There’s the saying that states: “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” But is this really true? Or are people simply hesitant to face unfamiliar territory? This saying insinuates that people are set in their ways and incapable of altering their mindsets once they’re made. This sounds to be believable because it’s often times human nature to be stubborn. Even if we are open to hearing other people’s opinions, points of view, or logic, we often don’t make an effort to critique our own actions or beliefs. From my experience, I think that more often than not people do this in an effort to protect ourselves from feeling insecure or to protect our fragile egos. Acknowledging that means that we’re admitted someone else is more right, maybe even more superior than we are, and that’s hard to admit for many people.
But here’s the good thing – if we want to change, we canchange. It’s really all about three things: drive, perspective, and approach.
First, you have to want to do it. You have to let yourself be a little open to the idea that other people have a different set of experiences that shape who they are and what they believe. If you aren’t open to the idea of change, it’s not likely to happen.
Second, you need to have the right perspective. It’s important to remember that everyone has a different opinion, and that’s okay! By opening our minds and our hearts we can better understand ourselves, but also more about ourselves, and that something that would be a shame to pass up. So view change as growth, as a positive thing!
Lastly, you need to make an approach. Let’s say you’re breaking a habit – take small steps and cut down slowly. Let’s say you’re trying to be more open to other ideologies – practice active listening instead of active speaking.
Change can be scary, I can attest to that, but it can also be awakening and exciting. The world is full of people with wonderful insight, inspiring talents, and unique experiences, and that’s part of what makes this world so beautiful. Stubbornly cutting yourself off may be easy but it deprives you from sharing this human experience with others. So here’s to new learning new tricks and opening ourselves to the unease of opening our minds to those of others.