Life is like f*cking without a condom — you never know what you’re going to get. And for this reason it only makes sense to get a little breathing room and slap a glove on that stub. Being prepared for anything that life throws your way is the best way to ensure your survival and your success.
This goes for every aspect of any importance: your career, your relationships, your family, your friends, your health, your happiness — are always in a state of flux. Plans fall through. People lie and cheat, get sick and pass away.
Opportunities arise and disappear. And your mood, the way you feel, is never the same from one second to the next. Life is a constant change and the only way for you to come out on top is by keeping an open mind and allowing yourself to try things that you wouldn’t normally try.
What we believe and what is are two entirely different things. Things will never, ever turn out the way you expect them to — there are simply too many factors to take into consideration, voiding whatever calculations you might have made. This of course does not mean that there is no purpose to planning; in the very least, your plans will give you direction and a goal.
How you will reach your goal and the specifics of the goal itself you won’t be aware of until after the fact. The key isn’t to hold onto and control as much of your life as you possibly can — doing so will result in frustration, stress and inevitable failure. The key is to remain as flexible as possible, riding whatever wave lifts you up and tries to throw you off.
Success requires grabbing an opportunity when it presents itself. However, before you can grab the opportunity, you have to be able to identify it as being one. Nine times out of ten, when somebody tells you that they have an opportunity that you shouldn’t miss out on, you shouldn’t pay them any mind. So if actual opportunities won’t be sending you an email notification when they become ripe for the picking, you’ll need to call one when you see it.
This is when having an open mind works to your benefit. Having an open mind means that you have a larger scope for the use or potential of different things. The more pinpointed your gaze, the more likely you are to miss out on something just outside of it. Choosing to be close-minded is like choosing to wear blinders — wear them if you wish, but don’t get pissed off when you get rocked from the side.
Keeping an open mind has more benefits than simply being able to call an opportunity when you see one; it also gives you a better perspective on what can be done with it. Let’s say that you grabbed that opportunity by the horns as soon as you saw it — what then? What will you do with it? This goes for each and every task that you ever need to complete: which is the best, most profitable, most reward-reaping way of going about the task?
Okay, okay — so you made a million off that last deal…but could you have gotten 2 million? Or 10 million? There is almost always a better way of going about doing something. The more open-minded you are, the more likely the better idea is to come to mind when it’s time to make a decision.
Open-mindedness is crucial to success. I know that many people believe that they know what it is that will lead them to success and happiness. Some of you may be right, but most of you aren’t. I have gone through more career changes in the past five years than most people do in two decades. Personally, I do not care how it is that I will become obscenely wealthy as long as I become obscenely wealthy.
I have my hobbies and my passions and I do and will continue to pursue them — but at the same time, whenever I find an opportunity that I believe will prove lucrative, I go after it (assuming it won’t interfere with another project I am working on). The goal is to maximize profitable action and minimize inefficiency.
This all goes beyond the workplace. Let’s take your love life as an example. I am sure you have a general idea of the kind of man or woman with whom you see yourself. But consider this: could you ever spend the rest of your life with someone who you knew everything about?
Who doesn’t intrigue you and doesn’t grasp your curiosity by the balls? What intrigues us more than anything else is the unknown; if that is the case, and seeing as how people are full of surprises, then the person that has the ability to make you happier than anyone else may very well be the last person with whom you can imagine yourself ending up. I’m not saying that Big Bertha is your one true love — although, who knows, that could be the case — but you shouldn’t overlook the possibility.
Being open minded will benefit you in each and every area of your life. The only result will be more options to choose from. Options, though they can make making a decision more difficult, allow you to see the entire hand that you were dealt.
If you are going to go to battle then it’s best that you know all the details, all the possible tactics and all the possible outcomes before you decide which troops to send onto the field. Life is a game of strategy. Although you may not know it, there’s always an opponent and to win you need to outsmart him; the more variations you know, the more likely you are to win the match. Stay close-minded and you may as well wave your white flag.
Paul Hudson | Elite.
For more from Paul, follow him on Twitter @MrPaulHudson