The secret to exponential self-growth is the willingness to be wrong. That’s it. That is the only reason why I am able to do what I do. I am willing to be wrong.
Borrowing from Darwinian theory, it is not the strongest or the smartest that have the best chance towards survival, but rather those who adapt best to change.
The world is strewn with talented men and women whom never accomplished anything.
The prodigal young athlete that rage quit the sport after facing his or her first major loss.
The academic elitist that bullies others intellectually and then protects his own ego by telling himself that he is good for social interaction when people avoid him and no one hires him.
The cynical activist or conspiracy theorist that shoves ideology down everyone’s throat and blames everyone but himself for his less-than-appealing predicament in life. Meanwhile, the less “awoke” people he mocks get real careers, donate time and money to causes they care about, and actually make a real fudging* difference in the world.
Even the greatest minds have blind spots. Admitting that you, no matter how talented you become, are capable of ignorance is essentially a choice between your ego and your growth.
You are only human. You are flesh and blood. You are a culmination of the nature and the nurture that has led you to become the person you are today. You see the world according to your own life experiences and there are many others. You are not all knowing. Love yourself but get over yourself.
Let us talk about what it means to be wrong. Having been a highly argumentative person in the past, I have learned that when I lose an argument, I do not lose in front of my opponent. My realization that I lost a debate can come many weeks later while I am lying in bed, drifting to sleep, unshielded by ego, memories slide in, and then something clicks in my head, “oh shakes*…”
I personally had to admit that I lost. To myself. By myself. My opponent could not do that for me. Being wrong and receptive to growth is a choice you have to make for yourself. No one else can do it for you. Being wrong does not necessary have to mean submission to someone else, it just means admitting that there are gaps in your knowledge that you need to work on.
The will to be wrong is painful and uncomfortable. There are a lot of emotions attached to our core beliefs. Thus, learning how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable is a mental muscle that needs to be developed.
The willingness to be wrong arguably saved my future. The journey to self-improvement and self-discovery has so many pitfalls. The industry is filled with snake oils, get-rich quick schemes, conspiracy theories, and personality cults.
If you are an open-minded person with a burning desire to better yourself, chances are you may accidentally fall for one of these. I have spent over a thousand dollars and hundreds of hours on utter crap. I have my regrets but I do not take any of it back. If that is what it takes for me to appreciate what really works in this world and why it works, it was worth the sacrifice.
However, the reason why I was able to break free from pyramid schemes and cults alike was my willingness to be wrong. My willingness to say I made a mistake, this is bullshakes*, this unethical, and I am going to get the hell out of here. Most people do not.
They spend their lives entrapped by people, careers, relationships, and ideologies that don’t work for them. They cling on to what does not work because their sense of self-worth is so emotionally attached to them being right. The admission of wrongness represents change, and change is too damn hard.
The will to be wrong is freedom. Take it and see yourself soar above the clouds.