On Openness

‘It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.’
— Aristotle

‘If a Man will begin with certainties, he will end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he will end in certainties.’
— Francis Bacon

‘When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so regretfully upon the closed door that we don’t see the one which has opened for us.’
— Alexander Graham Bell

‘The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.’
— Henri Bergson

‘I had an immense advantage over many others dealing with the problem in as much as I had no fixed ideas derived from long-established practice to control and bias my mind, and did not suffer from the general belief that whatever is, is right.’
— Henry Bessemer

‘A weak mind is like a microscope, which magnifies trifling things but cannot receive great ones.’
— G. K. Chesterton

‘We all operate in two contrasting modes, which might be called open and closed. The open mode is more relaxed, more receptive, more exploratory, more democratic, more playful and more humorous. The closed mode is the tighter, more rigid, more hierarchical, more tunnel-visioned. Most people, unfortunately spend most of their time in the closed mode.’
— John Cleese

‘Creative experiences can be produced regularly, consistently, almost daily in people’s lives. It requires enormous personal security and openness and a spirit of adventure.’
— Steven Covey

‘Minds are like parachutes — they only function when open.’
— Thomas Dewar

‘People only see what they are prepared to see.’
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

‘I’m looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can’t be done.’
— Henry Ford

‘The outward freedom that we shall attain will only be in exact proportion to the inward freedom to which we may have grown at a given moment. And if this is a correct view of freedom, our chief energy must be concentrated on achieving reform from within.’
— Mahatma Gandhi

‘One never goes so far as when one doesn’t know where one is going.’
— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

‘Presumption must be quenched even more than a fire.’
— Heraclitus

‘If you do not expect the unexpected, you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail.’
— Heraclitus

‘If you don’t ask ‘Why this?’ often enough, someone will ask, ‘Why you?’.’
— Tom Hirshfield

‘Sit down before facts like a child, and be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses Nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.’
— Thomas Huxley

‘No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.’
— Helen Keller

‘It’s amazing what ordinary people can do if they set out without preconceived notions.’
— Charles F. Kettering

‘Where there is an open mind, there will always be a frontier.’
— Charles F. Kettering

‘One change always leaves the door open for the establishment of others.’
— Niccolò Machiavelli

‘Now there’s a man with an open mind—you can feel the breeze from here!’
— Groucho Marx

‘You study, you learn, but you guard the original naivete. It has to be within you, as desire for drink is within the drunkard or love is within the lover.’
— Henri Matisse

‘Anthropology demands the open-mindedness with which one must look and listen, record in astonishment and wonder that which one would not have been able to guess.’
— Margaret Mead

‘I consider it my job to nurture the creativity of the people I work with because at Sony we know that a terrific idea is more likely to happen in an open, free and trusting atmosphere than when everything is calculated, every action analysed and every responsibility assigned by an organisation chart.’
— Akio Morita

‘When I feel well and in a good humour, or when I am taking a drive or walking after a good meal, or in the night when I cannot sleep, thoughts crowd into my mind as easily as my mind might wish.’
— Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

‘When I am, as it were, completely myself, entirely alone and of good cheer–say, travelling in a carriage or walking after after a good meal or during the night when I cannot sleep; it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly. Whence and how they come I know not; nor can I force them.’
— Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

‘Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see possibilities–always see them, for they are always there.’
— Norman Vincent Peale

‘The artist is a receptacle for the emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.’
— Pablo Picasso

‘Einstein does not remain attached to the classical principles, and when presented with a problem in physics he quickly envisages all of its possibilities. This leads immediately in his mind to the prediction of new phenomena which may one day be verified by experiment.’
— Henri Poincaré

‘The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.’
— Terry Pratchett

‘We are at times too ready to believe that the present is the only possible state of things.’
— Marcel Proust

‘Before he can create, man must have a deep awareness of the world about him.’
— Harold A. Rothbart