Are You Open-Minded or Close-Minded?

What if I told you someone took a hundred bucks from the cash register at the supermarket. How would you feel/think? Would you look down on them? Would you be mad that they just took the money while you go to work and earn your money? Would you feel sorry for them? Now what if I told you that person owns the store and was going to give the money to a family who was homeless? Would your opinion change about that person? Obviously yes!

When people are closed minded, they jump to conclusions. They only believe that there is only one answer or solutions. I used to be pretty close-minded when I was younger. I thought I was right when I wasn’t. Things changed as I grew older especially during my days at Xaviers college and with the Jesuits.

So the question we ask ourselves today is am I open-minded or close-minded?

According to the billionaire Ray Dalio’s book, Principles, a close minded person:

  • blocks others from speaking.
  • lacks a deep sense of humility.
  • doesn’t like their ideas challenged.
  • rarely asks questions, prefers statements.
  • has a focus on being understood rather than to understand.
  • holds closely to what he believes and isn’t willing to change.
  • has more interest in being proven right than hearing other perspectives.
  • has trouble having two conflicting thoughts in their head at the same time.
  • starts off by saying, “I could be wrong, but…” to convince himself and others he’s open-minded when he isn’t.

Whereas, an open -minded person:

  • genuinely believes he could be wrong.
  • is compelled to see through others’ eyes.
  • is more interested in listening than speaking.
  • approaches everything with the belief he may be wrong.
  • is curious and isn’t angry when there’s disagreement.
  • knows when to make statements and when to ask questions.
  • is capable of holding two conflicting thoughts in his head and assessing relative merits.

The key difference between open minded and close minded people is in their willingness to adopt new ideas and beliefs, ways of life, or practices. It can be as small as trying a new cuisine to as big as living in a new country.

One of Ray Dalio’s main principles is radical open mindedness and transparency. He explains that in order to achieve your goals, you need to set aside your ego and find the truth of how to get there. To do this, you have to get the perspective of different people with knowledge and ways of seeing the world that are different from you. That way, you can account for factors you didn’t even consider.

Being more open-minded is tough. When you’re in the moment, and swept up with emotion, you don’t want to even consider someone else’s perspective.

When the storms appear…
raining down on your parade
Be Open-minded

When hate fills the air
Snatching love’s sweet melody
Be Open-minded

When called a manqué
By life’s hurt and feckless souls
Be Open-minded

As you gain mastery
Untainted by flawed precepts
Stay Open-minded

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