As you age, the more you know, the more likely that you will feel like “you know everything”, which means you are closed minded. As people get older, they really do gain a lot of experience, and really are right about most things. At some point, you may feel like there’s very little chance that anyone will be able to teach you anything new. An equally large problem is that people develop defense mechanisms against realizing that they’ve become closed minded. So how can you avoid becoming too closed-minded as you age? Here are 6 tips for your consideration.
Explore new ideas: Be curious. Ask questions. Then ask follow-up questions. Creativity encourages you to discover new realities just for the fun of it, making any obstacle irrelevant. Take classes in something that seems a little crazy. Don’t think whatever you did in your past was always better. Allow yourself to get into situations where you are not an expert. When you have no idea what you are doing, you are required to be humble and to learn like a little child. Humility enables learning.
Explore new places: Travel more & Meet locals. Have meals with them. Hear their stories. If you can live in another country for more than a year. Hang out with locals when you do. Spend an extended amount of time abroad, and don’t just hang out with other travelers. Don’t just learn another language; live in another language. There’s really no better way to stay open to new perspectives and possibilities than by making yourself available to as many new experiences as you possibly can.
Explore new sounds: They did not stop making good music when you graduated from college. Turn off the classic rock station and find out what is happening out there. And go see some local bands.
Ask and listen more: Try to always develop a learner’s perspective. Never consider yourself done and having arrived, but always in the process. Don’t just ask questions about what their beliefs are: try to see the world from other people’s points of view. Really listen to people, value them. Don’t discount others’ experiences. Reinvention doesn’t mean you’ve failed at one thing, it means that you’re a human who’s allowed to pursue various passions.
Befriend new people, especially those who have different beliefs, personal backgrounds & interests. Don’t always be in the company of people of your age. Always mix up with younger people and know their thoughts.
Explore new trends: Keep in touch with latest trends around you and adopt the popular ones. Try watching new movies or listening to albums from genres that you normally don’t identify with. Stay with them past the initial periods of discomfort and try to understand what it is about this movie or song that resonates with people who do enjoy or prefer it.