From birth, there are certain things that all humans share, regardless of language or country. When we are born, no one is born with the ability to walk, talk, feed themselves, tie shoes or write their name. Each of us has gone through the process of learning those things. And we failed many times in the process. Those are some of the things that all healthy people share. It is part of our human experience. And it is part of the common ground that binds us together as a human race.
At the same time, even though we all experienced times of failing, like falling over and over when first learning to walk, we somehow began learning the value ofnot being wrong. For some reason, we learn that failure is bad. By a certain age, we invest more time protecting and defending ourselves from the embarrassment of being wrong. In fact, we will sacrifice love, success or life all in the name of being right about our point of view. This occurs in religion, politics, science, business, media, parenting, marriage, friendships, etc. How does a human being go from falling over and over and getting back up to attempt to unsuccessfully walk to being afraid of failure or being wrong?
When we learn to walk, we never defended ourselves when we fell. Nor did we defend ourselves when we mispronounced a word. There was no fear of failure no matter how many times we fell from the first few steps. And we were not punished, judged or given a bad grade. How did we go from not believing that falling was wrong to a fear of being wrong?
Once we learn language, we also learn the meaning of many things in life. We learn the value of being right or wrong, which occurs in school, home and eventually work. We are constantly rewarded for being right. In some cases, we are rewarded for proving others wrong.
We invest considerable amounts of time and energy to prove our point of view is correct and some one else’s is wrong. It may be one of the determining factors in divorce. It could be the catalyst for war or terrorist acts. And it may be the driving force for self-deprecating actions like bulimia and obesity. In the case of bulimia or obesity, people will make themselves wrong for their appearance.
As you can see, the philosophy of being right and making others wrong can be a trap. Ultimately no one wins.
To further illustrate the point, a child may want to make his or her parents wrong for the way they were raised. To prove her parents were wrong, she may intentionally fail in life. That way she can prove how wrong her parents were. At the same time, she gets to be the helpless victim. If she never discovers this inimical behavior, she may lead a life of unhappiness, even though her unhappiness makes her right about her parents. What a trap!
Perhaps there is something to the innocence of our childhood. It never occurred to us that walking and talking were not meant for us, even though we failed countless times in both. If we had the so called intellect and maturity of an adult when we were children, many of us would not walk, talk, feed ourselves or tie our shoes. We would marvel at those talented people who were capable of those things and say it was luck, genetics, etc.
If you tap into the innocence of your childhood, it becomes easier to explore new horizons, learn and develop and make existing talents better. Perhaps that was the mindset of people like Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, Nikola Tesla and Steve Jobs. None of those people had anything special over the rest of us. Take a note from them. Let go of right and wrong and explore new possibilities. You may learn something new about yourself and success.
What do you think? I would love to hear your feedback. And I’m open to ideas. Or if you want to write me about a specific topic, connect through my blog www.turnaroundip.blogspot.com.