Where Do You Go?
When stuck in my thinking, there is something about staring out at the ocean that opens my mind to possibilities. I’m not sure if it’s hearing the rhythmic fall of the waves, wondering what lies beyond the horizon, or the dolphins that arc above the water that have me look below the surface … it all conspires to help me be more receptive and curious. I often leave with new ideas and perspectives.
It’s hard to argue against the value of being open. Being open promotes self-awareness and personal growth, pushes us to think beyond what “we know”, helps us to see new perspectives … the list goes on. The challenge is how to keep an open mindset in the midst of daily living when our brain takes its shortcuts to keep things moving along.
Here are some actions to nurture an open mindset:
- Call on your inner child. A child is naturally curious. Ask questions, learn new things, and lightly hold your judgment.
- Practice active listening. Don’t take things at face value. Seek to understand what is being said and empathize where you can. You don’t have to agree with what someone is saying; however, there is usually some common ground you can build on. Choose that.
- Challenge your thoughts. Our brains make assumptions based on our beliefs and experiences. Seek to identify your unconscious biases (we all have them). Play with ideas and perspectives which are different than yours.
- See failure as a learning point. If you think about it, you’ll find that your past mistakes offered the most growth. What else is waiting to be learned?
- Accept the complexity in the world. Few things are actually ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Multiple perspectives exist and it is fascinating to explore how others view things.
This isn’t a one and done. We have the potential to constantly evolve and open our minds to new thoughts and experiences. It can be quite an adventure.
Go out and explore.
This Week’s Challenge: Play with one of the actions above and see how your mindset changes. This is a muscle that needs more exercise at first; keep at it and it will become more natural.
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