Are You Open-Minded?
“Openness”…something about this word almost makes me think someone made it up. However, I am reading this book called Aha! 10 ways to free your creative spirit and find your great ideas. The author is Jordan Ayan, and as I was reading it, several thoughts struck me as powerful quotes that needed to be written down. The first one was this: “New ideas are like bad dreams: They can be difficult to understand and they may go against the grain of our belief systems and thus frighten us.” Wow! It occurred to me that I knew some truly frightened people out there. Don’t read into it. If this fits you, you know who you are.
Are you tuned in?
The next thought I wanted to explore was this: “Openness also pertains to being aware of and ‘tuned in’ to the coincidences of life. A closed mind shuts out the chance meetings and events that often become opportunities for discovery and invention.” How open am I to new experiences? Food? People? Most of my friends would rate me pretty high on this scale I think. Want to go to a new restaurant? Of course! So and so wants to come along. Sure, why not? I have an idea. Want to try this? Count me in. I have two tickets to a band you don’t listen to on a regular basis, but they sound cool. Who wants to go? Me, me! Yup. It was bluegrass. Don’t laugh. You know who you are. I wanted to play the banjo for a while after that. Anyway, in researching the word “openness”, I came across this personality test based on the Big Five. It really was free, and did not require any personal information before showing me my results. I wanted to take it before I told you about it.
Do you take risks?
Lastly, I wanted to share this thought: “Risk taking is tied to your comfort zone. If you are tolerant of risks, you give yourself permission to leave your comfort zone to encounter new ideas, people, and information that can enhance your creativity.” Paraphrasing here, but likewise if you are risk averse you will stay within your comfort zone, forsaking the potential challenges that might inspire you to new ideas and new experiences. I loved the use of the word forsaking here. Abandoning or to turn one’s back on new ideas for fear of the “potential challenges”. If this is you, please get out a notebook right now, journal every idea you have ever wanted to try, and write down why you didn’t do it. What is your fear? Then cross off that fear and look at it in a whole new way. What if that obstacle was removed? Would you be able to do it then? Okay, for me, that obstacle is money. My number one dream is travel. I am working on it. I really am, but I also know I am procrastinating, and perhaps even “forsaking” my dream if I wait much longer. So, I am working on a plan. That’s where I will leave you today. Make your plan. Change your life. Take control of your fears.
“By all means let’s be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.” – Richard Dawkins