If your mind is in prison, your hands may act out…
Be bold! Be creative! Be a visionary who dreams about floating vehicles, space exploration and colonizing other planets. “Be like Elon Musk – but know when to turn it down a notch. So maybe don’t tweet about your stock, no matter how much you feel like bragging.” I keep hearing this from people, and then others say: “What a ridiculous piece of fake news, he is a great guy who makes one little mistake and everyone is all over him.” I don’t want to take sides, I just want to note that closed-mindedness begins with falling into camps of believers and non-believers. Those who own a Tesla, or appreciate Musk’s higher purpose of trying to create a more sustainable planet, are relentless in their appreciation of this great man. Those who are suspicious of his motivations in the first place, or doubt the effectiveness of electric batteries, see their skepticism and suspicion justified in what happened to him. “See, I told you, this guy is an egomaniac and has no integrity.”
This leads me to my amazement at the two political sides in the US. One camp sees a terrible tragedy and mass murder in Pittsburgh and another proof that the easy access to machine guns is just plain crazy. The other side will say that the solution is to arm the society even more. Yet, I don’t hear a quality bipartisan conversation emerging on how we want to collaborate on solving our problems together as one nation.
Again, I think “truth is in the eye of the beholder”. You are either a believer or a non-believer. And people aren’t really interested in much else beyond what they strongly believe in.
To me, this is the greatest challenge for us, as humans, friends, spouses and leaders. As an individual, how do you stay curious beyond your convictions?
Curiosity is the antidote to one-sided conversations. Curiosity propels questions like what do we both need and value?
Just a few questions to get you started:
Are you meeting and spending time only with people who are exactly like you, or are you open to having real discussions with people who belong to the other camp?
Was it a very long time ago that you made a new friend??
Do you only watch Fox News or CNBC? Only read the National Review or the Washington Post?
As a leader, do you surround yourself with people who always agree with you, or are you open to real dialogues and giving a chance to people who may have a different point of view?
If your answer is “yes” to most of the above questions, then you probably need to consider the effect your self-imposed mental prison has on your life.
We need to keep a beginner’s mindset and start to listen to each other. We need to question our convictions and try not to assume anything. This is our only chance to stay young in our hearts and minds and to wake up rather than be on autopilot.