The Failure of Being Right

Doesn’t it feel great to be right?

Doesn’t it feel great to think “I told you so”? That feeling of righteousness?

I’m not even talking about false righteousness. I’m talking about actually being right about something. Boy, that feels great.

But I can’t help but feel a nagging unsatisfaction.

Being right is boring. But more importantly, being right means you aren’t challenging yourself hard enough.

We can be right any time we want. We can pick any topic, and go shallow enough that we understand it completely at that level, and be right 100% of the time. There will always be someone who hasn’t gone to that same level of depth, so we can conjure up righteousness on demand simply by seeking them out and stating the obvious. Yippie!

Being wrong is so much more interesting.

It’s so much more satisyfing to try your hardest, use all your intelligence, throw your entire being at something, and fail over and over again. Learning at each moment, and changing yourself to adapt to the problem.

That feeling of failure – that feeling of frustration and despair – is actually one of the most precious human experiences. It means we need to grow. It means we need to try harder. It means we need to come up with new ideas.

I don’t seek failure. My motivation is to figure things out and be right. But if I’m right more than I’m wrong, then I’m doing something wrong.

The idea of being right is a great motivational tool. But actually being right is a warning sign: You are not challenging yourself enough. You are not growing. You are stagnating.

Take risk. It’s okay to fail. I’d rather fail trying my hardest than succeed taking the easy path.

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posted 17 Dec 2016 by Sean
tags: motivation

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