Thursday, January 8, 2009


Introduction to Openness

firmly committed are you to the ideas and beliefs that govern your
thinking and guide your behavior? Some people trust their current ideas
and beliefs the way a climber trusts the mountain; whichever way they
move, whether the climb is on a familiar trail or over new ground,
there is something solid beneath them, something they count on.

For others, new ideas, new solutions to old problems, new beliefs that
replace tired convictions are like welcome wind in their sails. They
can hardly wait to tack in a new direction and ride a new idea through
uncharted waters. If it's new, it's interesting, and they're ready to

The following paragraphs describe your responses to
new ways of thinking and believing. How do you handle new information?
Are you more like the climber on a familiar mountain or a sailor with a
tiller in hand and a fresh breeze to propel you? How you integrate and
process new information about the world and about others is a core
aspect of your personality.

On the Openness Dimension you are:


Words that describe you:

  • Imaginative
  • Creative
  • Intellectual

  • Adventurous
  • Unconventional
  • Artistic

  • Progressive
  • Daring
  • Inspired

A General Description of How You Approach New Information and Experiences

are a very creative and imaginative person who is especially open to
new ideas or new ways of thinking about old problems. You love to
approach a conventional idea or a traditional way of doing things by
walking around to the other side and explore it from a novel
perspective. What's new is what interests you. Like an artist looking
for a new way to see, you focus your imagination on envisioning ideas,
events or problems in completely original ways. You are intellectually
progressive, which means you like to think and feel your way into
unexplored landscapes where you let your sense of intellectual
adventure romp freely.

Because you are so curious you can also
be very teachable. You learn from personal and interpersonal
experiences as well as from classrooms and textbooks. You crave new
information, and toss and turn it in your vivid imagination. When you
come across an idea from someone else or a thought in your own head
that is particularly provocative or original, you light up. With wit
and wisdom, Dr. Seuss describes you like this: "Think left and think
right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if
only you try!"

Negative Reactions Others May Have Toward Your Style of Thinking

everyone will be thrilled by your adventurous mind. Many people are
content with the ideas that have served them and their culture well,
and with visions they've grown accustomed to of what is and is not
true. They're not lit up at the prospect of moving out of their comfort
zone. Others are afraid of new ways of thinking and creative ways of
solving problems because they are somewhat fragile in the sense that
they have trouble maintaining serenity in their current worlds and
don't want someone, like you, for instance, pushing out the edges of
their intellectual and cultural cosmos. So don't be surprised if your
unconventional ideas sometimes get you criticized, or if some people
walk away from the explorations of new territories of the mind that you
find so exhilarating.

Positive Responses Others May Have Toward You

some negative responses to your style of thinking, many people will
find your progressive thoughts and vivid imagination quite attractive.
Some will find your openness to new ways of thinking and your
willingness to explore what others shy away from a very compelling
quality. Other creative souls will find in you a companion on the
journey into the unknown, and will welcome the camaraderie.
Conversations with them will be lively and innovative and will ignite
your imagination, and theirs. Even some who are less curious than you
will be impressed by your courage to think and believe what is for them
unimaginable, and by your willingness to go on adventures of the mind
that they would find dangerous or daunting. For these people you might
become a mentor into the wilder side of thinking and believing, and
nudge them toward the creative and progressive ideas that you find so

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