Dare To Live Without Limits Week Of 8/8/2022

Bryan Golden

The mind is like a parachute – it works better when open.

We are born with minds that are wide open. At birth we have no preconceived notions or prejudices. We don't know how to prejudge nor do we have any biases. A child's mind is fully receptive to new concepts and ways of doing things.
With an open mind, a child is willing to experiment in order to discover the most effective way to solve problems. As a child grows up, his mind starts to close. His schooling, parents, and friends all influence his thinking process and limitations are formed.
A person's thinking becomes more limited over time. Often the person doesn't realize this is happening. They become used to living with a restricted mind. Since society supports closed minds, the person with such a mind doesn't experience much criticism.
With age, we develop preferences that cause our minds to close themselves from exploring unfamiliar possibilities. As a result, people tend to resist change and are averse to engaging in new ways of thinking. Since success, learning, and personal growth require an open mind, a closed mind is counter productive.
A closed mind puts a person at a real disadvantage. They cannot readily adapt to new and changing circumstances. They are poorly prepared to uncover and take advantage of unexpected opportunities. A person with a closed mind stagnates and misses a great deal of what life has to offer.
People tend to become friends with those they feel comfortable with. The comfort factor is enhanced when everyone shares the same mindset. The result is little exposure to new and different ideas. Consequently, there is little encouragement to open one's mind.
When a person is faced with a decision they tend to chose from a familiar set of options. These responses have developed over time as a result of the person's experiences or the influence of others. It's not unusual to hear someone say that they did something a certain way because it's how they have always done it.
Once you get into this trap you stop looking for other approaches or options. The phrase "thinking outside the box" means to look for new and innovative ideas and solutions. Your reason for doing or not doing something may have been valid at one point but may no longer be relevant.
Or, you may be basing decisions on erroneous information that you just always accepted as pertinent. You should constantly be looking for new and better ways to do things. As you learn and grow, options become available that may not have previously existed.
Those who are most successful are always looking for better ways to live. They refuse to limit their thinking to that which they already know. They consistently try and test new ideas. They seek to improve on what already exists. Since they never know where an inspiration may come from, they keep their mind open.
Fortunately, it's never too late to begin to reopen your mind. At first you may feel uneasy exposing yourself to new ideas. But in order to make progress you have to persist and move past any uncomfortable feelings.
As a start, when faced with a dilemma, let your mind explore all options without prejudging. Try to think of alternatives different from your normal set of choices. Whenever you find you’re thinking following habitual patterns, direct your mind to other avenues.
As you learn to keep your mind open, you will uncover a wonderful new world filled with unlimited potential and possibility.

NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at bryan@columnist.com or write him c/o this paper.  2022 Bryan Golden


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