At the last WatchStack we gathered around the talk by Kathryn Schulz on Being Wrong. This has been a personal favorite talk of mine since I discovered it quite a few years ago. We all have a tendency to walk around in our bubbles of “rightness”. That is we spend most of our time believing we are right. Until we are confronted with the jarring realization that we are wrong, going along being wrong feels just like being right. It’s the realization that we are wrong that feels different which may be unpleasant or even funny.
We’ve all been wired to avoid wrongness. From an early age we’re fed a paradigm that the formula for winning at life is something like: success = infallibility + perfection. So we have the innate clinging to our “rightness” that often blinds us from realizing that we may in fact be wrong. Our lives it seems are like one big This American Life Episode. More often than not we think one thing is going to happen, and then something else happens instead. Two relative thoughts come to my mind from this. One is this quote:
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge”– DANIEL BOORSTIN
The other is a piece from one of my personal heroes Derek Sivers. In it he alludes to how pretty much 90% of people believe they are above average. What a disadvantage to clarity that must create for me as surely I’m in that 90%. At least 40% of those people have to be wrong. So why not flip that perspective and go into situations with the presumption that everyone is smarter than you. I’m not suggesting you be self erasing, but that you chose by design to foster a mindset that you are open to learning from others.
WatchStack is a bi-weekly AIGA Asheville Zoom event where we gather together to have a quick vote on what to watch, watch an enlightening talk and then have a facilitated conversation around this talk. Next week we will be amplifying voices of POC. Please join us June 9th from 5:30 – 6:30