Are You an Open-Minded Person? – Day 250 of 365 Days to a Better You

I did a recent poll on my Twitter and Facebook account asking if people consider themselves an open-minded person. Not surprisingly, the results came back with 78 percent of people claiming the open-minded mantle.

Being open-minded or seen to be open-minded is generally considered a positive trait in our society and one most people readily claim. You always get the person, when you ask a question like this, that quotes the old phrase, “Don’t be so open-minded that your brains fall out.” That aside, most want to be seen this way.

Here’s my question for you (and me) today. Are you truly open-minded?

The phrase is defined by Dictionary.com as “being open to new ideas, unprejudiced.” Merriam-Webster defines it as, “receptive to arguments or ideas.”

We human beings have a tendency to hold onto our cherished beliefs about the world against all facts. Are you truly open to ideas that might question your religious faith? Are you receptive to ideas that might change your political ideology? Do you really judge every idea on its merits and put aside previous biases?

The fact is no one does or probably can remain open-minded 100 percent of the time. We’d be shifting our paradigms by the moment as more information arrived and we’d find it hard to live our lives.

That said, it is useful to sincerely gauge your level of openness to new ideas. Do you really listen to new ideas or ideas that question your paradigms or do you immediately dismiss, attack, and become argumentative in defense of your cherished ideas? Do you really measure your beliefs against the bar of your current knowledge or do you hold onto them because “that’s what we’ve always believed?”

This leaves many of us with a kind of cognitive dissonance between how open we believe we are and how open we actually are?

Here’s my challenge to you against the backdrop of a culture deeply divided by paradigms with wide gulfs and little understanding. Can you push yourself a little bit more? Can you hear the other person out before you automatically decide you disagree? Can you facts-test your beliefs once in a while? Can you give a little ground on the idea that your side has the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

If you can do that and I can do that and enough people in our culture can do that, healing and more dialogue are possible. Change that serves everyone can be achieved.

No pressure, but this is one of those things that really starts with you. If you’re waiting for your proverbial “them” to be more open first, you may wait a long time. Someone has to show the glimmer of enlightenment. Let it be you and me!

Thank you SO MUCH for stopping by. I hope today’s post spoke to you. If so, please consider sharing it with a friend or two.

Have a great Friday!

Ray

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot. He’s been studying and practicing personal development for 30 years. He’s also studied many of the world’s spiritual traditions and mythologies.

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Daily Motivator #22 – Playing the Hand Life Deals You

Releasing old frustration at the hand we were originally dealt in life allows us to play the hand we now have.

Twice Victimized

Today’s Thought

We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.
~Buckminster Fuller

wrists_ropes_brokenGood morning, my friends. I want to talk about victimization today. Sadly, we live in a world where many, many people have been victims of horrific events in their lives. Victimization comes in many forms – physical, psychological, spiritual, sexual, violent. The way humanity currently operates – selfishly, greedily, thoughtlessly – this is too common.When these things occur in our lives, they can temporarily knock us off course or, for some people, it can be a life-destroying situation. It’s natural and healthy to take some time to assess and heal. The amount of time necessary is different for each person. Yet, heal we must or we risk being victimized a second time and a third and fourth by our own victimhood.

Our popular culture has elevated victimhood to a badge of honor. Something that empowers you. Any careful assessment of that philosophy will quickly show you that’s faulty logic that will only keep you locked in a downward spiral.

I have some good news, but some of you will find it hard to hear. You may even become angry in defense of your victimhood. That’s OK. It tells you it’s your good friend, but it’s not. It’s that destructive kind of friend who promises to protect you from being hurt again. In reality, it only protects you from living your life. Please know I am coming from a good place in sharing this with you. You see, I lived it for a number of years in my life.

There is a way out and up for you. It requires you to do something challenging and difficult, but necessary, to get your life back on course. It’s time to release and forgive your victimizer. More often that not, your nemesis is an unhealed victim themselves. That doesn’t excuse their actions, it does help us to see them again as a human being, just like us, dealing with demons.

Secondly, and even more importantly, it’s time for you to release the guilt or other negative feelings you hold on to…the ones that are causing you to remain a victim instead of the sovereign champion of your life.

