HOW TO HAVE AN OPEN MIND
That sounds stupid, I won’t eat that, I won’t watch that; how many of you have heard these phrases before? I am guessing many of you. Having an open mind is one of the most difficult things to do. Before we get started, let me say that this is an area all of us need to work on. It is not easy to have an open mind, for numerous reasons.
Having an open mind usually requires us to abandon conventional wisdom, and this can be a hard thing to do. However, I have discovered some ways that can help you become more mentally flexible to things around you and experience all of the wonderful things that the world has to offer. Here are three ways to have an open mind.
1. Travel More
I know this tip may seem obvious, but it really works. Travelling around the world and meeting people from all walks of life will force you to have an open mind. You will quickly discover that people from different cultures lead lives that are completely different from what you are used to. You will discover new ways of looking at things from a social perspective. For instance, I remember the time when my family and I visited Jordan.
When we arrived there, the first thing that stood out was the way the locals treated us. They were very welcoming, and they invited us to spend time in their local shopping markets and experience life in Jordan. It was an eye-opening experience for me and my family and we left Jordan with a new perspective on life. Traveling works!
2. Try eating foods from other cultures
Eating different foods is a great way to experience what different cultures have to offer. Depending on where you live, this second tip may be easy or difficult to carry out. Nevertheless, if you have the opportunity to try foods from cultures that are different from your own, it can open a whole new world to you. The majority of cultures in the world regard food as a symbol of identity. It’s important that you try to understand the philosophy that goes behind the cuisines of different countries in the world.
For example, I am an African-American living in Italy that enjoys eating African and Chinese food. But given the fact that I live in Italy, I try to try different Italian dishes every time I get the opportunity to do so. Each time I try something new, I discover a new hidden gem of what the Italian culture has to offer. My advice to you is to try as many different foods as possible in order to have a broader mind.
3. Expand your social circle
My third tip may be a touchy area for some people, but to paraphrase the motivational speaker Tony Robbins; “if your friends look like you, you have a lousy social life”. Tony makes a strong point that I conquer with. Many of us don’t realize that we limit ourselves from meeting new people because we too caught up with being in our social circles. The truth is, if the people you hang out with look and talk like you, you are missing out on meeting people from all walks of life that can open you up to new ways of seeing the world.
I am not suggesting that you get rid of your friends, instead I’m advocating that you make a concerted effort to meeting people that are different from you. Remember that you will learn more from others than you can from hanging out with people that are similar to you. My tip is to try to converse with people that you normally wouldn’t, you will be surprised at some of the things you will be able to learn just by opening yourself to meeting new people.
I’d like to hear from you, what are some of the countries you have visited and the cultures you have experienced?