Saving the longer philosophical chat about economic theories, Today we’re going to chat about a brilliant line from one of history’s most influential economists, John Maynard Keynes.
He once (brilliantly) said: “I change my mind when the facts change. What do you do?”
Before we proceed, let’s pause and take a moment to reflect on that question.
Imagine facts changing in your life.
Whether those facts are related to your Energy or Work or Love…
The facts change.
What do you do?
The wisest and healthiest among us CHANGE OUR MINDS!! (Hah.)
Interestingly, as you may have noticed, this is considerably easier said than done. 🤓
Which is why this theme is echoed across the wisdom-literature.
In fact, we just talked about it the other day when we referenced Nietzsche (regarding Mr. Skin-Shedding Lizard) who told us: “Shedding one’s skin. The snake that cannot shed its skin perishes. So do the spirits who are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be spirit.”
Emerson echoed the same thing when he told us: “The other terror that scares us from self-trust is our consistency; a reverence for our past act or word, because the eyes of others have no other data for computing our orbit than our past acts, and we are loath to disappoint them.
But why should you keep your head over your shoulder? Why drag about this corpse of your memory, lest you contradict something you have stated in this or that public place? Suppose you should contradict yourself; what then? It seems to be a rule of wisdom never to rely on your memory alone, scarcely even in acts of pure memory, but to bring the past for judgment into the thousand-eyed present, and live ever in a new day.”
Note: That’s from Self-Reliance. The next paragraph is all about not being a Hobgoblin. I’m tempted to share it again…
I can’t resist!
Here’s that paragraph. It’s so worth repeating: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.—’Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.’—Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”
Now let’s bring it back to Today.
And, to modern psychologists.
Remember our whole chat about The Power of Agency?
Well, those guys are the ones who recently rekindled my love for that Keynes quote.
Here’s how they put it: “To have full agency, you need to adjust and update your beliefs periodically, and that requires a willingness to differentiate what’s real and what’s not real. John Maynard Keynes, one of the most influential economists of all time, said it quite plainly: ‘I change my mind when the facts change. What do you do?’”
Do YOU need to make any adjustments and/or updates to your beliefs?
Let’s quit dragging around dead corpses (!) ( 😲 ) as we shed the skin that needs to be shed and have the courage to live what we believe to be true TODAY.
(Maintaining that flexibility as new data comes in Tomorrow without having so little consistency that we devolve into chaos, of course. 🤓)