When you think you know everything, your mind tends to close off, you are no longer open to new ideas, and you begin to boast about everything that you do know and do less examining about what you don’t. Additionally, when you think that you know everything you tend to lack empathy for others and a sense of disconnect will begin between you and other people. Furthermore, when you operate your life with this sense of arrogance and self-righteousness, whether it be physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, or intellectual, you will become close minded in order to defend a narrow set of attitudes, values, and beliefs. As Robert Greene once said, “With time, our minds tend to close off. At some point, we feel like we know what we need to know; our opinions are certain and firm. We don’t want our assumptions about life changed.” Many people live their lives with so much arrogance that they do not examine the blind spots in their nature, myself included. With that said, today I learned that I need to change my attitude, values, and beliefs towards life.
Over time I have learned that our philosophies and attitude towards life are like seeds; the more we think we know the less we allow ourselves to grow. Our intelligence is expected to expand as we gain more knowledge, and experience, however, having too much knowledge can over-complicate your thinking, cause arrogance, and put you out of touch with wisdom. For example, as I am trying to learn how to stand, and walk again, I find myself rejecting ideas from therapists and family members on the basis that ‘I know my body better than anyone’. Obviously, it is unwise of me to neglect the advice given to me by people who know how to walk and who can help me achieve my goals. However, having too much arrogance causes me to over complicate my circumstances and miss out on help from people who may know better than I do. Socrates once said, “ I know that I know nothing.” Socrates understood that there was so much more to learn, compared to what he already knew, and by keeping his glass of knowledge empty, had a higher capacity to acquire new knowledge. With that said, it is essential to become comfortable with change, detach from everything that you think you know, and accept new challenges for the sake of making progress.
The world we live in is unforgiving. As a competitive environment, on a global scale, we are in constant danger of losing our jobs or getting into serious trouble. We must become comfortable with an uncomfortable feeling, which is change. Progress is exhausting, unpredictable, uncomfortable, and makes us vulnerable to unfamiliar elements. Additionally, when we become complacent, and reject change, we become increasingly arrogant which causes a disconnect from reality as we become infected by a fantasy. It is at this time, due to the global competitive environment, that everything in our environment will undergo transformation and change, except us. Robert Greene said, “If things are going well, you become complacent, imagining what you have now will continue forever.” The bottom line is, nothing lasts forever and the fact that life itself is temporary tells us that. On that note, our current standing is only temporary and we must become comfortable with change because it is only a matter of time until the way things are will become the way things were. Progress is impossible without change and it is essential to become fluid with your attitude, values, and beliefs so you can embrace change and make progress in life.
As I am looking back in my journal, I came across an entry that says, “I am at a point in my recovery, unfortunately, where if I want to move forward and reach my full potential. I must let go of the past life I knew, and take life in a new direction.” What this journal entry taught me is that, to make substantial progress in life, I need to let go of everything that I thought I knew and embrace the discomfort that comes with change, because the minute that I become complacent is the moment that I will no longer be moving forward. Tony Schwartz said, “Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.” It is easy to get caught up in the past, or the arrogance of your own knowledge, however, this only holds you back from stepping forward into the changing times, where you need to be to shape your future. You have to remember where you came from but you cannot stay looking back because that is not where you are going. To avoid a stagnant life you should look ahead, commit to overcome the challenges that are holding you back, and keep an open mind to unforeseen possibilities.
Ryuho Okawa said, “If we do not challenge ourselves again and again, we will never be able to accomplish anything.” New challenges give you fresh ideas by bending the mind around problems, which expands your thinking, and forces the mind to think in new ways that it never has never done before. Finding, or creating, new possibilities requires you to have an open mind, which cannot happen if you have an attitude of standing firm on a pre-existing set of values, or beliefs, in our apparent fluctuating world. Just like contents in a glass, everything in life is subject to change and it is purely foolish to believe that everything you know now is the way everything will always be, or should be. Earlier I was reading through some of my journal entries from last year and there was a quote that said, “When a door closes, quit banging on it.” The same goes for your mind. If you think that you know everything, keep your mind closed, and counter-argue innovation or possibilities of making progress, you are only going to be pushing everybody away from you and isolating yourself. There is always room for improvement and the best way to maximize this concept is by keeping your glass of knowledge empty, as if it were broken.
My name is Nolan McDonnell and I am from San Jose, CA. On April 23, 2017 I was shot in the head while sitting in my parked car. I went to Prospect High School in San Jose, CA. I have a body transformation video called Nolan McDonnell Body Transformation.
My name is Nolan McDonnell and I am from San Jose, CA. I have a traumatic brain injury from being shot in the head. My full name is Nolan Thomas McDonnell. This is a post I wrote in response to my observations of other people throughout my recovery, I hope you enjoyed it.