Updated: Mar 8, 2020
I’d like to write my first blog post about keeping an open mind as we all separate and move forward in life. I believe only a small percentage of people actually understand how to do this so I’d like to share why it is a valuable skill to have, and also how to improve your ability to do so with some tips. I’m getting ready to graduate from Pitt with a bachelor’s of science in Exercise Science. The past 4 years of college for me has been nothing short of incredible. Starting out at East Stroudsburg University, finding my passion for fitness & founding my own club “Professional Therapeutics” where we recruited over 40 active members in our first semester all during my freshman year. Jump forward 3 years later, here I am at the University of Pittsburgh and a CEO of my own fitness company, MAX1MUM.
WHY OPEN THE MIND
“I know exactly what I want to do in life” is what I hear all the time. “I’m in a relationship” is another good one. Often times I experience and interact with other people who have such “tunnel vision” with their minds that they never truly experience & optimize opportunities that sometimes literally present themselves right in front of that person. If we never allow ourselves to be open to new opportunities, we tend to not see all of the limitations placed in our lives and the setbacks. Same goes with dating, a lot of people tend to shy away from conversations with the opposite sex.. especially around the same age group if they are in a serious relationship with someone because of they’re initial reaction to be defensive. By opening our minds, we will always “keep our head on a swivel” and find other opportunities that could show us new paths in life, or strengthen the one we are already on. Being comfortable enough in a relationship should let you open your mind so that you can talk with anyone you meet, in class.. at the bar.. at the gym because you never know who that person is or how they could benefit your life!! A good example is myself, all of high school I wanted to be Special Forces in the Marine Core, then a nurse my senior year, then a physical therapist my freshman year of college, now a business owner my senior year before graduation. I’ve kept my mind open but learned from all of those experiences and none of them were wrong AT THAT TIME. We are not bad people to change our minds, as long as you don’t change who you are in the process.
HOW TO OPEN THE MIND
Ok Max, how do I open my mind? Well it’s not easy and it goes against the natural tendency of the human brain to favor towards convenience and safety. Just like not eating carbs! A few tips that have worked for me have been…. (btw, ill share more on my website)
1) Meditation - spend time alone with yourself.. no tv, music, phones, distractions. Just be there with yourself & think about life. You may have noticed me doing this sometimes in the courtyard up at Trees before classes.
2) Clean Your Slate - anytime you come into a new environment, say our internships, completely wipe your mind of what you know, it takes practice! This was an incredible lesson I learned from a World Religion’s professor I had at ESU. Just actively listen to what someone else is saying or teaching you with no intention to speak what you know or want to say. Absorb how they do things & let that unconsciously slightly mold the way you do things.
3) Be Kind - often times we let our egos and personal attitudes get in the way of opening our minds. I have met some incredible people in my life so far and connected with them only because I was kind & genuine. If I allowed myself to be “alpha” or “stuck up” because I’m attractive, strong, or confident with myself or because I’m popular on Instagram then I would not be where I am in life or have done the things I’ve done so far. Just recently I met a big-time NYC chef (friends with Gordon Ramsey) & commercial actor who loved me at our recent job together. He wants me to go there! I wasn’t on my phone that day like other’s were or keeping to myself. I was kind and genuinely interested in who he was & what he was saying BEFORE he told me all of these other incredible things.