The photo above comes from a Positively Present's website post that offers a list of six things that open-minded people do. I endorse their suggestions, which are absolutely related to my idea below.
If you've been a CaritaGardiner.com reader for a while, you might remember that I wrote a post called "Why Look Down" (9/22/2021) and another one called "Why Look Up and Look Around" (3/9/2022), so I thought I'd turn the duo into a trio with a different take, not on where to look but on how to look.
This week I've been thinking about how we see what we look for. I heard a podcast a while ago (and I can't link it because I don't remember which podcast it was) about how scientists' studies often find what they're looking for. I don't mean that they get the answers they want, because if that were true, we'd certainly have cures for cancer and systemic racism and other ills by now. Instead, I mean that people find answers only to the questions they ask. If our perspectives and queries are limited, the range of results we'll collect will also be limited.
There are so many advantages to keeping one's mind open, and this ability to find out more about what we don't know that we don't know seems an important one. But how, you might wonder, can we fill in these blind spots if we don't know that they exist? How can we approach life with an openness when our brains fill in gaps?
In addition to following the six steps advised in the website linked to the photo above, I'd suggest asking lots of questions, especially when you think you already know the singular answer. Here's a hint: if you think there's only one answer, you're likely missing something. Often, by listening to other people's suggestions about how to approach an issue, I get a more complete image of what's involved. If I ask a binary question, I get a simple answer, but if I rephrase to an open-ended inquiry, I might find out something I hadn't considered.
When's a time you benefitted from keeping an open mind? Better yet, let me know what I've left out of this post because I don't know what I don't know. Please share any thoughts in the comments.
4 thoughts on “230. Why Look Open-Mindedly”
love this one!
Thanks! It loves you right back!
I love the idea of keeping an open mind a bit longer. I tend to make quick decisions or judgments. I’m going to try to extend that open-mind moment.
The tricky part is that it’s hard for me to notice, in the moment, that I’m working on a quick assumption. If you come up with a good way to extend open-mindedness, please share. (This is one of my aspirational posts. I’m still a work-in-progress!)