The first question is 'What is it to be close-minded?' and my opinion on this is that it is the state in which a person does not explore the world in a way that truly brings about growth. On the contrary I do not believe that being open-minded means listening to everyone and considering their point of view with scrutiny giving all individuals a chance or simply accepting people as they are since that has natural constraints that are completely artificial in nature and arbitrary. In my worldview I find there are three traits common to those I find to be close-minded and openly admit that this is an opinion but what else are MyTakes but persuasive arguments and opinions?
The first step is to not test. What I mean by this is that many people come up with opinions on how things should be done (or worse, accept other's concepts for "smart" as smart) and do not test them. Now most things in life are truly untested; many people look for things like "Top Study Habits!" or "Best Damn Fat Burning Workout!" and fundamentally assume at some point that experts must be correct otherwise they wouldn't be experts and that the results they get (show) are achieved through a basic set of principles and routines and that it is all just action!
Yet under the hood with little to no effort you can pry and see that the "Top Study Habits!" actually aren't habits, they're fragments of a mindset, and the "Best Damn Fat Burning Workout!" suddenly has the same traits where the people who were successful were not successful because of the workout but because of the mindset they had going into the workout; the physical actions and observable behaviors had very little to do with the success of the individuals.
But we do not test! I do not remove myself from the group as there are many (many) things I believe without testing. Headline reads: "Women want this in a man, science says so!" and I think 'who am I to argue with science?' without looking at the parameters of the study and perhaps considering testing the hypothesis itself seeing as I am human and I can approach women and should I have the things required (or vice versa) I should produce a result that aligns with the results relatively often. It turns out that as we go further down the road into personal growth many things are (sadly) total bunk and the experiments are poorly built and have small samples and the headline that reads: "How to Increase Your IQ and EQ!" or "Females are more intelligent than males!" are generally speaking lip service to extremely long, extremely dull and hard to read studies that in fact don't say that at all.
If you want to grow test. Test and keep testing. Test yourself. Test your world. Yes, you can, and many of us will live our entire lives under the guise of others without having the courage to step forth and test all things and in truth there are many, many things that you won't be able to test due to a lack of expertise, assets and materials or even simple biological limitations however that does not excuse you from not testing what you can.
The second step is to not listen. We have all heard it, "I don't give a fuck what strangers think; I do what I want and listen to my [small circle of individuals]!" The truth of the matter is who you listen to effects you but not listening also is just as effective; if everyone around you is telling you that you're making a mistake except for say the exploitative romantic interest you're not doing yourself any favors. We all know this in hindsight but the actual problem is a problem of foresight: We believe that if we surround ourselves with like-minded individuals we are doing something smart when in fact we are doing something extremely dumb because these individuals won't disagree with you!
I understand that this was a joke but many people live out their lives like this. They seek sympathy and even companionship based entirely on their own thoughts and feelings being correct which does tie directly into not testing. They don't test their thoughts and then they build a wall around those thoughts by finding individuals who, like themselves, are also becoming bricks in the walls of their beliefs; the problem with this is that people who don't listen rarely if ever grow as quickly as people who do. They may get eventually but they tend to take many times longer, make completely avoidable errors, get caught up in their own emotional traps and ultimately put themselves into really bad situations that they have to get out of but they have built a wall out of others and thus they have to actually jump the wall that they themselves built to protect their false ideals which is much harder to do when the wall is alive and more than willing, especially if the others are not willing to move forward and away from the thinking, to drag you right back.
The reason why you are not where you want to be and why you are surrounded by people who do not bring you to greatness is not because they chose to cling to you but instead because you chose to cling to them and you deliberately asked them to share that which shackles you and to hold you in place. When you think about this for a moment is that not the highest expression of friendship? Even to your detriment because unlike you they cannot see it. They are of they belief that they are helping you.
But what is it to listen? In my opinion it is the ability to take what is factual and apply it as well as to look at and discern what isn't factual and choose whether or not to effectively discard it. This is very complex though it is a simple sentence particularly because what is factual and true is not always wrapped in an obvious giftbox and can be very difficult to pull apart because opinions and facts can and often do sound the same. If your mother, knowing you since birth, says "You're egotistical" this is more likely to be a fact than if someone you just met whom you slighted due to other circumstances says the same thing. They both sound like an opinion but you can in fact be egotistical and the same is true of other adjectives.
If you surround yourself with only what you want to hear you will become only what you have chosen to hear.
Step three is self-isolation through individualism. You don't test because your ideas are perfect and unique to you, you don't listen because anyone who is against you is oppressing you but this is the most harmful of the three by far which is that you isolate yourself by declaring that you are by far without equal. "No one can know my pain!" she said. "No one can understand me!" he said. So these individuals who have surrounded their poisonous ideals with other people, individuals, who hold the same poisonous ideals that refuse to test them and see their merit decide that ultimately they are beyond judgment and therefore able to ascertain their own worth and value and do not yield to anyone or anything!
Is this not the mindset of a person in a cult? You have effectively decided you are a god, beyond reproach except by those whom you deem worthy which in turn means that even they may fail and be discarded, which if you do not understand the underlying issue means that only you can judge yourself. So you pass judgment on your own ideals and who in the world is going to pass accurate judgment on themselves? Ever? Your entire life is a compilation of errors! Were you perfect in thought and deed would you not have all you ever wanted because all you needed to be able to do was the right thing at the right time with the right person to achieve all things and move forward. You would be omniscient.
You are not.
When you believe that you can save yourself you are in the greatest peril of your life. I understand that most of this is opinion but this portion is not purely so; humans are not hermetic creatures by nature so setting yourself aside and believing that you can fix you is equivalent to trying to improve your speaking skills in a mirror to yourself. It does not work. You cannot practice practical application without the correct environment because (you guessed it) you need to test! Your ability to grow depends entirely on your experiences and they cannot be mock experiences; you cannot become a "perfect partner" by working on yourself. Yes, you can resolve some issues on your own, but most you cannot nor should you.
The entire profession of medicine, whether physical, mental or emotional is built on the idea that you cannot mend you. You do not know yourself like that. When you go to the doctor and they tell you that your cholesterol is high or your WBC is low or other things these are not things you can discern just by looking at yourself in the mirror before it is too late. The same is true of your emotions in reality; long before you enter into a panic attach or burnout you will show signs and people will see them and tell you and of course you won't listen and then you, being the god you are, are always surprised when they were right!
If I told you that if you were to clean up your diet today in ten years you would not have Type II Diabetes but otherwise it is an absolute you would do nothing.
If I told you that you have Type II Diabetes today then you would be shocked and wonder how you got there to that point.
Truly it is the grains of sand that do build the mountain but understand that the mountain is always building.
So this is it. If you want to be close-minded you must never test your ideals and I suggest a name to you for such: "morals" and "rules". Never test their veracity. Then you must never listen and choose to believe that you are sanct and knowledgeable even on things you are clearly ignorant on. Finally you must grant yourself godhood, which in another word is "entitlement", so such that you are beyond the judgment of others and your own "Savior".