Extreme open mindedness is the ability to see all sides of a situation objectively and optimally.
Let’s say you are trying to convince your colleague start a new project because you think it will be profitable for the company. Deep down, you really believe your idea is valid. You have data, facts, and pages of information to support why it’s the right thing to do. But your colleague doesn’t agree.
Both sides think they are right. An argument ensues and you are pressed for time to decide.
To be effective and explore different points of view and different possibilities, we have to let go of our egos. It requires that we replace our attachment to always being right with the joy of learning what’s true. It allows us to see and consider all the good choices and make the best possible decisions.
In order to do this, we have to:
To practice extreme open mindedness, we have to get comfortable and understand that we can’t make a good decision without first swimming in the state of “not knowing” for a while.
And that’s okay.
We have to suspend our judgement for a time to emphasize with and see things through another person’s eyes. This means we have to open ourselves up to considering the reasoning of others and the possibility that we could be wrong.
When practicing extreme open mindedness, remember that we are seeking the best answer, not simply the best answer that we can come up with ourselves.
We can learn to appreciate the art of extreme open mindedness. When in a debate, our goal is not to convince the other person they are wrong, it is to find out which viewpoint is true. Thoughtful disagreement involves calm exchanges between two people in which we really see what the other person is seeing. And they really see what we are seeing. We are both trying to get to the truth.
We have to look outside ourselves for the answer. It is important to know what we don’t know. We can practice extreme open mindedness by asking ourselves: Am I seeing this just through my own eyes?
In the comments below, tell me, how are you going to practice extreme open mindedness today?