The concept which I am about to dissect applies to many different aspects and situations in life. I am going to use just a few examples, but I believe that as you read this, dear mysterious readers, you’ll understand what the core issue is and how it fits into your own life. Although this applies to everyone, I think that young people especially need this message.
Let’s start off with a statement that, although it should not be controversial, perhaps is: there is nothing wrong with changing your mind.
What am I talking about? Let’s start with an example.
Some folks, from an early age, have their lives entirely planned out. Beach wedding. Four kids.White picket fence, etc. While the vision may differ, it seems that the resoluteness with which each individual adheres to their vision does not wavier much.
Then life happens. Something changes, for either better or worse, or maybe something happens which simply pushes the plan out of alignment. Maybe it happens before even one piece of the puzzle is in place, or maybe part way through. Either way, maybe you don’t feel the same way about all of it that you did before. This set vision of perfection may not be plausible anymore, or…
…maybe you’ve simply been introduced to new information. Maybe, you’ve realized that kids are a huge responsibility. Could you handle four? You’re older now, and have come to realize that your dream job and a house in the ‘burbs aren’t exactly compatible, unless you want to spend hours a day commuting. What now?
Maybe, you’re midway through college and have realized that your major does not interest you nearly as much as you thought it would, or as it did when you first started out. What now? Everyone knows you as a literature major, and changing that would set you back, cost money, and change the dynamics of your social circle.
Perhaps, you experienced an epiphany on a political or social issue. You thought you knew where you stood. You had a strong opinion, which others knew, until…
…you learned something new. You met more people. You experienced life more.
What I am talking about is actually personal growth. Unfortunately, some people are so set in their ways that they are not able to properly absorb and analyze new information. Some folks see the world through a set lens. Or, become frightened by the possibility that any new information may show a belief they hold to be erroneous or require them to change, and so they close themselves off from it.
And, there’s also a sort of social stigma. Folks who change their minds on major issues may be looked upon as flaky, indecisive, or capricious.
“I thought you wanted”
“I thought you were”
“You said you’d never do”
“But you worked so hard for”
When one stops accepting new information, they are closing themselves off to new possibilities, new adventures, and narrowing their future and mind.
There’s nothing wrong with changing your mind. You are a living, breathing creature, as is your mind. If you’re not growing, there’s a solid chance that it’s because you’re dead. The same applies to your opinions, thoughts, and views of the world. Sometimes, making a change does not show outwardly. Perhaps it is only reflected in your interactions with others, or even how you see yourself. Or, it may require to make a practical life change in the way you live or how you do something.
And that’s perfectly fine.
From what I have seen, which is a good deal more than some may credit me, the people who are most afraid to change their views, learn, or even let their friend, or significant other experience growth are so afraid because they are uncomfortable in their own beliefs and so cling to them blindly, avidly, because popular opinion or tradition determined that view to be the correct choice. Those afraid of change are where they are because someone else made a choice for them, at some point, and they’ve never properly determined where they wanted to be or what they wanted to believe. They are afraid to examine new information with an open mind, because they do not have confidence in the foundation of their current beliefs. Their beliefs were presented to them by an institution: family, school, religion, politics, or the economy.
As long as what you are doing does not hurt yourself or others — and no, someone simply disliking your opinion does not count — then you should allow yourself to explore the new information or experience.
Life means growth, comfortable or not.
If you enjoyed part one, please read part two, which will talk about a different side of the same issue.