How to be Appreciative by Being Open Minded

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Did you know that by being open minded you can learn how to be appreciative?  Today I will delve into some interesting perspective that could just be a game changer for you and your life.  Get comfortable and get ready to see life at a new angle!

Open Minded Definition

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Be receptive to new ideas!

The basic concept here is that with an open mind you are receptive to new ideas, concepts, perceptions or other’s beliefs.  It does not mean that you accept them as truths, but more that you are willing to recognize them.

Being open minded is also a very important part of living in the now and also very helpful with forgiveness as well.  When you can be in the present moment and understand why someone does things differently than you, it makes it much easier to be able to forgive someone.

According to Wikipedia:

Open-mindedness is receptiveness to new ideas. Open-mindedness relates to the way in which people approach the views and knowledge of others, and “incorporate the beliefs that others should be free to express their views and that the value of others’ knowledge should be recognized.”[1][2] There are various scales for the measurement of open-mindedness.[3] It has been argued that schools should emphasize open-mindedness more than relativism in their science instruction, because the scientific community does not embrace a relativistic way of thinking.[4]”

So what we are looking at with an open mind is a curiosity of new ideas.  We have our own individual beliefs for whatever our reasons may be, but by being open to new concepts we continue to grow and evolve the way we view life.

Preconceptions and Jumping to Conclusions

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Having preconceptions is like judging a book based off of just it’s cover.

These two items are the pitfalls along the way to learning how to be appreciative through an open mind.  It is important to understand how they work so that it is easier for you to identify when they are sucking you in and keeping you from being the way that you want to be.

First off, what is a preconception?  Well, that is when you have an opinion of something before you have all of the facts or data.  Unfortunately, there are a plethora of examples that we can pull from our world around us here but I will give you one of my favorite sales story.

“A man came into the big box store and began to browse around all of the cameras.  He was very dirty and had a horrendous smell about him.  Soon the department was empty as all of the customers moved on and even the sales reps did as well.

However, one brave sales rep went over to help the guy.  The man explained that he raised race horses and had just came in straight from the stables.  He apologized for his appearance and stated that he was in need of several high end cameras to finish what he was working on with the horses.

In the end, the sales rep had a huge day for selling all of the high end equipment and had a great story to tell.”

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By keeping an open mind, the sales rep was able to be very helpful and got a big sale from it!

You see the sales rep decided to not judge a book by its cover and went into the situation with an open mind rather that a preconceived idea of who this person was.  It is really just a great example of why you should not judge people based off of their appearance.

Jumping to conclusions is much like having preconceptions as with it you judge or decide about something without having all of the information.  This is actually what leads you to having a preconceived idea as you made the jump before seeing the whole picture.

Just like in the example above, everyone jumped to the conclusion that the man was a bum or something.  Imagine all of the other customers that left and never found out the real story.  There were probably dinner conversations about this bum that showed up at the big box store earlier that day.

Learning How with Patience

Meet my son Alex, a picky eater just like I was when I was his age.
Meet my son Alex, a picky eater just like I was when I was his age.

As with anything in life it takes time to learn a new process or mindset like this.  Outside of maybe just the desire for change in your life, the next most important part is to understand that you will need to be patient.  However, with desire and patience you can work at it every day until it becomes a part of your habits or otherwise easy for you.

I would like to share some of my personal experience with you here to help show exactly what I am talking about.  In this example I will be sharing with you my battle with my youngest son and eating his dinner, which I am sure many of you can relate too:

Example:  Meatloaf and More!

One night about a year or two ago I made meatloaf for dinner and everyone was happy, that is until my son Alex came down with the flu later that night.  For him, he associated that sickness with the meatloaf and from then forth he would not eat it anymore.  It also extended to anything that had peppers in it since I had put green peppers in the loaf.

