Consistency isn’t always a bad thing. However, if your desire for consistency is larger than your desire to learn, you’re heading for a rough time. We see that a lot when it comes to politics (which sometimes, oddly, bleeds into science), but it can be relevant to many areas of our lives.
Malcolm Gladwell and Adam Grant had an incredible discussion recently on Grant’s WorkLife podcast, and here is Malcolm’s full quote that led to the title of this post:
I would be very concerned if I was still saying the same things today as I was saying 10 years ago. That would strike me as being deeply problematic. I would like to think that my current self is a good deal more interesting and thoughtful than my 10-years-before self. Also, I’ve never attached any stigma whatsoever to contradiction. Consistency is surely the lamest of all human virtues.
It goes back to being willing to change your mind, which is tough for some people to do. It’s different than flip-flopping, and the line can be a bit blurry at times, but blindly standing by your beliefs when shown firm reasons to change just seems kinda lame.