Categories
Thoughts

How to be more open to more ideas

Random thoughts at night while in reservist.

Recently my wife asked me: “how is it that we both read the same thing, or attend the same event, and yet the insights you glean is deeper than me?

I realised that I have change my approach to any form of incoming information these days. I consciously try to interact with an open mind. The point of reading is not the agree with everything the author says, but to be open to new perspectives, ideas and approaches that I may not have considered or dismissed previously. I also try not to be too quick to dismiss an idea just because it sounds ridiculous on the first pass.

As with many things in life, an idea exists on a spectrum. It is very rarely that someone is just outright wrong about something, it is way more likely that the idea is just a suboptimal solution for a given problem. Since everyone’s situation and context is different there is almost always a completely acceptable reason for the “wrong” conclusion that someone ends up with.

When I try to distill down the thoughts and actions that I take when given new information, I think it boils down to these few things.

  1. Am I too proud to admit that there’s a chance I could be wrong?
  2. Can I see it making any sense given multiple situations?
  3. Do I agree with the author’s approach?
  4. Am I willing to step out of my comfort zone to try the approach?

For example, I recently read a book named “How to talk to anyone”, that there’s a method of eye contact known as epoxy eyes where you have your eyes completely glued onto a person to show interest. My understanding of eye contact is that I should not maintain it for long periods of time because it can be off-puting, but the author suggests that there are positive effects when done correctly.

I am open to the idea that I could be wrong about what I know of eye contact, and I can imagine it making sense when trying to court a partner. I do not know if I agree with the author’s approach, but I am willing to step out of my comfort zone to give it a shot. And then through experiencing it I am able to better judge if this bit of information has any usefulness in my life.

That’s all, just needed a place to dump my midnight thoughts.

Categories
Thoughts

I enjoy being terrible at things

I enjoying being terrible at thingsā€¦ at the start. I don’t enjoy staying terrible at it. So recently my friend invited me to play tennis and I was extremely hesitant at first; because I’m a complete newb and I’m worried that I’ll injure my wrist with all that table tennis muscle memory.

I was pleasantly wrong. Gave it a shot last week and I’ve just came back from my second session today. It has been so long that I’ve been this shit at something. It’s honestly a refreshing experience because as I get older, I realise that I’m less open to new experiences and often stay within my comfort zone, only doing things within my area of expertise. Looks like I’ve been missing out on life.

However, I feel it is important to experience new things with people of similar experience level. If I were to be absolutely thrashed in my first session, it would most likely crush any motivation for a second session. (it would also be really boring for that advanced player). It is really exciting to improve with a group of like-minded and similarly-skilled people.

I draw similarities with a TikTok I saw recently about how we should seek mentors that’s within our skill/situation range. i.e. If I’m starting a new business, I wouldn’t look for a mentor who is coaching people with millions. Instead, I should look for someone who can get me from $0 to the first $10k, and another person who can help me get from $10k to $100k, and someone who can get me from $100k to $1 million.

It’s the realisation that we need different groups of people at different stages of our lives in order to progress from where we are, otherwise we’ll just stagnate. It’s not that one group of people is better than the other, but it’s necessary for each group to exist in our lives in order to grow (and of course, those people will do their own growing as well).

Would I be playing tennis with this group of people a year or two from now? It’s unlikely. But they are the folks who help get me from zero to one, and I hope to reflect upon this period of time as a fond memory in the future.

%d bloggers like this: