Is “being right” a top priority for you? Do you take offense if someone asks you the why question or would like further explanation? What is your reaction when someone disagrees with you?
The real question is: Are you closed- or open-minded?
Wait! Before you answer, take a few minutes to do a little assessment.
- Go back to your last 5 social media posts that espoused political, life-balance, or spiritual ideas. It could be an original post by you or your response to someone else’s post. Maybe it’s a quote that you felt needed to be shared.
- Re-read it and note the tone and emotion expressed. Did it shout? Was it disdainful or angry? Was it mocking or like a verbal eye roll? Was it a gif of an eye roll?
- Now ask yourself: Is what I expressed the real deal, or have I simply learned to talk the talk, to look the part of being open-minded?
A great article, The Difference Between Open-Minded and Closed-Minded People, is another way to see which camp you fit best in. I found this quick, 6-minute read on the Farnam Street blog, a great place to find nutritious brain food.
Here are a few quotes to whet your appetite:
- The ability to change your mind is a superpower. The rate at which you learn and progress in the world depends on how willing you are to weigh the merit of new ideas, even if you don’t instinctively like them. Perhaps especially if you don’t like them.
- Open-minded people see disagreement as a thoughtful means to expand their knowledge.
- “The human mind is a lot like the human egg, and the human egg has a shut-off device. When one sperm gets in, it shuts down so the next one can’t get in.” It’s our nature to close our minds around our favorite ideas, but this is not the ideal way to think and learn.
- I have one more thing to add: Being open-minded does not mean that you spend an inordinate amount of time considering patently bad ideas just for the sake of open-mindedness.
Got 6 minutes? It’s worth the read.