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  • Writer's pictureJoel Brown

Don't be so open minded that your brain falls out.

"Don't be so open minded that your brain falls out."

Have you heard that phrase? I have heard it more often than I'd like to recall.

The only people who said this to me where the most close-minded people I knew. In fact, whenever someone said this to me in response to my genuine pursuit of truth, even if new discoveries challenged my tightly held convictions, I knew I was onto something. It also revealed a fear that I was at risk of pulling away from a particular camp of ideas that they deemed sacred or orthodox.

The analogy is falls apart because your brain isn't protected by close-mindedness. An unwillingness to be as open-minded as possible was actually more likely to kill humans historically. A closed skull protects the brain from falling out, but a maximally open mind expands your capacity to learn new things and grow as a human being. Open-mindedness leads to greater knowledge and wisdom and it mitigates conformation bias and mindset tribalism.

There is nothing to fear in being maximally open-minded. Being open minded doesn't necessarily mean you throw all caution to the wind nor does it mean you throw out all tradition just because it's old news. It simply means you are willing to consider a credible idea and evaluate it carefully in light of reason and evidence.

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