Daily Delight

Saturday, January 3, 2015

{"I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than closed by belief." -Gerry Spence}

How to Live an Authentic Life: Day 3: How to Foster an Open Mind

For some, living with an open mind is just as easy as taking a single breath. For others, however, it's a challenge. When we decide how we feel about something, many of us are not open to hearing how others feel about it- especially when the conversation is centered on the things we are deeply passionate about. Listening to the perspectives of others is one of the best things we can do for ourselves, however, because such conversations can be eye-openers that give us a perspective to view life in a way we have never considered before. This is why open-mindedness is one of the most important qualities to have. God can reveal many things through conversation, so be open to it. 

Here are some ways to foster an open mind: 

1) Let go of control. When you open your mind, you free yourself from the responsibility of having to be in total control of your thoughts. You allow yourself to listen to ideas and thoughts that are not yours, which also challenges you to further solidify or change the beliefs you currently have. Letting go of control does not mean you will change your beliefs for sure, but it does guarantee an opportunity to reinforce your beliefs more strongly or to change them with open ears. 

2) Listen more than you talk. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. We do not learn new ideas while our own mouths are moving. Rather, we learn new ideas when we listen. Stop texting. Stop typing. Stop multitasking. And stop interrupting. Listen with your undivided attention and speak when it's your turn.

3) Cultivate gratitude and thank people for their suggestions. Show gratitude to people when someone else besides you has a great idea. 

Living with an open mind does not mean that you will never come to any convictions in life. It just means that you are leaving space to continue learning about the life God has given you. We don't have all the answers, so why act like we do? Be open to people, even if they aren't open to you. I can guarantee you'll learn to love life a whole lot better if you do. 


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