A friend told me about a recent learning experience. As an experienced chorister, she recently had the opportunity to have lessons with an international choir master. The master started off with some group massage exercises – each choir member massaged the shoulders of the person in the row beside them. It rolled on from there and she groaned (inwardly). But …
My friend found she really learnt a lot from him. After her initial “here we go again” experience, she thought there was nothing that he could present that would make a difference.
An open-mind to learning
Fortunately, this friend participated long enough and was able to have an open mind to consider the ideas presented as valuable. The result was that she learned more from the master than she ever anticipated. It was in fact one of the most valuable learning experiences she had ever had.
The mind is like a parachute, it only works when it is open.
How do you have an open mind?
If you are used to things being a certain way, and you don’t want them to change, it is difficult to have an open mind. It is not impossible though. The decision lies within.
If you recognise that you are challenged by the concept of approaching things with an open mind, that is an important first step. If not, you may need a good friend to tell you this. A good friend is someone who will tell you this, in a way that you may be able to hear it. In any case, being open to new ideas is a vital first step in learning.
Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.
~ Steve Maraboli
Trying new things
Part of the process of opening yourself up to new things, is trying them. Try learning a new skill, hobby or reading something in a new subject area. What could that be?
- Try eating new foods, choosing menu food that is different from your usual choices
- Select a different movie to view, from your usual preferences
- Look through podcasts on new topics eg TED
Learning is about having your equilibrium disturbed. We then adapt and adopt new ways to accommodate the changes. From this, new learning occurs. Are you up for the challenge? Will you open yourself to new ideas?