Only Stupid People Never Change Their Minds

“…He gets criticized for changing his opinions, or ‘flip flopping,’ but over a lifetime I’ve seen many people who don’t change and they always get left behind. Smart people learn things, so they change their minds. Only stupid people never change their minds…”

So were the recent words of Donald Trump, referring to Mitt Romney on the Today Show last week. Love him or hate him (I mostly side with the latter), the man makes a good point. A point that we often forget. A point that we should apply to our decision-making a little more often.

The point? It’s okay to change your mind. In fact, you probably should. 

Change is inconvenient. We inherently want to be right. We have the desire to be correct. To prove we’re smart. To show that we “know things”.

But that inability to see things from another perspective. That little something inside that refuses to be “wrong” – it will forever hold you back from learning, growing, and ultimately having a more formed and educated opinion, on, well, pretty much everything.

Even the people in the spotlight, in this case, a politician, are allowed to change their mind. Of course, we hold them to a higher standard, we expect them to have a firm, unwaivering stance on issues, but, this just in, everyone, even our key decision-makers learn and develop new ideas and perspectives based on experience.

So maybe it’s time to change your mind on the career you want to pursue. Maybe it’s time to change your mind about who you’re going to vote for. Or maybe it’s time to change your opinion on Tori from Saved by the Bell (I mean, come on, those episodes were still lightyears ahead of The College Years – and don’t even get be started on The New Class).

Here’s to being okay with changing your mind a little more often…


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17 Responses
  • Sarah Bagley Reply

    Matt, thank you for this post – I needed to read this this morning.

    I change my mind often, and I used to see it as a sign of weakness, that I can’t make decisions or decide where I stand.  And while I suppose it’s good to be resolute about some things, I now see how being open to changing my mind leaves me open to possibilities.  Also, I’m able to hear other people’s points of view and consider them instead of always thinking I’m right, a  trait I’m glad I have :)

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      It’s a balance, isn’t it? (and I’ll be the first to admit I hate the word “balance”) – Being resolute and taking a stance, but allowing yourself to accept other opinions and ideas, and being comfortable with, at times, changing your perspective and thinking about something in a new light. Being able to say “you’re right, I’m wrong” is one of the hardest things for any of us, but those simple words allow you to change – for the better. Stubbornness is rarely productive. 

      Thanks for reading, Sarah!

  • Alejandro Reyes Reply

    Matt, I agree with you on this post, changing our minds is normal.

    I truly believe that change is the only constant in the world. Everything is changing around us, why wouldn’t we change our minds often? If we accept and embrace change we can truly create awesome things.
    I truly have been jumping around a lot of things, and now I’m walking the path of self-employment, it has been hard but changing and adapting constantly is leading me to success, at least I’m no longer afraid of not having enough to eat.

    Thanks for this post man, I appreciate the reminder on change. :)

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      You got it, Alejandro. And I agree, change is the only constant. Instead of fighting it, we have to embrace it and use it as a driving force in our lives. 

      Not to shamelessly promote, but you should check out my ebook on change if you haven’t already: http://www.lifewithoutpants.com/the-inconvenience-of-change/ – 40+ bloggers shared their thoughts on change and how to deal with it – I think it might be valuable to you (and it’s totally free, so if nothing else, it makes good firewood to use during these cold winter months ;) )

  • Richard Dedor Reply

    I am actually writing about this next week on my own blog … this idea that ‘flip-flopping’ is bad… 

    I think the bigger problem comes when you change your mind, don’t admit it and explain why. That is what is happening in politics now. I’d rather someone grow and change and explain why. That shows growth. But as people, especially politicians, it can be ‘deadly’ to admit you were once wrong. 

    • Doug Shaw Reply

      Richard I love it. Grow, change, explain. Simple! And of course simple ain’t easy :)

    • Matt Cheuvront Reply

      Changing your mind is seen as such a weakness in the political field that no one will ever admit it – they’ll fight to the death and run in circles explaining why they didn’t change their stance when they did. Such is politics, I suppose.

      • Richard Dedor Reply

        And why I am always working to change it! :-)

  • Devina Divecha Reply

    I would REALLY like some people to change their minds about people with autism. I knwo some who currently think they are a “burden” no matter what is said to try and educate them. Trump is right…only stupid people never change their minds.

  • Andy Flink Reply

    So much for the term “flip-flopper.”  I’ve always said that people should change their position at a later moment if in fact they have been enlightened with information that now assists them in making a more informed decision

  • Natalie Sisson Reply

    The only constant in life is change, if we don’t change from time to time too then we will get left behind.

  • Anaya Reply

    Most people discuss to prove others wrong, they do not discuss to learn..

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