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The Opposite of Hard is Open

My office is a wonderful place to meet people with open hearts. Before they even step in my door they have decided that there must be something more to life than the mess they have their hands in, even if they're not sure where to find it or how to get there. They walk in ready to make changes, with at least a tiny bit of hope that they actually can make changes. They want to know what they don't already know. They are curious about life's seemingly unsolveable problems.


Open people are not always ready to hear all the options, but they at least want to believe that there are more options than they've run into thus far. Their humility paves the way for growth. They are ready to grieve the cards they've been dealt and figure out how to make the best hand they can with what they've got.


In contrast are the uncurious: those who have decided that they've already identified most of the answers there are to identify. They are double-downed on what they know, what they've been given, and the way they've navigated their own experiences. They're not really interested in any one else's "excuses" to live differently. They might voice openness, but actions reveal they've already decided your way is wrong. You can tell this when they start conversations with their own perspectives, rather than asking for yours.


How brave is it to start conversations with legitimate questions (not leading ones)? You might risk appearing naive or ignorant. Your assumptions might be revealed as wrong. You expose yourself to judgement and criticism, risking feelings of failure and shame. And yet... you prospect an opportunity to grow.


Next time you feel super confident about your stance on something, I hope you will spend at least one minute considering that you might be wrong and there might be more to learn. Whatever your position: political, religious, or cultural. Here's an easy truth... if you are wrong, asking humble questions will help you correct quickly by being open to reality. If you're right, you'll just end up right where you are today! But nothing grows from a hard position. Being hard-hearted sets you up to be "broken" in a traumatic way. The only way to move forward gracefully is with openness.


Unsplash: Daniel Hajdacki

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