Some of the most interesting attributes are those that are both good and bad. A simple prescription of elimination of the attribute or building it isn't sufficient. Instead we must learn to manage it, blunt the negatives and channel the positives.
Stubbornness is one such attribute, and it's one that I'm perhaps too intimately familiar with. Observing something like stubbornness within oneself is to see it through muddy water, though. Only in others is it really clearly seen, and that's often when it's best to apply the lessons learned to oneself.
When I'm being stubborn, it's so easy to believe that I'm right and that external resistance is only due to other's stubbornness. Stubbornness is glorious when you're right; it's the process of believing in yourself, not being swayed by those with a less perfect view than your own, and finally triumphing.
And in that way, stubbornness is a good. Many great ideas, inventions, and breakthroughs have come by way of stubbornness. Some of my biggest accomplishments are really the children of stubbornness.
A couple days ago a friend asked a group of his peers for advice. There were nine of us, all coming from different points of view and levels of experience. In a rare moment of unity, all agreed on an optimal solution. Yet my friend continued to resist.
I've been there, too, and I know how hard it is to let go of stubbornness and admit that someone else is right, especially when it's about something personal. Stubbornness is investment in an idea, and it's always hard to let go of investments.
That moment made me realize something, though. Many of us do a pretty good job of surrounding ourselves with amazing people. When I looked across that table at my friends, I saw some of the smartest and best thinkers I've ever come across. What's the point of having such smart friends if you won't surrender to their advice when it's unanimous?
I think there's a place for stubbornness. When there's no consensus, maybe it's better to err on the side of your own belief. Maybe you really have some unique perspective that makes you correct. And when you're against the masses who don't think much at all, maybe it's best to be stubborn. But when the people you've chosen to surround yourself with, the people you most respect, tell you that you're wrong, maybe that's not the time to be stubborn.
Photo is the night sky on the island. Came out a bit grainy and I don't have lightroom in Linux to smooth it out, but I like it.
Yesterday we docked in Otaru and took a train down to Jigoku-dani in Noboribetsu. It's my favorite thing in northern Japan. Today we go to Hakodate, where we'll just hang around the town.
Book sales have been great-- thank you! If you bought the book, please leave a review!
Reminds me of this post you wrote about stubbornness was a big part of how Mystery became Mystery http://tynan.com/stubborn
Tynan, I agree completely, although I would argue that there is a slight semantic difference between being "stubborn" and being "resolute." Both words imply an unwavering determination, but the two words have very different connotations. Being "stubborn" seems to communicate an unreasonable unwillingness to change or budge, while being "resolute" seems to communicate a more noble devotion to something challenging. The trick is to figure out when you are being "resolute" or when you are being "stubborn"! :-)
I so relate to this perspective. I know the ups and down side to stubbornness and still struggle to differentiate between which side I'm on in some instances. I am always thankful for loved ones and dear friends with the insight and fortitude to aid me in this effort.
Loving the site re-design.
Regarding stubbornness. I think stubbornness is awesome. The best trait to go with stubbornness is rigorous, objective evaluation of one's own opinions. Meditation, living in the moment, and viewing the world through the straightest lens possible all go hand-in-hand with that, but it's a really expansive topic and should be worked on if one insists on being stubborn. (meta-stubborn, if you will).
(Old fashioned typesetting isn't the most efficient way to print, but...)
As we walked to Mel's Diner, her phone kept ringing. Not the typical I'm-in-LA-and-I'm-popular ringing, but more of a your-house-is-burning-and-I'm-trying-to-notify-you ringing.
"Do you need to get that?"
This comment by Chris was on "People tend to like their own opinion more than your opinion" - a bit of an older post, and a nice comment, I thought it was worth making sure everyone saw it -
Hey Sebastian, nice post and nice blog! I'm a new reader this week... As it happens, I am a single founder as well but already have some investors / experienced startup guys on board. And every time we have a difference of opinion, the scenario you describe plays out anew! I have learned that my opinion has a multiplier attached (like -.5 perhaps), and the multiplier is significantly smaller then theirs. :) Over the last couple of years I've really struggled with the line between listening to their advice and taking it even when I think there's a better way. One big example stands out where they thought I should do A, I thought we should do B, and I had tons of research to support my ideas. We did B, and when the dust settled I was completely wrong. In the end we learned from it and failing is where you practice succeeding, so I don't hold it against myself. You have to take risks and put yourself on the line. But the lesson reduced my stubbornness by a lot and these days I try harder to understand the voice of experience, and really question my ideas before I get attached to them.
Good stuff here.