Wrong, Sir, Wrong!

You get nothing! You lose! Good day, sir!

Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

You are wrong about a few things, and that is okay.

All of history’s smartest people have been wrong, so you are in good company. Being wrong is a great way to learn something new, but first you have to be willing to acknowledge your mistake.

Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.

Bruce Lee

Take the scientific method, for example. Scientists ask a question, formulate a hypothesis as an answer and predict the outcome of the hypothesis. Then they test their hypothesis and analyze and document the results. No matter whether the analysis of the experiment proved the scientist’s hypothesis correct or incorrect, the process enriches scientific knowledge.

We must admit when we are wrong, and remain willing to evolve when verifiable data demands change.

K Lee Lerner

Admitting that one is wrong can be difficult. Society or evolution have wired us such that we find divulging our inaccuracies embarrassing and distasteful. Like other things genetics and environment have thrust upon us, shirking these chains is ultimately beneficial. Once you can freely admit to being the W word, you open up all sorts of possibilities.

Incongruous to our perception of what happens when we admit to being wrong, people tend to appreciate when others can face up. Ask others to explain, so that you can learn from your mistake (and maybe not be wrong next time). You also ingratiate yourself with them by implicitly acknowledging that they know something you do not.

There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong…

Ayn Rand

Please do not be afraid to admit that you are wrong, and for your sake as well as the world’s think about some of the beliefs you take for granted and ask yourself “could I be wrong about that”?

Gather new knowledge, and carry on unencumbered by the truths that are not true anymore.