Always Keep An Open Mind

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There are an unlimited number of people all over the world who are extremely smart, geniuses, or have very high IQs. But, on the other hand, there’s also an unlimited number of people who aren’t what you would call smart, but many of them are very intelligent.

I have asked and heard the question asked, “what do you call an educated person who doesn’t know how to apply their knowledge.” Answer: An educated fool.

Thinking back on my military days I can remember numerous situations and circumstances in which the person with the most education was by far not the most knowledgeable one. There’s this thing called experience that no one can take from you. While in the military there were times in which we had to use what is called the “book method” and then there were times when it was most advantageous to use what’s called the “field expedient method.”

I remember the time I attended a leadership training course while in the military that had different phases to the training. The training was broken down into phases, and we all had to pass each phase in order to move on to the next phase with hopes of eventually graduating.

During the week that we trained on maps and land navigation, there was a sergeant whose actual primary job was land navigation (the field expedient method). But for this particular training, we were taught to use (the book method) and in order to move on to the next phase, we had to pass the map portion (written test) as well as pass the land navigation portion (physically navigating from one grid coordinate to another one using a map and compass).

This particular sergeant failed the land navigation portion the first time and was totally devastated. He explained to us that in real-life situations he had been given one MRE (meal ready eat) and a grid coordinate(s) that he had to navigate to. He told us that there had never been a time that he didn’t reach his destination. That’s because he always used the field expedient method.

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Now, this particular sergeant had one more try at passing the land navigation portion of the test. He had a couple of choices to make. He could stay closed-minded, fail the test again, and get sent home or he could study more and learn the book method.

He chose the latter.

Now think about yourself and your input and attitude in conversations with people that you strongly have differences of opinions. Do you always try to get others to see things your way or, are you open to hearing other peoples’ opinions?

Well here’s my take on the situation. You might have to be open-minded to get this. The first thing we need to recognize when we’re having those deep down-to-heart discussions is, are we discussing our opinions, or are we discussing something that factual?

If I am physically engaged in the conversation and I hear people debating facts, I do my best to ease my way out of the conversation. Why in the world would we fall out with each other over facts? Now I do believe we can give our opinions about facts, but at the end of the day, the fact is still a fact, and the opinion is still an opinion.

Let me share something with you that I learned about opinions; we all have them but we don’t have to always give them.

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The best ways that I’ve found to help me keep an open mind are staying curious and stay learning new things. I just absolutely love it when I have an ah-ha moment. Please prepare yourselves to take the time and step into my world of interest, curiosity, amazement, discovery and so much more.

Once you open yourself up to new things, things that others could never imagine you being interested in, on a daily basis or several times a day, you’ll find yourself getting hungrier and hungrier for more.

Come on and join me in my world for the next ninety days and if you don’t discover at least three things that make you smile, laugh, think twice about, lose sleep, and/or share with somebody else, then you can just drop me like a hot potato.

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