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Is Your Mind Open or Closed?

October 6, 2014

Confession time: I graduated from college thinking I knew everything I needed to know about acting. What I didn’t realize was that you’re never done learning. There’s always room for improvement and toning your skills.

The same applies outside of acting. Many people (myself especially) get caught in the lie of “I’m __ years old. I have a good handle on the world at this point.” Maybe so, but we can always be learning more. Unfortunately, the easier choice is to ignore words of wisdom as a result of being stuck in our own ways and habits.

But there’s good news! We don’t need to change our beliefs and habits overnight. What we do need to do is keep an open mind when listening to others. “But Tony, there’s a lot of stupid people who try to tell me things. Am I supposed to just listen to everything they say?” Not necessarily. Use your best judgment when listening to “difficult” people. And if there really are a lot of stupid people in your life, it might be time to reevaluate your friends 😉

Let’s look at some more specific examples:

-Acting classes: Once upon a time, I was very eager to shut down anything that contradicted what I previously learned. I can’t imagine how much information I missed from being stubborn. You can always decide later you don’t want to apply what you learned.  First, be 110% positive that what you learned isn’t for you. In other words, keep an open mind until class is over. 

-Workouts and nutrition: Oh boy. This can be an extremely sensitive topic. It’s another area where people are incredibly quick to refuse more information. It’s a shame for many reasons. We won’t even go into how much incorrect information is out there!  I used to refuse to change my workout routines until I finally caved and listened to an actor friend I trusted. I’m glad I did. I ended up changing my diet, cancelling my gym membership, and getting into the best shape of my life.

(…still looking for a six pack, but that’s my own fault. Besides, there are far too many cookies available on set.)

Start thinking of different areas you can start opening your mind to learning more. Maybe this applies to your acting career. Maybe not. Remember, you don’t need to see huge changes over night. Simply thinking of these areas will get you off and running in no time.

Have a cool story relating to any of this? Share below!

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