When Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, was this act considered menial, degrading, or humiliating?
Have you ever been tasked with something others considered demeaning, impossible, or a waste of time? I have x3.
In these situations, I quickly learned that once I set aside my prejudices and embraced the task with an open mind, I reaped tremendous benefit. Adopting an open mindset helped me discover a road untraveled paved with opportunities and endless adventures.
Join me in exploring 9 benefits of having an open mind:
- Become enlightened. The Bible speaks of the “eyes of your understanding being enlightened” (Ephesians 1:18). A great truth about God is that He is open-minded, even with those who are close-minded towards Him. God is passionate about people, even those who deny His existence. He is excited when we discover our life’s purpose and passionately pursue it. Being spiritually enlightened requires that we be open to God’s word and vision for our lives. When we partner with God, we gain wisdom and understanding regarding our purpose on earth. Open-mindedness unlocks the door to purposeful living.
- Learn and grow. Living with an open mind helps us to learn and grow. It empowers us to be proactive and solution-oriented, allowing every situation, circumstance, and person to be our teacher … this is when real growth and transformation happens.
- Discover new opportunities. Some have said, “An open mind is a theatre of opportunities.” A person with a closed mind tends to see difficulties, not opportunities. An open mind seeks out opportunities and sees life as a basket of possibilities: every task becomes an opportunity to learn and to add value. With this mindset, life is full of promise.
- Step out of our comfort zone. Being open-minded is one of the most difficult things to practice. Most of us are raised with certain belief systems and core values that keep us confined in familiar spaces, around familiar faces; when faced with conflicting ideas or beliefs, we may struggle to be accommodating and accepting. Adopting an open mindset forces us to step out of our comfort zones into unfamiliar places. This has the benefit of enlarging our sphere of influence, making our interactions with others more impactful.
- Gain confidence. When faced with a daunting task, a close-minded person would respond, “I can’t;” an open-minded person would say, “Tis better to try and fail, then to have never tried at all.” With this attitude, each successful attempt builds confidence, until you start believing, “Nothing is truly impossible, after all!”
- Gain humility. Living with an open mind gives you the confidence to say, “I don’t know.” Sometimes we confuse “not knowing” with mediocrity. Whenever I’ve admitted my vulnerabilities and been bold enough to say, “I don’t know,” I’ve discovered great freedom: liberty from needing to have all the answers and openness to new information and ideas.
- Increase creativity. Natural creativity and open-minded thinking are like 2 peas in a pod. To be open-minded, our minds need the freedom to explore new territory. Creativity helps develop right-brain thinking, enabling us to think outside the box. Whenever possible, practice and develop your creativity: daydream, explore new life experiences, volunteer or participate in creative projects.
- Develop new friendships. Seeking out new friendships and relationships requires a certain level of tolerance, openness, and acceptance. Open-minded people look at the heart of a person and not the outward appearance. They see people beyond their titles and labels. With an open mind, we’re more likely to meet new people with unconventional appearances and foreign accents, thereby expanding our networks and social circles.
- Make life more fun. Having an open mind allows us to see the world as a vast place full of possibilities. It awakens curiosity and joie de vivre. Each day becomes this wonderful new adventure, making life more fun and enjoyable.
So, how do we practice having an open mind? Here are 9 “easy” ways:
- Pray, meditate on God’s word, and seek His face
- Learn something new: language, skill, course
- Step outside your comfort zone; face your fears
- Nurture your creativity: pursue hobbies, writing, reading, art, music, basically anything that requires you to be creative
- Meet new people and increase your social circle
- Take time to daydream
- Expand your travels and activities
- Practice empathy and exercise tolerance towards others: do to others what you would have them do to you
- Visit art museums and cultural centers
How do you practice being open-minded? What lessons have you learned about being open-minded?
If you keep your eyes open enough, oh, the stuff you will learn! The most wonderful stuff! ~ Dr. Seuss