What would happen if you were more open-minded to everything you hear, see and experience? Would it hurt your ego to learn better ways to do things? Would you be surprised to learn others are smarter than you? Would you accept better, more efficient ways of doing things you’ve done for years?
There is a line in one of the Harry Potter movies when Hermione is making fun of Professor Trelawney, when she says in a mocking voice, “Broaden your minds. Use your inner eye to see the future.” We’re not talking about seeing the future. We are referencing, though, the ability to recognize when we don’t know something as well as we thought we did.
Here are several benefits of open-mindedness. Take each benefit and apply it to your life. At the end of this list, you will see how being open-minded can improve your life.
1. More efficient – Close-minded dads don’t follow the instructions on how to put together a child’s toy. Instead of getting the toy put together in 10 minutes, your daughter is crying because for 30 minutes you have to tell her to wait while you figure it out. Use the directions!
You learned to use a computer by using the mouse to activate commands on the computer screen. The mouse is one of the most inefficient aspects of computing. Keyboard short cuts can decrease your time to do almost anything on the computer.
If you will be open-minded to new ways of doing things, imagine the efficiency you will gain. More efficiency means more productivity. More efficiency means less time spent. If you could leave work 15 minutes earlier each day and beat rush hour home, would that be important to you? Of course it would. Be open-minded and be efficient.
2. More details – Close-minded people rush through projects because they want to see the end product as quickly as possible. Open-minded people enjoy the process and focus on the details so the end product is as good as possible.
If you follow the instructions that come with the model car, you will be more efficient putting it together. Better yet, it will look better when you are finished because you will have paid attention to all of its details. I suffered from this as a child. I put together model cars and planes all the time but I wanted to be done rather than enjoying the process. My models never were as detailed as the pictures on the boxes. Be open-minded and be more detailed.
3. More insight – Close-minded people know what they know and don’t want to know anything else. Open-minded people always want to learn more. They want to learn the whys and hows. Close-minded people just want to do.
Don’t you want to understand why someone does something and how something works? Ask questions. Imagine the conversations you can have if you’re interested in the other person. To be interesting, you first have to be interested. Be open-minded and gain insight.
4. More success – Close-minded people blame others for their plight. Open-minded people don’t blame anyone; they decide on an action and take it. Action-takers reach higher levels of success. Why? No success will come from sitting and whining. Success is the result of an action. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, right?
To be successful, you need to work hard, provide value and solve a problem. You can do that by being an employee or creating a business. Success also does not equate to monetary wealth. You can have success in your family, your spirituality or your relationships. They all require being open-minded. Be open-minded and achieve success.
5. Better relationships – Close-minded people have few meaningful relationships. Open-minded people create deep relationships with many people. Why? Relationships are based on trust, communication and interest. Open-minded people display all three of these characteristics.
A new employee from another area of the company is starting today. The HR manager asks you to take the new employee to lunch because her manager is out of the office. As a manager, the HR manager thinks you are the best alternative. It’s a free lunch so of course you honor the request.
You introduce yourself to the new employee, Emily, and ask her preference for lunch. She says she is new to town but would like to try something local if its feasible. You’re more of a sub sandwich type of person but you oblige and take her to a nice locally owned family establishment. The moment you step off the elevator, Emily begins asking question after question regarding the office culture and her new co-workers. It’s almost annoying how many questions she has.
You have two choices for the remainder of lunch. You either answer her questions and provide as much valuable information to her as possible because, as you remember, you were the new employee at one time and acted the same way. Or, you answer her questions but very directly and don’t ask any questions or provide any other information, either about yourself, the city or your company.
In essence, you can be open-minded or close-minded to Emily. If you choose the former, you have the chance to create a long-lasting relationship with Emily. She will never forget her first encounter with you. If you choose the latter, she will never forget her first encounter with you but it will be in a completely negative context. Be open-minded and enjoy great relationships.
6. Better job – Close-minded people suffer each day because they hate their jobs. Open-minded people enjoy each day because they find the silver lining in every cloud. Do you love your job? Do you think you’re too good for your job? You deserve exactly what job you have. If you deserved a better job, you would go out and get it.
Open-minded people will find enjoyment no matter the situation because they are happy people. They will say they love their jobs to convince themselves they do. Or, they will take action and create an opportunity to get better jobs. They won’t sit and complain. Be open-minded and enjoy a better job.
Wow…do you see the benefits of being an open-minded person? These are just six benefits. There are several more I will include in later posts. Of these six benefits, which is the most beneficial? In my opinion, it’s having better relationships. If your relationships are sound, you will be a happy person. Relationships make the world go round.
Think about what other benefits there are to being open-minded. You will be surprised at how many you can think of. Please let me know by entering a comment below or contacting me @BertPurdy or via email at email@example.com.
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