Being Wrong is a Good Idea

One of the first lessons of aeronautics is “whatever pushes against you, lifts you up.” The wind against the underside of the wings helps the airplane fly. Similarly, what we have to push against helps us grow. All nature follows the same physical principles. Everything that is hard for us makes us better.

Being wrong creates the same energy dynamic. If you can tolerate it, being wrong also stretches your mental boundaries, creates friction and growth. Being right is mildly reinforcing only following a struggle.

1. Start a new activity where you will need to stretch yourself until you lose or fail.

2. Play a sport with someone who can beat you.

3. Start something where you will feel clumsy at first.

With any new habit, your body will habituate to expansion through practice. An experienced scuba diver clears ear passages more easily than a beginning diver. People who succeed at amazing tasks practice loss and failure so much that they are not surprised by it.

Stop trying to be right, or trying to get it right. One of the best ways to learn to let go of being right is to let yourself be wrong. Practice at home first. Recall an argument you have had with your partner. Discover what part of the partner’s argument was ‘right.’ Then practice using these words: “I’ve been thinking about what we were arguing about the other night and you know what? You’re right, honey.”

Stop trying to be right. Life is ambiguous. There are no right ways. “There are many paths to the palace of wisdom.”

Being wrong can be the wind beneath your wings.