Step Five: Be Open-Minded
"Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the fortune." - John F. Kennedy
I must admit that Christians can be some of the most close-minded people on earth. Being open-minded is a necessity to move forward into your new life.
You must be open-minded in order to change how you relate to others, embrace new and innovative ideas and technology, weigh the influence of others, and make mid-course changes or corrections as needed.
A mid-course correction is a navigational correction made in the course of a ship, airplane, rocket, or space vehicle between the beginning and end of the journey. In our lives it could be putting order back in our life again. For those who have experienced defeat and disappointment, it could be coming to grips with the fact that if we do not change it may mean our demise. For those who have been "successful" yet yearn for something more, it means making transformative changes that will catapult you to a new level of success.
In “Mid-Course Correction: Re-Ordering Your Private World for the Second Half of Life,” Gordon MacDonald focuses on making choices that lead to personal transformation, significant communal relationships, practical service in the kingdom of God, and a revitalized life of faith and worship. He demonstrates that new significance and meaning are available no matter what your situation has been.
You must always be open to make the necessary changes to advance. No one ever gets to great on the first try. It always takes making mid-course corrections.
The 7 Benefits of Being Open-Minded
1. Letting go of control. When you open your mind, you free yourself from having to be in complete control of your thoughts. You allow yourself to experience new ideas and thoughts, and you challenge the beliefs you currently have. It can be very liberating to look at the world through an open mind.
2. Experiencing changes. Opening up your mind to new ideas allows you the opportunity to change what you think and how you view the world. Now, this does not mean you necessarily will change your beliefs, but you have the option to when you think with an open mind.
3. Making yourself vulnerable. One of the scariest (and greatest) things about seeing the world through an open mind is making yourself vulnerable. In agreeing to have an open-minded view of the world, you are admitting you do not know everything and that there are possibilities you may not have considered. This vulnerability can be both terrifying and exhilarating.
4. Making mistakes. Making mistakes does not seem like it would be much of a benefit, but it truly is. When you open your mind and allow yourself to see things from others' perspectives, you allow yourself not only to recognize potential mistakes you have made, but also to make new mistakes. Does not sound like much fun, but it is a great thing to fall and get back up again.
5. Strengthening yourself. Open-mindedness provides a platform on which you can build, piling one idea on top of another. With an open mind you can learn about new things, and you can use the new ideas to build on the old ideas. Everything you experience can add up, strengthening who you are and what you believe in. It is very hard to build on experiences without an open mind.
6. Gaining confidence. When you live with an open mind, you have a strong sense of self. You are not confined by your own beliefs, nor are you confined by the beliefs of others. For that reason, you are able to have and gain confidence as you learn more and more about the world around you. Open-mindedness helps you to learn and grow, strengthening your belief in yourself.
7. Being honest. There is an honesty that comes with an open mind because being open-minded means admitting that you are not all-knowing. It means believing that whatever truth you find might always have more to it than you realize. This understanding creates an underlying sense of honesty that permeates the character of anyone who lives with an open mind.
For some, being open-minded is easy; it comes as effortlessly as breathing. For others, having an open mind can be more of a challenge, something that they have to work on and make an effort to attain. You can certainly see from the list above that there are great benefits to viewing life with an open mind. It is not always an easy thing to do, but the effort to think openly and embrace new ideas will be worth it when you are able to take part in the benefits that come from opening your mind.