CW #23: OPENNESS
A POSTCARD FROM PATAGONIA.
All of us experience change. It can be seen as the rule of nature since everything is in permanent movement, daily. However, we want to make sure that certain things always remain the same. Sometimes we even insist on their existence, although we are aware of their redundancy. Think of an everyday situation, for instance taking the metro to work. As usual, you are expecting the same procedure. Leaving the house at an appropriate time to have a pleasant walk, grab a coffee to be on schedule when the metro arrives. Having said this, what if the metro does not arrive? What if the waiting time at the coffee place is longer than previously estimated? What if there are way too many people and you cannot get into the metro you were planning on? We know so much about the incidents concerning our daily morning routines. Yet, it seems everything is new to us. We complain as if we had never experienced this situation before. We are appalled as if we had never seen a late metro on previous occasions. And we continue arguing about it as if it would do any difference. Regardless its high range effect on us. What is more, we agree on remaining in that mental position, feeding our attitude and behavior with negative loads and nurturing our environment with something we insist on being a necessity, supposedly. What if we were able to extend our imagination, establish acceptance and refer to a high multiplicity in daily events? Would things be different? Either way, if we want things to be different, we have to initiate change. WELCOME TO CW#23: OPENNESS!
What exactly does it mean when we speak of openness? Openness includes sincerity and an open mind towards unknown or unexpected situations. Moreover it is seen in willingness to deal with people, issues and problems from an unbiased perspective. Further, openness reflects a disposition to take risks, which is why confrontation is seen as a high qualified method when it comes to fear and anxiety treatment. To be open minded also means to share thoughts and concerns. Despite the negative effects some social media trends have shown, exchanging among beloved ones, between siblings and parents as well as reliable and trustworthy friends leads not only to relief, but also to an opportunity of rebuilding new mental structures and handy techniques. In fact, interaction helps reflection since we allow each other to function as a mirror. In many cases - depending on the personal spectrum of openness - we are able to evaluate our behavior by observing our society’s reactions towards ourselves. Just imagine we would start an open and objective conversation, don’t you think we would be able to understand way more concerning our mindset and actions? In the end, hundreds of years of personality researching shows a clear interest, yet a very clear answer is still to come. Despite the scientific curiosity, understanding one’s own personality helps strengthening existing traits but also encouraging the development of needful ones! Talking about openness and personality in CW#23 leads to the presentation of a simple, sometimes debatable, yet well-known model examining personality: the five factor model (FFM), or OCEAN model also known as the Big Five personality traits.
FFM - THE OCEAN MODEL - BIG FIVE
The OCEAN model is a taxonomy for personality based on five primary factors including secondary subitems. The development of the Big Five has started in the 1930’s based on a lexical survey by Thurnstone, Allport and Odbert. The scientists assume that personality characteristics found in every day life will effect language and will most likely be encoded into language as single words. Furthermore they have found significant differences among people based on their way of speaking and use of words. After all, a list of 18000 words lead to a factor analysis and concluded five (also culturally) stable and independent factors: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. Within the last century, the Big Five was proven by many other researchers. What is more, in the past 20 years it was used in over 3000 surveys. Although critics doubt its lexical approach, describing and analyzing personality in that way. Nonetheless, today the OCEAN model is internationally known and seen as a standard model in personality research. To gain a better understanding of what the factors stand for and how they are being distinguished, have a look at the image below.
Based on our weekly topic openness I would like to make use of this category only. Openness as a personal trait is characterized as intellectually curious and imaginative. New ideas are welcomed, also its formation is seen as something natural and easy to induce. People highly open-minded tend to be more interested in aesthetics, for instance arts and music, with preference for variety. Openness reveals a tendency wanting to experience new foods, unknown activities and foreign destinations. Thurnstone, Allport and Odbert have concluded that open minded people are more attentive to their own and others emotions.
Dealing with openness on CW#23’s blogpost and taking all information into account leads to one statement: Only the one’s who have an open mind are able to see all options! Opportunities are hiding on the streets around the corner. But if we are locked in our thoughts, excessively cautious regarding our actions and scared to see what’s available, we will never make it further than our own mailing address. Aren’t you interested in sending out a postcard from Patagonia yourself, rather than just receiving one?
Make your move!
Enjoy your now starting CW#23 with an OPEN MIND.