As I have published hundreds and hundreds of essays/blog posts over the past few years, I have made a number of claims/assertions that now, in retrospect, I likely disagree with.
In fact, I am certain that there are numerous things/topics that I have written (and also said aloud) that I have changed my mind on. And I am not so upset about that.
One of the most common questions people ask me about publishing daily is whether or not I care what other people think of my writing. In other words, people ask me if I worry about writing something controversial or just plain wrong and being judged because of it. They ask me if I worry about ruining my “long-term reputation” over some silly blogging experiment.
This is what holds many people back from sharing things publicly. They are “afraid” (and perhaps rightly so) that what they write today, years from now, will be incorrect.
My thoughts around this are pretty straightforward:
If you think that everything you write today (in 2018) you will agree with 30 years from now, well, then, I disagree. I think the world is changing so quickly that any speculation you have about the future today has a high chance of being incorrect.
SO THEN WHY SHARE IT WITH THE WORLD? WHY PLAY AN IMPOSTOR? JORDAN WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO YOUR LONG TERM REPUTATION?
To that, I emphasize why I am writing in the first place. It is not to be an expert (I really do not pretend to be one). It is to practice thinking.
It is to turn my mind and thoughts into an exercise machine (for at least a few minutes a day) and focus on digesting and filtering my perspective about the future. Anything I write likely has typos, could be improved and should be taken with a grain of salt.
I do not write to be a journalist. I do not write for fame or to be featured on publications. I do not write for anyone else but myself.
And because of that, I am afforded the luxury of being able to experiment with my own mind and explore topics of my choosing. With that freedom, I get to make the decision of if I want to write about a topic that I do not have the proper credentials to write about. Others, probably do not.
My writing is my thinking.
Everyone’s thoughts change. Just not everyone publicly logs their thoughts for the whole wide world to see. I do so I have to live with the consequences of being wrong.
And to me…(and I may be wrong on this)…the long term value of sharing ideas and thoughts publicly is far greater than the inconsequential chance of being completely and utterly wrong.
The other thought is that it is actually okay and healthy to change your mind and be wrong. For some reason or another, society has depressed failure to the point where people are afraid to admit when they make a mistake. They are afraid to take big bets on ideas because they do not want to mess up.
They are afraid to share ideas publicly because they do not want to be laughed at.
Changing your mind is good and healthy. I have conviction (and perhaps too much confidence over some things), but I know that I can pivot and switch (given the freedom to do so). This is our superpower as humans, we should not forget about it.