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Evidence and persistence

Many people know that smoking causes cancer, and yet they smoke regularly. Until one day, when they quit.

When a better and less expensive alternative comes along, like Kindle to paperbacks, many continue to buy books (like me) and don't switch over to Kindle. Until one day, when we do.

We hold onto our beliefs and our world views, despite evidence pointing to the contrary. Until one day, when we change our minds.

In my own life, I have hundreds of examples where I have not changed my way of thinking or my beliefs or my associations when new evidence has come up. But I do it eventually.

This is not because I didn't understand the logic of the argument the first time. Nor that I didn't believe it or questioned its authority or authenticity. It is just the way we humans work.

We are bad at admitting that we were wrong.

We do not like to give up our beliefs and our views upon the first sign of evidence against it.

Our views and our beliefs are what motivates us to keep doing what we do. And if are open to changing them at the first sign of evidence against it, we won't be as motivated to doing it in the first place. If we do change our views quickly, we have merely been ambivalent.

The more motivated and passionate we are about something, the less prone we are to changing our views and beliefs when presented with new evidence.

But we do change. We do admit that we were wrong. Only not right away.

It takes some time.

If you are unable to convince someone to change their views by presenting new evidence, you don't have to go looking for new evidence, or give up altogether. You just need to persist with your message. And most importantly, make the other person feel that it was alright to have made a mistake. That we all make mistakes.

Do not say I told you so.

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