What does it mean to have an open mind?
Having an open mind, I believe, is about the willingness to set aside what you know or believe—only for a moment—in order to entertain a new idea. It does not require that you throw away your values or ideals, simply that you be willing to listen.
When you can listen earnestly, and with the intent of receiving new insights, you may find that your views change. This growth can be difficult...and exhilarating. Growth is what drives us, elevates our consciousness, and takes us to greater heights.
On the flip side, your views may stay exactly the same, and this is also okay. Listening to new information with an open mind may strengthen your beliefs, and it may give you a greater understanding of concepts and people. Both of these are valuable takeaways.
Opening your mind is not about accepting what you hear at face value. It's about giving what you hear honest and equal consideration to that which you already agree with. Once you hear it, then you must be discerning in how you use the information. Take it or leave it. But if you do not consider it openly, you don't give yourself the opportunity to grow, connect, or strengthen your beliefs. You must trust your own convictions and discernment enough to be exposed to new information.
When you are presented with new information, you cannot be harmed if you open your mind. Without an open mind, you may encounter negative feelings, such as feeling attacked, judged, and more.
The reason I think this is critical as it relates to your finances is that we, as a society, are constantly bombarded with financial advice and insights. Not all of this information is as quality as other information. But if we don't sit with it, we cannot make fully informed financial decisions. We cannot understand others and the decisions they make with their finances. And of course, we cannot determine if we're doing all we can do if we don't know what's possible.
So listen to the financial wisdom that's out there with an open mind AND be discerning. It might just be the best thing you do.
You can listen to my further thoughts below, including an interview with David Stearns and how it changed his life forever.