One of the simplest and most powerful ideas that isn’t really taught anywhere is the willingness to change your own mind. Being able to change your mind is a superpower, and there aren’t many people out there with this unique superpower.
Why is that?
In summary: We don’t like being wrong. We love the idea that we know stuff, and having our thoughts and beliefs challenged doesn’t really make us feel good. We love to hang out with people who think and act like us.
Unfortunately, the world changes as so must we. This is where having an open mind comes in handy because an open mind is our greatest strategic advantage. It costs us nothing and rewards us with plenty:
- Faster learning;
- Freedom from limiting assumptions;
- Unexpected collaborations;
- Empathy, humility & respect;
- Less stress around what we can’t control.
To develop an open mind we must do the opposite of what feels comfortable. We must challenge ourselves. Challenge assumptions of what you think you know. More importantly, hang out with people who are different from you, who think differently; people who are open minded.
How do you recognize an open minded person? Here are 5 signs of an open mind:
- Listening to opinions that make you think hard, not just views that make you feel good;
- Choosing friends based on the decency of their behavior, not the similarity of their beliefs;
- Seeing disagreement as a chance to learn, not a threat to your ego;
- Seeking information that challenges you, not that you agree with;
- Intellectual humility.
That’s it, do it. Have the courage to be wrong.