When was the last time you changed your mind? I don’t mean about something trivial such as what you wanted for supper but about something important. What should our business model be? For whom should I cast my vote? I also don’t mean when was the last time you made a decision. We make those all the time. It’s what happens after the decision is taken that is our topic today.
I changed my mind about something the other day. It’s not really important to our discussion what it was, just that my view of the world moved from point A to point B. As I thought about that I realized that many people stick with their initial decisions about things all the time through thick and thin. That might not be a bad thing, especially if you made a good choice at the time. It’s a terrible thing, however, if you do so out of habit or sloth. Things change and they do so more rapidly these days than at any time in our history. If you made a decision five years ago some of what you took as fact when you did so probably is less right now. Markets change. Information changes. Technology gets invented. Stuff happens! If you make any investments you probably have that mindset. Why doesn’t it extend to your business life (I’m ignoring politics here but…)?
A road you’ve driven down for years can suddenly have construction or a bridge out. You have to alter your route or fly off the bridge. Pretty obvious, right (I know – I’m a master of that!)? Yet that thinking doesn’t apply to other aspects of many people’s lives. Changing one’s mind is seen as weak or indecisive. Nothing could be further from the truth. Strong people challenge their own beliefs. They look for facts, especially ones that contradict their own opinions, and avoid confirmation bias. They keep an open mind when they go to make decisions and they test whether that decision is still valid based on changing circumstances.
My decisions aren’t etched in stone. More like footprints etched in wet sand. You can see what they are but when a strong wave comes along they might change. I might be opinionated but I also accept that I might be wrong on some things. Am I right about this?