It took me a while to name this value of mine. I could not decide between curiosity and openness.
So I melted them 🙂
People that have an open mind are curious, about the world, other people and about themselves.
They need to see new parts of the world and are travellers, not tourists, since they immerse in a new culture and lifestyle, talk to the inhabitants and feel this experience is an enrichment. These characters usually enjoy sharing stories about themselves as well as listening to others’ life stories. I love doing this, even though I am still learning to be a good listener and give feedback about what I’ve just learned. Or maybe exactly because of this process that is challenging me?
After all, openminded means also hat you continue to challenge yourself and don’t want to stand still. I often find students that ask a lot of questions and subsequently question the immediate answers given annoying at first – until the moment I realise their brain is more flexible than others’ brains so they demand a more complicated answer. Hell, I often annoy myself when I am asking too many questions and no answer satisfies me – yet the quest sometimes makes me move forward and changes my ways of perceiving the world, people, me.
Talking to people openly more often than not changes my perception, too. At work, for example, when I perceive my lessons through another teacher’s eyes and we share problems that occurred or discuss solutions, I feel like I take something with me. Or when I think of my dates – the ones I connected to easily were often the men willing to share and open up (at least I knew what kind of person was sitting there…;), though I did not always agree with the things said.) Each one of them taught me a lesson, in a good way, though I was not always grateful for it at that time. Yet I felt I let them in in a way.
And I was open for their world and curious to get to know them.
However, being open to different views and lifestyles and cultures, to poetry slams and travelling and trying new food or participating in a coaching workshops, allows new ideas and perspectives into my life. If they settle in me, something is set in motion and I feel a change. This change often makes me curious so I want to find out more, and so I am open to more new input. So again… you get the picture. If the mind is open, there is no standstill.
Of course, allowing yourself to be open and curious and life to challenge you is demanding. Exhausting. Challenging. At times so frustrating that I just want an offswitch and not change or grow. Press pause.
I still feel it is better than not being openminded. I have closed myself off before, and sometimes this old habit seems pretty alluring and simple; yet I don’t want to go back. Neither do I want people in my life that allow me to do so or even to hide out. Open my mind instead!
… to be continued.