Only the Foolish and the Dead Don’t Change
As a young lawyer, Abraham Lincoln had to plead two similar cases one day. He happened to get the same judge for both cases and both cases involved the same principle of law. In the case heard in the morning, Lincoln appeared for the defendant. He made an eloquent plea and easily won his case.
Ironically, in the case heard in the afternoon, Lincoln happened to be acting for the plaintiff. Lincoln was arguing this case with the same eagerness, only from the opposite point of view, when the judge, somewhat amused, asked Lincoln why he had changed his point of view since the morning. “Your Honor, I could have been wrong this morning,” declared Lincoln, “but I know I’m right this afternoon.”
The moral of this true story is: Don’t get stuck in your beliefs. Only the foolish and the dead don’t change. Rigid thinking limits your ability to see things in a different light. Today’s world is changing at an unprecedented pace. To deal effectively with this rapid change, you must ensure that your opinions, beliefs, and values aren’t carved in stone.
Our problems—particularly the whoopers—begin with our belief systems. For some strange reason, we find it easier to hang on to belief systems that don’t work than to adopt new ones that do. For example, you may subscribe to the belief that hard work is the only way to success and happiness. Such being the case, you may want to look at hard work from a different point of view.