being wrong

I’ve been on a binge-read-and-reread of Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck in the last few weeks. The title sounds gimmicky, but it’s really f*cking good — good enough for me to read three times in a row, which says a lot given my short book attention span.

One of Mark’s five values to live our lives by is uncertainty. We cannot learn anything, and therefore improve things, without first not knowing something. Seems simple, but this openness to being wrong is f*cking difficult, and it must exist for any real growth to take place. The more you embrace uncertainty, the more comfortable you feel in finding out what you don’t know.

Mark shares this little framework for getting to the depths of our wrongness by constantly questioning ourselves:

  1. What am I wrong about? For any change to happen in your life, you must be wrong about something. Until you’re able to question yourself to find it, nothing will change.
  2. What would it mean if I were wrong? Potential meaning behind our wrongness is often painful. What values am I living by that need to be questioned? What alternative values need to be evaluated?
  3. Would being wrong, and therefore deciding to change my actions and underlying values, make things better or worse for myself and others?