Train Yourself To Become Open-Minded
When I was 10 years old, I got the gift everyone my age needed but didn’t necessarily want— a set of encyclopedias. No, it wasn’t the Atari game console or the Members Only Jacket that I had coveted, but in time, I learned to treasure these tree-killing monstrosities.
What made them so valuable for a young kid in the 80s was the combination of largely unbiased information, my otherwise limited access to media (by today's standards), and an age when my brain hadn't yet formed rigid beliefs.
On any given day, I could pull a book from my shelf, read up on a topic and form an opinion without the interference of social media, misinformation, or tribalism.
Those were the days. You could hold an opinion, learn new information, and then change your beliefs after incorporating new knowledge.
The internet and social media have made it more difficult for us to be open-minded. We become invested in beliefs and guarded against information that might conflict with our worldview.
As difficult as it is to shield yourself from the effects of today's political, economic, and social environment, you can train yourself to become a critical thinker rather than an information critic.
Here’s the challenge.
Most of us like to think of ourselves as open-minded. If you were to ask a friend or family member, most would claim they were open to new information. Yet, any participant in modern society would agree most folks resist information that conflicts with their belief, remaining locked into a worldview and mindset, and closed off to new ideas.
What most folks think of as being open-minded these days means they're willing to take in new information and adapt it to their pre-existing beliefs. Real growth comes from changing your opinions when the evidence warrants it. These tools make it easier.
Marry your values, not your beliefs.
In an ideal society, we'd live by a set of core values and hold beliefs that align with those values. As we acquire wisdom, we change our convictions to better uphold our values.