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  • Muhammad Uzair

What is Open-Mindedness?

Open-mindedness or Openness to Experience is a psychological trait explained by individual psychology as enhanced interest in novel ideas, intellectual pursuits, and creative work.

This is one of the most important aspects of human psychology and is a crucial component of the Big-Five Personality Trait Model, which is the most clinically relevant model to explain individual differences between people. People who tend to score higher in the openness-to-experience trait are relatively more “open” to learning things and new ideas that are traditionally unknown or not considered important. This is rather known popularly known as “creativity”.

Why Be Open-Minded?

Being an open-minded person has a lot to do with genetics, but as with other psychological traits, it ca n be manually constructed, at least to a certain usage limit. This approach to life is useful as it allows one to see unconventional possibilities in conventional pathways. You might find solutions to problems that are not taught in a traditional professional course or are not widely popular. Often, as we see in the history of science, philosophy, and other non-materialistic disciplines, the people higher in openness to experience are the ones who are at the forefront of any academic endeavor.

It is obvious that it has a huge effect on one’s career, finances, status as well as his personality, life experience, and personal satisfaction levels.

The Ripple Effect

It should also be noted that this kind of development has effects that are unseen but are related to other aspects of life as well. It is quite evident, especially in relationships and personal development. One becomes more understanding of opinions and behaviors different from one’s own. This is very helpful in the mediation of conflicts, leadership situations, and problem-solving domains.

Being Cautious

Extreme of everything is bad. Strangely enough, a high openness metric is also disadvantageous in situations where one’s concrete beliefs are the basis of a decision.

A creative person finds it rather hard to create a solid identity. This is because he is always criticizing his own course of action and improving continually. It is very advisable to start with an open attitude towards alien concepts but with an intention of improvement only i.e a person should be able to construct a framework for himself upon which he maps the world, and defines good and bad for himself.

Where to start?

It could be overwhelming at the start, it could be difficult to figure out what to do to begin.

Well, here is some advice:

1. Try to have a rational approach towards most things you encounter in life. Give your emotions a backseat. ( Don’t push them aside altogether, remember they are crucial responses from your body that either something isn’t going right or it is. )

2. Be a good listener, every person you talk to has at least one thing to offer that you don’t know. Separate the wheat from the chaff and learn.

3. Listen to Podcasts. Read books. Subscribe to magazines. Try to be on top of things.

4. Learn outside your comfort zone. Take up a philosophy book if you are a science major. Listen to something related to astronomy or engineering if you are a historian by profession.

5. Have an incomparable thirst for achieving excellence. On the path to excellence, remember that everybody’s journey is different. The only person for you to compete with probably is your past self.

6. Have the courage to be wrong and the skill of recognizing it when it happens

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