“Keep an open mind, without losing your opinions.”
Like many things in life, balance must be maintained. On many occasions, I’ve recommended that you keep an open mind, don’t judge too quickly, consider alternatives and so forth. This is a wonderful exercise to ensure that you keep your eyes and ears open to perspectives that you had not considered. But like most things, it can have a downside.
Being too open minded, and entertaining EVERY possibility without your own reflection, without considering your own thoughts about what is being presented, can lead to a loss of your own voice in the long run. Not practicing your own reflection, or exercising your own ability to form an opinion about things is a skill that is refined over time. Like any muscle, if you don’t exercise it, the ability will diminish.
It’s all about balance. If a person is so closed minded that they cannot entertain alternative perspectives, they deny themselves the wealth of information that those perspectives can provide. If a person is so open minded that they are unable to form opinions of their own, they deny themselves the ability to think, relying entirely on the opinions of others.
Keep an open mind first, weigh in your own opinions and how the two compare. See if your opinions about certain things have shifted over time, and if so, how. Try to seek out the answers to WHY they’ve changed. Pay attention to your self on occasion to see how open minded you are, and how that impacts your ability to form your own opinions.
By taking small steps here or there, you can ensure that your ability to perceive and create remain uninhibited as possible.