Maintaining an Open Mind and Challenging Preconceptions

“The most powerful agent of growth and transformation is something much more basic than any technique: a change of heart.” John Welwood

How often have you caught yourself prejudging an upcoming event based on unpleasant memories or some preconceived thoughts? Making assumptions and forecasting the future based on the past is a fairly common part of ordinary thinking and unfortunately it usually happens unconsciously.

Have some of your assumptions been faulty? The reality turns out far better than you imagined? Did you re-assess and put your ego in check? It’s a humbling and worthy thing to do; recognizing self limiting and biased thinking.

In January my son sent out his college applications. One of which much to my chagrin was to a university in southern California not far from Los Angeles. I tried to be supportive of all his choices but I know my show of enthusiasm strained each time we discussed this option.

When I first moved to California I stayed with my father in the suburbs of LA and I was miserable! I found the heat, smog, and freeways…amongst other things most perturbing. While he was alive I rarely visited my father in his home rather inviting him to come for a stay with me in Monterey.

As fate would have it, my son received a prestigious academic scholarship to the university in southern California. His tennis ranking was also high enough to afford him a chance to play collegiate tennis for this school. Playing tennis is a priority, a dream and goal of his for years.

It was incumbent upon me to stop, reflect and regroup. I realized my negative attitude was deterring my son’s decision. “Let’s drive down there and make an adventure out of this. The tennis coach is willing to meet with you and watch you play. This way you will have a more definitive idea about whether you will be one of the top six players on the team. You’ll also get a better feel of the place and have more to go on in order to decide”. I suggested.

We took a leisurely drive down south this past Sunday stopping at Tennis Warehouse which is a story in itself. We met a young man working there who comes from our home town and played tennis for the same High School.  Our tennis coach had also shopped in this store earlier the same day on his way to Santa Barbara!

There were hours of uninterrupted time to talk and catch up, which for those of us parents that have teenage children know, this is precious sacred time…

On Monday morning we found our way to the tennis courts and as we wove through the University walkways I found myself entranced. The campus was stunningly beautiful! A young man approached and began speaking with my son about tennis. He told us how happy he was attending the school. What a fortuitous encounter. And then we met the coach who after an hour of hitting said really hoped my son would commit joining the team to play in one of the top three positions…

Over the next four years my daughter and I will be making many visits to southern California and I look forward to continually being surprised and delighted…

“What is required for effective change is continuity of sincere effort to release and let go of inefficient thought patterns from the past.” Doc Childre

If you have stories about maintaining an open mind and challenging some preconceptions feel free to email them to: Stephanie@of2minds.com

I welcome your comments and questions. You can easily submit them here on my blog site.  If you would like to learn more about me and the services I offer as a Personal Life Coach click on the Services tab in the upper right hand corner of this page:  http://www.stephaniealt.com/   You can also visit my website: http://www.of2minds.com/

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