Life, Leadership and Business

Saturday, 8 August 2015

The Pleasure of Being Wrong

Do you like to be right? Of course you do! We all do! Nothing beats the feeling of receiving an exam paper with a 100% score. Awesome!! What can beat sitting in a conversation with friends of different opinion and swinging their vote to agree with you?



We are taught that being right has value. At school we are rewarded and praised for our rightness, and we are punished for our wrongness. We are also mistakenly taught that being right is the only value that self has.

So, its no wonder that the older we get, the more we push to be right. We aim to be correct in assumptions. We desire to be on the forefront of the correct opinions. The pressure is always on to make the "right decision" in career, relationships and in our personal life.

The pressure to be right in a decision can delay the inevitable, and sometime cause people to put off making the decision all together. Being right has so become part of our identity that when we fail, we don't view it as an event. We view it as an extension of self. Failure becomes a reflection of who we are.

Is it any wonder then that people go to great lengths to prove they are right? Denial is the start of our defense mechanism to maintain our correctness, and it quickly descends through ignoring our nay-Sayers, to outright attack. If all this fails then turn to the ultimate weapon in our "rightness" arsenal - Justification.

We justify the correctness of actions or statements by three methods. First, we imply that the people that say we are wrong are unaware of the truth, thus they don't know how right we are. Second, we insist that, should they know the whole story, they are ignorant of how to interpret the facts and feelings involved. Lastly we resort to - well if the are aware, and have understanding, that they are trying to sabotage our correctness. They are counted as enemies and their opinions are quickly dismissed. All this allows us to be right! Again!

Sadly, this obsession to be right robs us of the one true skill of this modern age - To learn something. We are in an age of information and multi skills. Technology and social media brings answers to our finger tips in an instant. But unfortunately the opinion of our infallible correctness stops us from taking advantage of this privilege.

Being wrong and admitting that you don't have the correct answer opens you up to the opportunity to learn something. Recognizing that I am not in the "know-the-answer" seat, allows me to be inquisitive and curious. Going to look for the answer allows me to engage with the learning process. It opens me to connect to people and experiences I may be unfamiliar with, opening my mind to the opportunity to gain something new. This mindset is the baseline for healthy scientific research, and of great advantage to entrepreneurs.


If I was a sage, I would be the proverbial wise old man living on the mountain. What would be the point of living in the hustle of life if you knew everything and were always right? All this would get you is the contempt of those around you, fearing you would expose their wrongness. So isolation would be welcome.

I like learning. I like connecting with people who will teach, and with people that want to share in the experience. I have elected to be a hitchhiker in this age of the "information highway"! As I stand with my "thumbs up", I declare that I don't know everything, but I am willing and open to learn. Through this willingness I seek to improve my understanding, I seek to grow my own worth, I will grow my own influence.

And as I learn I can honestly and without fear look at the areas of my life where I am wrong. I can freely and confidently make the changes I need in order to get what I want out of life. Being right means I have no where to grow.  The joy of being wrong is that the potential is unlocked to limitless growth and transformation. Isn't that the point?
 


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