By Maddie Rodriguez

Stay Open.

If you are the kind of person who carefully plans their schedule and, well, their life (ahem), the encouragement to “stay open” can sound a little bit like “relinquish control.” Openness can feel like an incursion on your carefully-planned life and it can be hard to not respond automatically in the negative.

But just as there is value in a life lived carefully and thoughtfully, there is also value in spontaneity and receptiveness. Being open—to change, to challenges, to opportunities—can bring exciting things, events, or people into your life that you could never have expected. There is value in allowing for flexibility even when it doesn’t come naturally.

Being open doesn’t mean throwing out the schedule or never saying “no”—it means is pushing back against “no” as the default. Being open means taking a moment, a breath, to pause and consider. To think about what you are responding to, how you are responding and why. Openness, viewed in this light, is just practicing a different kind of care and thought. And you might find that when you take yourself off automatic mode, you open yourself up to new possibilities.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to book “Reminder: stay open!” in my calendar.