Being Wrong

If you want to become whole, first let yourself become broken.

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Chess game after chess game I lost, after hours of puzzle solving and working through difficult endgame drills to deliver checkmate. The game had taken over my mind, yet I felt as if I were being emasculated over and over. So engaged in these games was I, that entire conversations I was supposedly having with others were lost. I could only think of the next move, or why I couldn’t apply what I was learning.

Having just learned about the many individuals who mentally fell victim of chess, I began to see how continuing this path could lead to a similar situation. This was an important step in this new addiction of mine, was to both recognize it as an addiction and that path to ruin that could potentially ensue. This is an important step in any addiction, I would assume.

The next step was just as important: to talk to someone close to me about my weakness and to admit that I was wrong to let it consume my mind to the point of ignoring everything around me. Admitting that we’re wrong was a theme I had just read about earlier in the week in an email from The Daily Stoic. Rather than try and think intraspectively, I thought about how other people who are wrong about very basic and important stuff needed to see this important message. In hindsight, I’m glad that I didn’t forward the message on to those individuals and could instead apply it in my own life.

Even about the simplest of things, it is difficult to admit that we’re wrong about things. Being wrong would mean, well, that we were wrong about those things. We don’t want to be wrong. Indeed, many of us fear being wrong. It makes us feel inadequate or stupid. But we can’t be right about everything. We need to be able to manage those feelings and fears, so that being wrong doesn’t mean we are ignorant, rather it provides an opportunity of growth.

How can we be OK with being wrong? If we can find a solution to this, I believe we can turn our stagnant, linear, or possibly nonexistent growth into exponential growth. 

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