Most of my problems in life never happened. I worry about things before a problem exists! I’m sure many can relate to this, but we all have real problems that do exist, and I’ve found that my narrow-mindedness is often the reason I get stuck in my problem.
I can’t be wrong
Most of the time when we hear something that goes against our beliefs, we automatically defend our position. It’s a natural trait. We were born to be right! But sometimes, being right can also cause you to stay wrong. Have you ever fought for your point of view only to finally look up the facts and realize you were wrong? I do it often. And it always reminds me of the wasted time I spent defending my wrong beliefs.
Just last week I was hiking with my boot camp on Turkey Mountain in West Tulsa. I was so sure we were supposed to go straight, but Mary said, “I think this is where we turn right.” I immediately began explaining why I knew we were to go straight. She gave in and we got lost. Turned out that we were supposed to turn right. And our hike ended up lasting longer than either of us expected or wanted! After the hike, she told me, “I saw a paint mark on that tree, and that’s why I knew we should have turned right.” I said, “Why didn’t you say something?” She answered, “I did, but you were so busy explaining why you were right that you didn’t hear me.”
Wrong can be beautiful.
There are times in life I wished I was wrong. When I thought I’d overdrawn my bank account, I prayed to be wrong; and I was! I’m wrong, Awesome! Let me explain another way.
If you are too narrow-minded to consider the possibility that you may be wrong, could you be deterring your own success? I see it every day; and I see it every day because I’m often guilty of it! You see, when there is a problem or a “road block” to something, it wouldn’t be a problem if you knew exactly how to solve it. First, you must open your mind and consider all of the possibilities. Sometimes, you may be looking at something from a wrong perspective – or from a viewpoint in which you just can’t see the answer – even when the answer is staring right at you. Many times our past experiences cause up to make up the story that we’re right when we’re actually far from it!
When Arthur and I get together, he tends to get frustrated with me. The nature of my job for the past 35 years has been to find out what’s wrong with something and fix it. I am a Land Surveyor and a musician. If I let a mistake go by, it could cost millions – or make a song sound really bad! So I have become very good at seeing the one thing – or note – that’s wrong, and it sometimes impairs my ability to see the things that are right. This can have value, but it also can be detrimental!
Arthur hates it when he brings an idea to the table and the first thing I say is, “Well, that won’t work because…” He says it frustrates progress. Why? Because it’s not whether the idea will work or not, but sometimes the most beautiful and powerful things were created through something that didn’t work or was a mistake – or perhaps just outside the box. If we are determined to immediately point out the flaw, something incredible might be forgotten before a different perspective can be seen and an amazing solution can come to light. Sometimes you need to stare at a problem for a while to see the solution. I tend to move on to a solvable problem that my intellect agrees with and leave the problem I’m so sure won’t work behind. And the result is often a missed opportunity. I’ve learned with Arthur to say, “That just may be crazy enough to work!”
Wrong can be AWESOME!
How in the world can being wrong be awesome? When you have an open mind. There have been few successes without failure first.
WD-40 hit store shelves in 1958. Almost everyone has seen WD-40 at the store, and there are literally thousands of uses , but the most important thing to know about WD-40 is what the name stands for: Water Displacement perfected on the 40th try. Yes, it took 39 failures to create one of the world’s most known and best-selling products. And it was perfected because of tenacity and open-mindedness – being willing to accept that they were wrong, and looking for other solutions – often where they didn’t expect.
In The Journey Training, we teach that seeing others’ opinions and perspectives is a vital part of life. Sometimes, the perspective of others is exactly what we need to see to choose differently. Each month we see people learn that they are not always right, and that’s a good thing! Sometimes, being willing to see differently is all someone needs to find a solution to the problem they’ve been facing for years.
One of the most shared traits of history’s richest and most successful people is open-mindedness. And that same trait is shared in some of the best marriages, happiest people, and most successful goal achievers. Instead of leaving your next problem behind or choosing to fight for your belief, why not open your mind and choose to see it differently. You just might find the solution you’ve been looking for!