Ryan’s lightbox post sparked a lively debate about the feature, influence, opinion, and contradiction.
After one person pointed out that Matt said he liked something that was sorta “Lightboxy” and Ryan didn’t like Lightboxes, another commenter said:
I’d honestly love to see a post on how you guys handle some of the contradictions you make in public.
I’m really glad he asked because this topic has been on my mind for a long time.
The answer is simple: People are contradictory. You are, I am, he is, she is. People from all walks of life, work, and belief contradict themselves, their leaders, their mentors, and their friends constantly.
We’re all human and we all change our minds—hopefully. Those who don’t change their minds, or who aren’t influenced by other minds, are frozen in time. They’ve declared: “Learning is over, I know all there is to know.” That’s sad.
My sixth-grade science teacher, Mr. Blackburn, once told me “Never believe yourself to be completely certain of anything.” The only thing I’m certain of is that he was right.
So what if Matt may says one thing, Ryan says another, and a few months later Matt or Ryan changes their mind or perspective? They may agree today and disagree tomorrow. I may believe something today that I don’t believe in 3 days. And 3 days later I may go back to the original belief. That’s how it should work. That’s normal.
As a company, we don’t believe there’s anything wrong with that publicly or privately. We believe it’s healthy. Adaptation based on new information or perspective is a healthy part of learning and growing—as a person or collectively as a company. Continuing to refine your opinion is A Good Thing. It’s all part of figuring things out over time.
Statements are about now, not about forever.
Resist the urge to be afraid to say something today because you said something else yesterday. Say what you want to say. Don’t be afraid of those who are ever-armed with the critical spotlight ready to call out your contradictions. Be proud that your mind is still open to new discoveries and possibilities.