything, but I do listen, observe, feel and try to comprehend every situation on my path. It has given me, saved me and helped me many times. Try it yourself.
Here are a several ways to keep an open mind and how to benefit:
Try to understand, sympathize and make sense of someone else’s story, opinion or response. Learn to see things from his or her point of view. Keep in mind the history, education, childhood, upbringing and life circumstances of the other person. What would you say or think and how would you react if you were in the other persons shoe.
You don’t always need an answer or a solution, but it will help you to find peace with yourself and the other person.
– Black or white
There are times you might be convinced that you are 100 percent right and someone else is not. Keep an open mind that you might be wrong after all even if you think you are not. You might have overlooked something, you might not know all the details and life is not always black or white.
How do you come across to people? You might be positive that you are right, gentle, sincere, clear and tactful, but it that doesn’t always mean that that is true or that people perceive or interpretate it like that. Listen to people.
Be open to all information. Be interested in new, old, odd, unobvious insights. Read different books, magazines and blogs. Don’t limit yourself. Learn to love to learn new things. Don’t base your opinion on someone else’s judgement.
Be blank, open, unprejudiced to everything you read. At the same time you don’t need to be naive or believe everything. Just be interested, observe different angles, learn from it and leave it open for discussion. Never think you know, because you don’t. The moment you think you know something for sure you are limiting yourself.
Start today and practice the examples above in the following situations:
– Standing in line of the supermarket
– In traffic
– In waiting rooms
– Calling a help desk
– At the doctor’s
– talking with colleagues.
– When you are impatient.
Try new ways of challenging yourself. Be open to other possibilities and opportunities. Step out of your comfort zone. Discover and try different. Expand your horizon. You will never know what beautiful things are hidden around the corner that can change and upgrade your life.
We are all different human beings even if we think we have met our soul mates. In a relationship disagreements are inevitable, but the key is how you go about it.
There is no use in letting your ego speak in the middle of a (verbal) fight. It simply doesn’t work. Be calm and don’t be tempted to argue. Sometimes silence is golden. Save healthy discussion for a time when you are both in quiet and peaceful waters.
Always consider the emotional state of being of your partner. Maybe you want to talk about stuff but your partner might be in another zone worrying or thinking about issues, family, children, friends, work or tasks. You both might be in another zone. Give each other room to breath.
Consider your partner might be tired, frustrated, stressed out, helpless, hopeless or scared.
Keep an open mind especially when you are tired or stressed out yourself.
Be lighthearted and easygoing.
Discover the beauty and power of keeping an open mind. It will change and make life easier and more interesting!
“We all operate in two contrasting modes, which might be called open and closed. The open mode is more relaxed, more receptive, more exploratory, more democratic, more playful and more humorous. The closed mode is the tighter, more rigid, more hierarchical, more tunnel-visioned. Most people, unfortunately spend most of their time in the closed mode.” ~ John Cleese
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