No. 41 – Being Wrong’s Upside

No. 41 – Being Wrong’s Upside

Dear One,

With my continued intention of sharing ideas on growing from adversity or from wherever you are – which can also, potentially, better life, I offer you ‘Being Wrong’s Upside.’

The road to excellence and traversing difficulty takes some very similar strategies which surprised me – and which I learned the hard way.  Ahem.

To gain achievement, expertise, or accomplishment and move through challenges, there may be novice oopsies, losing, and/or belly-flopping.  Perhaps repeatedly.  I hear ya if you’re blanching at the thought.  Maybe bear with me.

A decade plus of different treatments, efforts, and Being Wrong is what it took for me to eventually, with Persistence, see Wrong’s Upside for growth and success. 

“Making mistakes, getting it almost right, and experimenting to see what happens are all part of the process of eventually getting it right” per Jack Canfield.

Altered perspectives might be gained via face planting or mess-making if one is open to Choosing to see them.  In reaching ‘Remarkable,’ failure(s), possible humiliation, and try, try, try again-ing can unearth previously undiscovered skills.  Or craft new ones. 

Accomplishing the heart’s desire and getting through rough spots can involve tolerating trial and error while fear or perfectionism possibly hollers, ‘You are not enough!  You can’t handle it!’  Doubts may grumble within; expletives may surface.  Just sayin.’

To reach successful outcome(s), hone gifts, rethink, and discover novel options, there’s generally getting it Wrong and taking risks which may not quite pan out. 

Nobel Prize-winning psychologist, Daniel Kahneman, expanded my thinking about Wrong; he “genuinely enjoys discovering that he was Wrong, because it means he is now less Wrong than before.”  Kahneman told Adam Grant in Think Again that “being Wrong is the only way I feel sure I’ve learned anything.”

Detaching from former, perhaps more Wrong, ideas or back-burnering past opinions which cause trip ups enables curiosity and/or Gray Thinking to help get it more right.  “Flexibility, [allows one] to update practices in light of new evidence.”

Kjirste Morrell, mechanical engineering PhD from MIT and a top election forecaster, doesn’t see it as beneficial to extend her time being Wrong.  Morrell even describes it as pleasurable allowing herself to be wrong in Think Again.

Ummm, seriously? 

She says “if being Wrong repeatedly leads us to the Right answer, the experience of being Wrong itself can become joyful.”  Wow. 

Superforecaster Jean-Pierre Beugoms encourages “Accept[ing] the fact that you are going to be Wrong.  Try to disprove yourself.  When you’re Wrong, it’s not something to be depressed about.  Say, ‘Hey, I discovered something!’” per Grant.

Mistakes and cringe-worthy moments are part of the process – to make progress.  The “paradox in great scientists and superforecasters:  the reason they’re so comfortable being Wrong is that they’re terrified of being Wrong. … They’re determined to reach the correct answer in the long run, and they know that means they have to be open to stumbling, backtracking, and rerouting in the short run” per Think Again.

This inspiring story about 10-year old Tanitoluwa Adewumi is a potent example, thanks to PAWS for People’s Kelly Silliman, of getting it Wrong for learning and jaw-dropping results.

Adewumi, one of USA’s chess masters, began playing in a homeless shelter after fleeing Nigerian religious persecution.  With his 10 + hour-a-day after school chess practice, he sleeps a smidge and even wrote a book optioned for film.  Adewumi explains how losing aids him in getting it right in order to achieve his goal of world’s youngest grandmaster. 

“I say to myself that I never lose, that I only learn.  Because when you lose, you have to make a mistake to lose that game.  So you learn from that mistake, and so you learn [overall].  So losing is the way of winning for yourself.”

Aiming towards being more ok with errors in the short term such that one can improve and grow is a similarity found in folks who, eventually, Create their particular ‘it’ incredibly well.

Whether you are hitting proverbial home runs daily or trying to keep your nose above the water line, perhaps contemplate that it takes Process over Perfection, tolerating, and adapting through a potentially messy middle of Being Wrong to get closer to your Truth. 

And, painful blunders or miscalculations may be where your Gifts can rise from.  

With heartfelt belief in your ability to see the Upside in Being Wrong – and to continue evolving your precious self,


Original Email Date:  May 14, 2021

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