Think for a moment about the principles you believe most deeply. Perhaps you are opposed to animal cruelty and live a vegan lifestyle. Maybe you are deeply religious and have a strong connection to the teachings of your faith. Some of you may be proponents of the second amendment and take every opportunity to protect that right.
Each of us has our own unique set of beliefs and values. And no matter what we believe, we are guaranteed to encounter people with whom we disagree.
How do you deal with these people? Do you avoid them? Do you argue with them to convince them that your stance is correct and theirs is wrong? Or do you try to understand what is behind their deeply held belief?
If I’m being honest, my default is the first. I imagine most of us naturally try to avoid these conversations. But is that really the best choice?
In order to create new ideas, it’s necessary to challenge our existing beliefs. When we surround ourselves with people and media that support our beliefs, we become stagnant. We begin to believe this is the only answer and that every other idea is wrong. At this point, any opportunity for change comes to an abrupt halt.In order to create new ideas, it’s necessary to challenge our existing beliefs. Click To Tweet
Now ask yourself, am I done growing, or do I want to continue to evolve? Do I want to be open to new ideas? Am I driven to try to understand, or just judge? Do I feel inspired to find new ways to create positive change in this world?
I imagine you’re the type of person who wants to keep learning and growing. I feel the same way.
I haven’t scratched the surface of my potential and I hope you feel the same. I also know that we can’t continue to grow unless we’re challenged.
It’s not always easy. Especially when we’re dealing with other people. There are some personality types that rub us the wrong way. There are plenty of opinions that we feel in our hearts are wrong.
In today’s world, it’s very easy to walk away from a conversation or turn off an interview. But what if you challenged yourself to stick with it instead?
I had this experience recently while listening to an interview with Gary Vaynerchuck. I’ve been known to be bit blunt and I’m not easily offended. That said, Vaynerchuck is a bit over the top for me. Within the first three minutes, I was ready to stop the interview and move on to the next thing.
However, during the last year, I’ve learned a lot by spending time with people who are very different from me. I’ve come to realize that I have a shared belief or interest with nearly every person I encounter. Not only that, I’ve found that if a person can explain to me why they believe the way they do, I am able to understand the issue on a much deeper level.
So instead of turning off the Vaynerchuck interview, I convinced myself that I had something to learn from him and stuck with it. I was rewarded with an incredible conversation about working for free versus charging what you can. I eventually got past Vaynerchuck’s rough persona and connected with his vulnerable side. Most importantly, I learned a new perspective on a subject that’s important to my life.
I’ve never met an individual that I’ve agreed with 100 percent. Yet I truly believe that every person has something that I can learn from them. My challenge to you is to engage one person each day with whom you disagree. Make it a habit over the coming week and make note of what you learn. A year from now, you’ll be glad you did.I truly believe that every person has something that I can learn from them. Click To Tweet
What important lessons have you learned from someone you were turned off by? How did it feel the moment you connected?
Share in the comments below.
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