Over my years, running The Affirmation Spot (@affirmationspot), I’ve had so many people reach out to me suffering from this victim state. I posted a number of original quotes for them to post in their daily lives to remind them that being a victim is something that happened to them. It IS NOT who they permanently are and it IS NOT who you permanently are either.

I hope they help you claim your courage and your determination to shift course and have the life you deserve.

  • Every time you start to play the victim today stop yourself and remind yourself WHO really you are.
  • Whenever I play the victim role, I have given my power to someone else to decide who I am. Today I refuse to do it!
  • To understand your thinking creates your circumstances, is not blaming the victim. It’s empowering you not to be a victim anymore.
  • Victimhood becomes a comfort zone. You remain a victim as long as you play a victim. Stop it! You’re better than that!
  • As long as you play the victim, you’ll be the victim. Your hero is waiting for you in the mirror.
  • No one can victimize you as completely, as your perpetual belief that you are a victim.
  • You are the director if your life. The only way you keep playing the victim is to keep casting yourself in the role.
  • Today I choose to be the beneficiary of my positive thinking rather than the victim of my negative thinking.
  • You are a victim of your conditioning, until you become master of your thinking.
  • Every time you play the victim, you give your power away.If your bliss is playing the victim, who are your dreams to stand in the way?If you believe you’re a victim, you are. If you believe you’re unstoppable, you are.

Don’t let your victimizer win by taking the life you might have had from you. Free yourself to be who you want to be!

Stay inspired!

Ray

The Limits of Either/Or Thinking

protest_opposing_groupsWhile I believe most people just want to get up, go to work, raise their kids, and live their lives; the messages in our world are often polarized. There seems to be an effort to turn everything into an Either/Or proposition.

Either God exists or science explains everything. Either natural cures are best and Big Pharma is evil or Big Pharma is helping people and natural cure purveyors are quacks. Either you’re Democrat or Republican, Christian, Jew, or Buddhist.

It’s no coincidence, in my mind, that Either/Or sounds a lot like the sound a stubborn donkey makes. This mindset limits our options, limits our thinking, and, worst of all, limits the progress of our civilization.

Some Either/Or people make it their life’s mission to win the argument with the opposition. Others take the shortcut of simply eliminating people who disagree. Largely, people do this based on conditioned beliefs or rigid approaches to data. They do it without ever having stood a moment in their opposition’s shoes, looked around through their eyes, and most importantly looked back at themselves to see how they look from that perspective.

I’ve had people get mad at me for suggesting they are taking away half of their freedom to vote by ALWAYS voting for one party. Often I hear a response such, “But they’re evil. They can’t be allowed to rule. The sky would fall.” I call this the divided and conquered mindset and it flows naturally from Either/Or thinking.

Have you ever attended the religious service of someone you totally disagree with? Have you ever looked at the scientific evidence that counters your religious beliefs? Have you ever actually read the political arguments of your opposition and tried to see that they’re not evil or crazy and that there are sound reasons for what they believe? If not, you might be caught in the Either/Or mindset.

Open your mind. Consider new possibilities. Don’t let other peoples’ ideas limit what is possible for you – for all of us. When you do, you’ll suddenly see that you had placed yourself in an ideological cage that had to defeat the opposition at any cost. You’ll see you can be free from the cage and that whole universes open up when you do.

Keep your eyes on the skies!

Ray

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot, a writer, thinker, and advocate for human advancement and awakening.

anunnaki_cover_full_colorHis new speculative fiction novel – Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation – is shaking paradigms among believers and non-believers. It’s a clever mix of ancient knowledge, modern conspiracy, and page-turning excitement.

One reader wrote, “(My) mind is officially blown!”

Author Graham Hancock said, “We are a species with amnesia.” This book begins the awakening. Is it fact? Is it fiction? You decide!

The Affirmation Spot Ezine #3 – TAS Partners with Feed The Children

 
The Affirmation Spot Ezine is available for free by e-mail. I am mirroring it on the blog to help introduce it to a wider audience. Subscription information is at the bottom.