Then I had an idea!  I decided to use my meatloaf recipe minus the green peppers and make burgers instead.  When I served everyone that night I asked everyone to rate these new burgers on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best.  Needless to say everyone loved them including Alex who gave it a 7!  After dinner I told him that I used the same recipe as my meatloaf, but he didn’t believe me.

I gave it sometime before I made another meatloaf, but I was determined to show Alex that he did like it and that it was all just in his mind.  Unfortunately though, he is a very good creator and when he found out what we were having for dinner the dread set in.  Despite loving the burger, he would not touch the meatloaf until it was too late.  By the time he did try it he was so worked up that he made himself sick.

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The infamous meatloaf!

Just the other night we had something for dinner that again he claimed he didn’t like even though we have been eating it for years.  Again he got himself so worked up that even after a pleasant conversation about it all, he still got sick. 

We talked about it at length that night and I told Alex how I was the same way when I was a kid.  I remember doing the same things that he is doing now and tried to tell him that he is missing out on so much wonderful food by going down this path.  We discussed how our minds can create our world around us and I posed to him the different paths, both positive and negative, that he could choose to walk.

He argued back that when he tries to take my advice that it doesn’t work and his mind just doesn’t listen.  I took more time to reiterate with him how making conscious decisions work and that it takes time, effort and patience to get it all down.

Life is a balance of Positives & Negatives
You need to learn to tip the scales into your favor!

You see he had spent 99% of that evening dreading what was going to happen when he tasted dinner and only 1% in the end of thinking in a more positive manner.  I explained to him that when you do it that way it makes it much harder for the positive to win since it is up against so much negativity.

The next morning, he woke up and actually did get sick and was even running a fever.  To me it only reinforced that we do create our reality ahead of us as I seen it with Alex and it reminded me of how I acted as a child having very similar results.

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When I was a kid, my food nemesis was Brussel sprouts! Today they are one of my favorites!

The moral of this story is that your mind is a powerful tool and you must be careful about the things that you create.  Like in this example if you focus too much on thinking that the eating the food will make you sick, you have a very good chance of that being the case.

Another key point here is understanding that it takes time to break old habits and to create new ones in their place.  You see we are creatures of habit and when it comes to changing them it takes time and effort, but with patience and understanding you can do it.

More Than Just Your Mind

While having an open mind is a huge step in learning how to better appreciate things, it is also an important step in learning how to have an open heart and allowing love to fill your world.  You see once you start being more receptive to the world around you and appreciating it, you will begin to truly understand life and allow your love for it to flow.

Learning how to appreciate things goes hand in hand with elevating you into a positive state.  When you can appreciate not just the good but also the bad things in life, you are on the right path to open your heart and allow love to fill you up.

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An open mind leads to appreciation.  Appreciation leads to Love

Having an open mind and heart will allow you to be a very positive example for all of those that you come into contact with and influence.  This is how we can change the world and make it a better place, through being open and loving we will create a positive frequency all around us.

Think of each of us sending out these positive frequencies as a note of music.  Alone a note can sound very beautiful, but when played with others it can create an even more beautiful song.  The more of us there are, the bigger and better our song will be and the more people we can be a positive influence for.

Share Your Perspective

Today I have shared with you some of my life experiences to help you understand how to be more appreciative through being open minded.  I am sure that you have a story along these lines too that you could share with us.  I ask that you please do share as it may be your example that hits the nail on the head for someone else passing through here.

Also if you enjoyed this article, here are several others that I have written that go hand in hand with the above concepts:

James W D
james@spiralrevolutions.com

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12 Replies to “How to be Appreciative by Being Open Minded”

  1. I can relate to what you are saying here and I guess anyone who will be reading this would.
    Open mindedness is very necessary to make room for new things in life indeed..If I take example of someone else then what comes to my mind is my mother..she hardly ever likes a movie that I suggest here, in fact she will refuse to even watch it by saying “you know I don’t like that kind of movies”, later I will get to know that she watched the same movie that I recommended earlier and she will say “that was a nice story..have you watched it?” ..yeah she won’t even remember my suggestion but this time it was her decision so she watches the whole movie.(being receptive to somebody else’s thought is often difficult for us)
    I have a hell lot of examples of my own but this one was something which I consider created a lot of changes in my life- Accepting the idea that “I do have control over my life”..I resisted that for years before I decided to be open minded for new possibilities.. It is sometimes life transforming when we are open to new things and as you said we don’t have to actually accept them.
    Thank you for this great great post!

    • Having an open mind is a key for developing yourself and creating the life that you want versus following the ruts made by those before you. I certainly can understand the example you gave of your mother, it almost reminds me of a guy that I used to play a WW2 game with. He would always ask for advice when we were on the same side and then do the opposite of whatever I suggested. As a fun experiment, I started to tell him the opposite of whatever I wanted him to do and then he would do what I wanted him to!

      I am so glad to see that you are combating the notion that you cannot control your own life. All too often I hear what can I do I am only one person and the answer to that is you can do anything if you put your mind to it. Glad you enjoyed the post and hope to see you back again!

  2. It’s hard to be open minded because we all think we know it all. Nobody has ever thought or have been so logical like us. So whenever something is out of our understanding or we didn’t experience them. then that thing is more likely to be dangerous and stupid. I know a lot of people say like don’t let your child play video games but I grow up playing tons of them, and I’m ok. I’m having a normal life and it’s quite alright. I’m not saying let them spend 14 hours a day but if s/he wants to play 2 3 hours per day let them do it.
    I got a question for you. Do you think kids should play these new violent video games? is it against being open-minded?

    • I totally understand your perspective as growing up I rode the wave of video games from the first consoles to current ones.

      As for your question that is definitely a good one. I played several of the Call of Duty games (online only not story mode) and I have let my kids play them as well. However I have decided that I didn’t like the violent aspect of the games and quite playing them a year or two ago now. However the kids still do play them and I am okay with that, however I set a different example now.

      I do think that is still our jobs as parents to screen what our kids can do on a daily basis especially with video games. However even the bad games as far as violence go, can be a good conversation point to have with them. If we hide violence from them they could be in for a shock when they grow up, however taking the time to allow them to see it and have rational discussions about it can be very beneficial in helping them to have an open mind as they grow up.

      • I totally agree with you. and Liked your perspective on this matter. Thanks for sharing it.
        By the way, I mean the new mortal combat does not call of duty. call of duty is fine I guess. search this on youtube: Mortal Kombat X – All Fatalities

        • I played some of the earlier MK games and I can attest that they started going down a very graphic road with things. I have not brought that series into my house. I try to keep my gaming to stuff that is basically appropriate enough for my kids to be around. I figure after all I am the example that they are looking up to.

  3. I like your site! I rarely find people who seek to have a positive mindset. There’s so much to be concerned with in the world daily but sometimes many of us forget the art of gratitude. Everything starts from the mind and building perceptions. Outstanding! Thank you for the information.

    • Deborah, I am glad that you came across my site first off. I can tell you though that the number of people looking to have a positive life is growing by the day. We all want to live a happy life when it boils down to it, but now more than ever people are starting to wake up and realize that they have to go grab it!

      You are 100% right though that everything starts from the mind and your perceptions. Make sure to have an open one and watch how your life blossoms into a positive one!

  4. Hi, James! I’m reading this at a very pivotal point in my life, especially when I reached the paragraph on how open mindedness plays such a huge role in opening your heart to love. Thanks, I really needed this today and will carry it with me along the way.
    P.S. Your son is a cutie! 🙂
    Barb

    • Hi Barb, glad to see you stop by again! Your comment reminds me that everything does happen for a reason and people definitely come into each other’s lives for particular reasons. It seems that part of my inspirations for this site here were meant for you to find! I am glad that I was able to step in at the right moment with information that helped you when you needed it.

      As for my son, well let’s just say he takes after his mother. 🙂

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