Being Wrong Leads to Right
Right and wrong tend to battle it out for supremacy. While winning an argument feeds the ego, it also hinders the victor’s ability to accumulate more accurate information. When you stand steadfast in your beliefs, you miss the opportunity to incorporate new ideas. You reject the notion that there are others out there able to bring something valuable to the table.
Let’s say you’re throwing a dinner party. If you are resolved to control everything to ensure the menu has a particular taste and feel, you’ll disregard the simple choice to make it a potluck. Asking people to bring their own dishes ensures people will come, you’ll have enough food, everyone will like something, and you get to do less. If the purpose of hosting a dinner party is to get people together and enjoy food and company, a potluck is the easiest way to go about it. It invests everyone attending. If the purpose is to show attendees how well you cook and how great you are at throwing a party, then you have an ulterior motive than fostering community. Your reasons are your reasons, and they’re undoubtedly valid, but be aware of what they are.
Knowledgeable people don’t view disagreement as a challenge to their supremacy. They view it as an invitation to share thoughts, which engages further thinking. The true merit of any thinking person is that they’re actively searching for someone to change their mind. They invite in the possibility of being wrong.
People often avoid questioning what they do because they don’t want to see fault in their way of doing things. They internalize incorrectness in logic as an incorrectness in them. A convincing of wrongness is a perception of illegitimacy. But you have to be wrong to learn. And you have to admit you’re wrong to change.
People are meant to change, and refusing to do so is probably killing you.
I’ve been wrong PLENTY of times in my life.
I was convinced God didn’t exist. I thought I needed to eat like a body builder. I kept playing a game that was destroying me. My athletic identity lorded itself over every other facet of my life, and I willfully bowed to it.
With every instance that I admitted I was wrong, that what I was DOING was wrong, I changed, and came out infinitely better.
Is admitting you don’t know something also admitting you’re wrong? I don’t think so. Though leaving a question blank or writing IDK on a test automatically makes your answer incorrect, life isn’t about tests and scores and grading. It’s about practice. It’s about routine habits and behaviors that result with a consistent outcome. Blankness is a measure of unknowing. But admitting you don’t know is a right way of thinking. It means you realize there is more to investigate and learn from and study.
Whether you CARE to study it, now that’s a different question.
If you don’t like the way things are, perhaps you’re wrong in what you do, the way you do it, or why you think you should be doing it. Question your reasoning. Consider what if. The best plan of action is often the one you’re steering yourself away from.
EDITORIAL NOTE: Being told you’re wrong and figuring out you’re wrong are two different things. Figuring it out is learning. Being told you’re wrong without an explanation why is just infuriating. The ability to question, whether it’s yourself or someone else, is pivotal to gaining understanding and the ultimate application.