Youthful Trait #3 - Openness

Uncategorized Jul 31, 2021
 

In a previous blog post, I shared my framework for a Youthful Mindset. A youthful mindset will keep you feeling young and vibrant, no matter your age.

There are 7 characteristics of a Youthful Mindset, and in this and the next few episodes, I’m diving deeper into each of them, one characteristic at a time.

Today, we’re talking about Trait #3 of a youthful mindset – and that’s Openness.

Yesterday we talked about the 2nd characteristic of a youthful mindset and that was Curiosity.

Where curiosity is a desire to learn, openness is the realization that you never know where the answer will come from, or what it will be when you discover it. It is a sense of Wonder about the world and about life. A sense that life holds innumerable mysteries and that you can’t wait to see what it reveals to you next.

Openness is also the understanding that, while you know what you know right now, you’re open to the idea that new information may come along that makes you happy to change your understanding in the future.

In other words, Your thoughts and beliefs are not so set in stone that they can’t be changed or improved upon.

In this regard, Openness is also closely linked with Imagination.

It’s that state of allowing the answers to be revealed to you in wondrous, magical ways.

The opposite is to hold a firm belief that you already know all of the answers, that you already know all there is to know about a topic or an issue.

You only need to imagine someone with a closed-mind, someone who believes they have all the answers and are never wrong, to see that this is anything BUT a youthful mindset.

Pursuing your dreams – at any age – requires a degree of Openness. After all, if you had all the answers, you’d likely be living those dreams right now.

  • First, you’ll want to be open to the idea that maybe you COULD actually achieve the dream (this is a necessary foundation of BELIEF in the dream… or rather, openness to the idea that you COULD, in fact, be MEANT for it
  • And Second, you’ll want to be open to the idea that the WAY, or the HOW, to accomplish it could simply OCCUR to you. Like, maybe you’ll suddenly get an inspired idea that you hadn’t thought of before.

I’ll share a true story with you to illustrate the point…

  • A few years ago, a person bought a lottery ticket at a convenience store, looked at it, saw that it wasn’t a winner, and threw it in the trash right there at the store
  • Another person came along, picked that discarded lottery ticket out of the garbage and discovered that it was a Million-Dollar winner.
  • I use this story to show how having an Open mind is so key to achieving your dreams.
  • That first person who discarded the ticket – already KNEW in their mind that the ticket wasn’t a winner. Even though they bought the ticket, their belief that they could be so lucky as to win had to be practically nonexistent. How else would they have missed what was right in front of them?
  • The second person was OPEN to the possibility that there was value in that garbage can.

So having a Closed mindset WILL cause you to overlook so many great things – helpful thoughts, brilliant ideas, positive events happening right around you.

And having an Open mindset does the opposite – allows you to recognize and experience brilliant ideas and positive events.

Here are some practical tips for developing the characteristic of Openness:

  • When faced with a problem or an issue that’s causing you anxiety, stress or worry, frequently say to yourself, “I’m open to any ideas for not only solving this problem, but seeing how it ends up being even better than it was before.”
  • And when you’re dreaming about bringing something new into your life, like
    • Launching a new business
    • Publishing a book, or
    • Travelling the world, or
    • Even something smaller like creating a container garden on your back patio,
  • Say to yourself, “I absolutely cannot WAIT to see how this dream unfolds and becomes a reality in my life.”
  • And then, most importantly, when you receive inspired ideas, take action on them! Being Open only works if you’re also Open to taking action.
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