We hear it all the time: Change is good, change is healthy, broaden your mind, accept the new reality, and more. I don’t know about you, but lately I feel bombarded with memes containing those themes. A lot are funny, many are said, but most are superficial. Like all one-minute advice, you need to discern fact from fiction. More often than not I have heard that I need to be more “open-minded.” I’ll admit that I can be a little stubborn at times. I like to think that there is a reason for my hard headedness.
I was in college when an indelible mark was made on me by a professor talking about the need for continuous learning, and the popularity of espousing the benefits of having an open mind. He warned us not to have an open mind. Open minds, he said, let anything in, no matter how ludicrous or outlandish. With an open mind, you are without clarity—new ideas can take you down paths that do not contribute to your success. Neither do you want to have a closed mind. Those people won’t grow, and they won’t adapt to change. They tend to dig in their heels in at the first sign of disagreement and would rather die than be wrong. Some people think that being stubborn is close minded. I disagree.