I don’t have enough fingers on my hands or toes on my feet to keep up with the number of times my wife, Jamie, has suggested I do something a different way or look at something from a different perspective and my hard headedness got in the way, leaving me only to find out soon afterwards that she was right and I was wrong. When will I ever learn?
While being stubborn is a common trait of hard working, passionate, driven people, it’s also a very annoying and ugly trait that can become a big thorn in your side (and your spouse’s) if you’re not careful. It can also hinder your growth within your career, your social life, and your overall well being. Being open minded and taking other people’s opinions, words of advice, thoughts, into account can fast track your growth in substantial ways. Let me explain my thoughts on this…
Let’s say, for example, you have an imaginary line. On one side of that line is a conservative version of Jeremy and on the other side of the line you have a liberal version of Jeremy. Conservative Jeremy believes in smaller government and is more traditional thinking overall. On the other side of the line, liberal Jeremy believes in bigger government, caring more for those in need, and holding more of a progressive/modern approach in his thinking. Now, the problem with both versions of Jeremy are that both are trapped inside of a bubble or an echo-chamber, if you will. If conservative Jeremy stepped outside of that bubble and really took into consideration where liberal Jeremy was coming from, he would probably gain a lot of insight, new knowledge, new ways of looking at the world, and possibly new paths to navigate that he was not privy to beforehand. The same goes for liberal Jeremy. If he stepped out of his bubble and took some words of wisdom and advice from conservative Jeremy’s perspective, he would probably gain the same benefits and insights as the Jeremy on the other side of the line. Our stubbornness can blind us and keep us from growing.
Now, as silly as that last example sounded, I do believe my point to be true. While stubbornness can debilitate our overall views and values, it can also limit our potential on a day to day basis.
For example, my wife Jamie (along with a few of her friends and my sister) have been urging me to take classes on our Peloton. Now, stubborn Jeremy says, “No, I don’t do classes. I just like to ride and hit my calorie loss goal. I don’t need the classes.” Despite my annoying stubbornness, Jamie has continued to push for me to at least try a class.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, I took my first class last week and found out quickly that Jamie, her friends, and my sister were all right. The classes are a game-changer and they push you to accomplish goals in your workout in half the time it was taking me prior to trying a class. Now, I’m taking classes every morning and it’s rejuvenating me. I could have experienced that motivation and joy a lot sooner if I had just listened to my wife. Not to mention, the classes also feature music as a huge part of the class. You can take themed classes like “90’s rock 30 minute cycle” or “Country music 30 minute cycle”. It’s a pretty genius idea and a lot of fun for someone like me that loves music.
So what did I learn from this little Peloton situation? While it’s great to be a person of strong conviction, you can really create problems for yourself and others by being too narrow minded in your thinking. Opening yourself up to the wisdom of others can lead you towards success and happiness much quicker than trying to do it all on your own.
So, next time your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, mom, dad, friend, or maybe even your own child, suggests you try something different or look at something from a new perspective, try to quiet your own opinions, listen to what they have to say and give it a try. What’s the worst that could happen? More than likely you’ll find they were right and you’ll welcome their advice more often!