Are You Open to Ideas or Too Sure You Are Right?

A friend of mine motivated to lose weight in the hopes of reducing back pain recently shared his dramatic results with others. The reactions professed predictable beliefs:

  • He is missing out on important nutrients.
  • He won’t keep the weight off.
  • He should reward himself with occasional splurges.

Let me point out that those quick to offer such comments:

  1. Have no idea what he is or isn’t eating and can’t possibly know whether he is missing important nutrients.
  2. Assume his method is no different than their own previous efforts, which have ended in failure.
  3. Assume his method is based on starvation and deprivation.
  4. Are pretty much convinced weight gain is inevitable short of perpetual self torture.

This is a pretty sad commentary. Furthermore, these reactions are not unique to weight loss. In my experience from watching people in a wide range of situations and organizations, many are way too quick to:

  • Offer opinions without sufficient information
  • Use past failures to shoot down new ideas
  • Resign themselves to the status quo

Imagine if, when presented with new ideas or surprising results, people responded instead with questions, openness, and optimism. Imagine if they simply said:

“Tell me more.”

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