Herald: Being Open minded and flexible – Oherald

Posted: June 12, 2020 at 1:47 am


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12 Jun 2020 | 05:44am IST

Ibonio DSouza

Dont we admire and adore those rare few we come across who have an open-minded and flexible outlook on life? We admire them because people who are open-minded and flexible feel confident and can never get bent out of shape. Indeed, this positive and creative outlook is so essential for welfare of humanity that without it we place our planet and ourselves in great peril.

Oppressive regimes inflict terror and deny human rights because they believe that their way is the only way. Claiming to be the representatives of God on earth, some religious leaders act in the most ungodly fashion. What about our society? Are we able to see things from different perspectives? Can we solve problems in new ways? Can we understand and appreciate the view points of others? If so, why there are so many divorces? How can husbands and wives arrive at a consensus when their thinking, attitude, and perspective are so rigid? Saying I am right and you are wrong is nothing more than an expression of intolerance, narrow-mindedness and rejection.

Being open-minded to new or different ideas allows us to adjust to a changing environment. Much of the stress we experience in life is due to the inability to accept changes. But accept it we must, for it is both inevitable and the very nature of life. When a Mozart symphony suddenly takes a twist in a new direction, we do not get upset because we were not prepared for it. On the contrary, we are delighted by the surprise. Life is not different. It s a symphony. Those who are flexible relish its many twists and turns, ups and downs, ambiguities and uncertainties.

With open-mindedness we learn from past mistakes and willingness to take risks. Sometimes, prominent persons are criticised for changing their minds. They lack consistency and have no strength of conviction, it is argued. But what are minds for, if not for changing? Changing ones mind is not a sign of weakness, but of flexibility and growth. Flexibility promotes mental and physical health because it frees us from stress.

How to cultivate open-mindedness and flexibility? When you are inclined to dismiss someones view point, remember you too may change your opinion in the near future. Therefore, remain open. The more ideas you have to draw upon, the flexible, creative and solution oriented you will become.

Explore different options. When trying to reach a goal why not try a new way of getting there? Step out of the box and choose a different path or option that could lead to a new outcome. Expand beyond traditions to embrace new experiences and ideas outside of your psychological and cultural comfort zones. Instead of reacting to our challenges, we must take time to look at our options more objectively and respond creatively.

The flexibility of mind is a conscious choice, a powerful skill and a valuable approach to the ever changing, always evolving world we live in. We can be firm in our convictions, passionate about our beliefs, and clear about our intentions, and at the same time be flexible enough to make significant changes and be open to new ideas along the way.

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Herald: Being Open minded and flexible - Oherald

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June 12th, 2020 at 1:47 am

Posted in Mental Attitude