This Month’s issue
 
* From Ray’s Desk…
* The Affirmation Spot Partners with Feed The Children
* Affirmations
* Tips



 
From Ray’s Desk…
 
Hello, TAS friends
 
The past month has witnessed two major natural disasters in Asia. It’s an odd conundrum that the worst events bring out the best in the human spirit. People and nations around the world are mobilizing to help the people of Myanmar and China.
 
I think the reason these tragic events stir us so and bring out our best is that they remind us that we really are all in this together. We may differ politically, religiously, or economically. On ordinary days, those issues seem to matter so much.
 
However, when faced with unimaginable destruction and suffering, we seem to instinctively pull together. Maybe, in those moments, we are jolted awake to the fact that behind all our egoic masks and facades we are all subject to the same unpredictable whims of existence.
 
Such events can drive us to depression and withdrawal or engagement and enlightenment. They can create the thought that life is short and meaningless or that life is short and oh so precious.
 
There are circumstances beyond our control, but our thoughts and actions are always within our control.  When we realize that simple fact we are empowered and energized to pick up and move on from tragedy in our lives and in the world.
 
Stay inspired!
 
Ray
 
 
 
The Affirmation Spot Partners with Feed The Children
 
 
There are so many children who suffer on this planet every day. Sometimes it is the result of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, the recent typhoon in Myanmar, or the Chinese earthquake. In other places, it is due to war, poverty,and other political conditions.  
 
Founded in 1979, Feed The Children now has a presence in all 50 U.S. states and in more than 60 countries around the world. FTC delivers water and beverages, food, medicine, clothing, and much more – the necessities of life – to children and their families in distress.
 
The primary objective of The Affirmation Spot is to help people. The affirmations and other digital products we offer focus on improving the mental and spiritual aspects of our being. However, we cannot overlook the real, material needs of people.
 
That is why I am proud to announce a new special project in partnership with Feed The Children. I hope this pilot program will be the beginning of a long relationship with FTC.
 
Here is how it works.
 
May 15, 2008 – August 31, 2008
 
The Affirmation Spot will donate $.05 US for every $0.49 affirmation sold and $.10 US for every $0.79 or higher priced item sold to Feed The Children.
 
That means you can now help others as you are helping yourself. You get the affirmations and other positive thought products you want and you are helping Feed The Children too.
 
We will be providing monthly updates (on www.theaffirmationspot.com) on how much is donated through this program. Of course, the program is only as successful as we make it.
 
Together we can help children around the world.
 
 
Affirmations of the Month
These affirmations are available on the website or will be in the near future.
 
  1. Every event, every relationship, every circumstance in my life is working together for my benefit.
  2. I am committed to saving more of my income. Paycheck by paycheck my savings grows.
  3. My money earning abilities are recession-proof.
  4. Right here, right now is always the best time to begin anew.
  5. I am now experiencing a greater opening of my heart and mind.
  6. Living honestly in every situation keeps my life simple and improves my relationships.
  7. A great writer lives within me. Today that writer bursts onto the page.
Tips
 
The Tips section offers updated information on the website and helpful tips to using affirmations.
  • Newest Affirmations – The Affirmation Spot has a new link on the side menu called Newest Affirmations. This section provides links to the newest affirmations on the website and the dates they are posted.
  • Passive Listening – Listening to your affirmations passively is a great way to infuse them into your self-talk without your conscious mind interfering as much. Listen while you work or do other activities that require most of your attention. By the same process that helps you learn the words to a song you didn’t know you were listening to, you will find your affirmations coming to mind more easily.
I appreciate your comments and thoughts about the Ezine or the website. Please feel free to contact me with your thoughts, ideas, or suggestions.
 
Stay inspired!
 
Ray
ray(at)theaffirmationspot.com



Subscription Information
 
Remember we will never share your information with any other entity – ever.
 
Subscribe – if you have friends who might like to receive The Affirmation Spot Ezine on a monthly basis, please have them send an e-mail to info@theaffirmationspot.com with the word “Subscribe” in the Subject Line.
 
If you want to change the e-mail address that receives this Ezine, please send a message to the same e-mail address with “Change E-mail” in the subject line. Indicate the new e-mail address and the old e-mail address.
 
Unsubscribe – If you would prefer to not receive future editions, please send an e-mail to info@theaffirmationspot.com with the word “Unsubscribe” in the Subject line.