Bill Cottringer

“Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.” ~Benjamin Franklin.

Here are the few important realities in life that have held to be true long enough to be the exception to this rule:

• The one thing that seems to be certain is change.
• Life is basically a process of learning, growing and improving.
• The one sure common denominator for success and happiness is adapting to change.

So, if you want to be more successful and content, there is one thing you must consider giving up, gradually or suddenly—a closed mind. Having fixed notions about things is a very natural brain process, but then again, it has been shown that the brain is wired more for homeostasis than unsettling. But, if you can be open-minded about movies such as Lucy, we can be assured there is a lot of unsettling ahead of us that is possible.

There doesn’t seem to be any real good reasons to not keep the open-mind we are born with and then work hard to keep closed. Of course, adopting a tentative viewpoint on everything but this, seems to be risky business from our experience. But then again that experience is prejudiced by our expectations and those are what we most need an open-mind to get rid of, if we want to re-wire our brains to increase the present 10% we use them as a passenger rather than driver.

Here are four good reasons to unlock you mind from being too close-minded:

• Fixed notions, exclude a multitude of other possibilities and keep many failures from becoming successes and more content from being realized.
• Keeping an open-mind in adapting to change feels much better than holding onto close-minded false beliefs that just protect failures and discontent.
• An open-mind has no limits, whereas a closed one is very limited.
• Close-mindedness just keeps the inevitability of change more uncomfortable and threatening.

To take advantage of these good reasons for growing an open-mind, you first have to stop the unconscious habits that perpetuate a closed-mind and keep you from letting go of expectations and experience that work together to justify keeping this closed-mindedness. This starts with questioning how you came to be so sure that what you know is actually so. But considering that scary possibility is beyond any self-protecting closed-mindedness. It just seems to be a very unreasonable request.

But here is a fairly reliable certainty to at least consider if you think you may need to open your mind a bit more: You can’t think yourself out of a predicament that you behaved yourself into, at least until you regain the driver’s seat of your own mind. You can’t possibly talk yourself into jumping off a high dive, you just have to stop thinking and just do it.

In most of the science fiction movies of today’s cinema eye-candy, time is portrayed as the key to understanding life. So, if you want to understand time with an open-mind, watch the movie, “The Theory of Everything.” Or, if you prefer reading, get a copy of the little book, “Einstein’s Dreams.” Both will open your mind about time and perhaps help you shed the parts of your mind that are holding you back.

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.” ~Isaac Asimov.

Author's Bio: 

William Cottringer, Ph.D. is Executive Vice-President for Employee Relations for Puget Sound Security, Inc. in Bellevue, WA, along with his hobbies in being a Sport Psychologist, Business Success Coach, Photographer and Writer living in the peaceful but invigorating mountains and rivers of North Bend. He is author of several business and self-development books, including, “You Can Have Your Cheese & Eat It Too” (Executive Excellence), “The Bow-Wow Secrets” (Wisdom Tree), “Do What Matters Most” and “P” Point Management” (Atlantic Book Publishers), “Reality Repair” (Global Vision Press), Reality Repair Rx (Authorsden), and “If Pictures Could Talk,” coming soon. Bill