I changed my mind


I watched this video today on a social experiment some people were conducting. They waited near a booth where you can buy lottery tickets. Then, after people bought their ticket, they would walk up to them and offer to pay them twice as much as they paid for that same lottery ticket. About 9/10 people declined! Most of them were convinced that they had purchased the lucky ticket. When asked why they wouldn't take the deal, many of the 'future lottery winners' included in their response something along the lines of "well, imagine how devastating that would be if I sold YOU the winning ticket!"

How often do we as human beings fall into the trap of convincing ourselves that we are right? That we know what we're doing? Even more, how many times have we seduced ourselves into thinking that our mental efforts can impact external events? We fall in love with an idea. We walk into a meeting with a closed mind. We tell ourselves that no offer is good enough to change our minds.

I have found that the people who are most open to changing their minds are those who are experiencing something new/different. They have either started school, moved to a new town, started a new job, they continually read about new ideas, they recently made a big purchase, or experienced a life-changing event—something that did enough to shake up their world—at least before they start to experience a diminishing return on their current situation. 

I have also found that if you are the first to be vulnerable and either admit that you were wrong or that you changed your mind, others will feel more comfortable doing the same. Start with little things. You read something, believed something was some way, then you experienced something different and decided to change your mind. 

The key here is to not keep going back and forth. Be confident in your decision but humble enough to say that you were wrong. That you learned something that made you rethink the solution. 

You're either right or you're wrong. If you're like most people, you're probably right more than you're wrong. But something incredible starts to happen when leaders admit that they made a mistake—when they tell others that they changed their minds—things start getting accomplished, goals are achieved, and the culture in which this is all happening improves. 

As with most things, if you still think you're right, give it some time. If you can look back after 6 months, or a year and can still confidently state that you were right, kudos to you, learn something from it and understand what it was about that thing that made you choose correctly. But please, take a closer look. If you were wrong, then you were wrong. Don't beat yourself up about it, learn from it.

The person who is wrong, but from it gains important knowledge, has a significant advantage over the person who is 'always right.' Use being wrong to your advantage. It's not a bad thing to change your mind. It's noble. It shows that you love to learn, even if it means from your own mistakes. It means you want to win. It means you're going to be right when it counts.