Are We Wrong About Being Wrong?

human error1

  • Do you make mistakes? –> Who doesn’t?
  • How do you feel when you know you are wrong? –> I guess … not so great
  • Do you like to admit that you were wrong? –> noooo way
  • What will you do to avoid being wrong? We all know that people make mistakes but somehow when comes down to “us”…ok, when comes down to “me” (as individual) – I don’t want to make mistake.
    I found on TEDtalk a video – Kathryn Schulz: On being wrong. Kathryn is a wrongologist and talks about human fallibility.

To err is human. Yet most of us go through life tacitly assuming (and sometimes noisily insisting) that we are right about nearly everything, from the origins of the universe to how to load the dishwasher. If being wrong is so natural, why are we all so bad at imagining that our beliefs could be mistaken – and why do we typically react to our errors with surprise, denial, defensiveness and shame?

    Here’s the video from TEDtalk:
    Is there something wrong with us because we don’t like to admit that we are wrong? I don’t think so, according to Kathryn, we would like to insist that we are right because it makes us feel smart, responsible and SAFE. Of course I don’t want to admit that I’m wrong…it’s hard to do that but at the same time – I know I can make mistakes, and that’s the part of my life (my learning process).
    I am really glad that Kathryn mentioned that – our capacity to screwed up is not a defect. It’s fundamental to who we are. That’s good to know, because we are making a lot of mistakes. ohh and one more thing – we learn the lesson (sometimes) after making mistakes. And as St. Augustine said: “Fallor ergo sum” = “I err therefore I am” – I only hope that every time I make a mistake I will learn the lesson.

Kathryn asked what does it mean to feel right? It means that your believes perfectly reflect reality. Well, for me it means that I feel gooood, because I’m not wrong.

3 unfortunate assumptions, according to Kathryn, what we do when someone disagree with us:

  • The ignorance assumption –> we assume their are ignoramus

if that doesn’t work, even if they have the same facts as we do and they still disagree with us then …

  • The idiocy assumtion –> we assume they are idiots

if that doesn’t work, even if they are pretty smart and have the same data as we then …

  • The evil assumption –> those people disagree with us maliciously. They know the TRUTH and deliberately disagree

this attachment to our own rightness keep us from preventing mistakes when we absolutely need to and cause us to treat each other terribly.

The miracle of human mind isn’t that you can see world as it is and that you can see the world as it isn’t.

I have been wondering about that for a moment and after a while I thought “wow!” human mind is really cool thing ….just imagine 4 people looking at the sky by night, every each of them might see something different although all of them have been looking at the same sky. But they could see something like that:
sky by night

if you really want to discover wonder you need to step outside that tiny terrified space of rightness. And look around at each other and look out at the vastness and complexity and mystery of the universe and be able to say “wow, I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong!”

    …so next time when you look at something, think how others might see it

Power of Words

I am right

    Have you ever wondered how powerful words can be?
    ok ok, I won’t even start that “words can hurt”, I’d rather want to talk about the positive power of words:

check this youtube video:

Did you ever think how much power you have and how you can use it:

  • say something nice –> it’s not the end of the world to say something nice to your friends/co-workers. Don’t lie, just think if there is something nice you can say…and most of the time there is.
  • positive feedback –> it won’t hurt you if you give a positive feedback (of course if there is any, and usually there is). Don’t you think that we don’t need positive feedback?
  • encouragement –> big word (I know) but we need that. It’s great to give and receive that boost sometimes. That few words “you can do it” can help a lot.

I think that we are taking all the good things for granted sometimes. So maybe this time lets stop for a moment and think – what can I do/say (something GOOD) today?

Don’t Let Them Stop You

Seth Godin in his book “Linchpin” wrote classic quotes from resistance:

  • “I don’t have any good ideas”
  • “I don’t know what to do”
  • “I didn’t graduate from …”
  • “My boss won’t let me”
  • “well, that’s find for you, but my gender, race, health, religion, nationality, shoe size, handicap, or DNA don’t make it easy”

Have you every heard that before? That voice in your head which stops you from doing something, changing something? I bet every each of us can add more quotes to that. The question I have is:

    and what will you do about that?

Will you stop or will you try to find solution? Every time I’m going to provide presentation I feel 2 things:

  • that I will have heart attack –> I think I’m not good enough | I don’t know enough | they will laugh at me. It’s not easy to do anything when you feel something like that, right?
  • it’s great (not the heart attack) to be there are talk to people about something I love

Do you feel that you need to struggle and fight with that fear (called “the Lizard brain“)

Urban myth says if you poll a room for people’s greatest fears, the first will be speaking in public and the second will be fear of death. This phenomenon is not lost on the Lizard Brain. Concerned with its own survival, the Lizard Brain has adopted a role as counselor for our social survival. It remembers when we ‘crashed and burned’ in a social situation. It remembers the teacher who singled us out and made us look foolish in front of the class. But the Lizard Brain is not known for its finesse. In the Lizard Brain’s world, things are pretty black and white, and never our fault. This makes it a poor consul for the colorful stratosphere of human relationships.

I ask myself: How people react during and after my presentations? Answer (so far): good, they are happy, we talk, the discussion is interesting. I’m happy that I did it. But before the presentation (public speaking) – wow, I thought my heart will run out of my chest. After all, when I’m driving home or to the office after the presentation I giving myself a short feedback: what was good and what should I improve and unfortunately there is always the same part –> “why, ohh why was I so scared? There was no reason for that fear.”

    …so what to do?

important thing

    Don’t stop, try every time. Even if we feel that fear, we should try to fight it. We are in charge here, the Lizard won’t win this time. It’s me and my presentation/or whatever I do, and I can and will control it. It’s my success, my life – and some small/not important “Lizard brain” won’t win!

I need to repeat that over and over and over again, sometimes it works, sometimes not – but I won’t stop.

How Can I Change My Life? Interesting Book to Read – Part 2

cowboys_AZsignI think it’s time to get back to Seth Godin’s book – Linchpin. The part 1 of that review I published in my earlier post.

Any project, if broken down into sufficiently small, predictable parts, can be accomplished for awfully close to free.

wow! isn’t that nice? Lets stop for a moment and think about that. Lets say I want to learn how to speak Swedish, I know that it’s not possible to learn that language within one day, nor one week nor month. But if I decide to create a plan, some kind of agenda how I want to accomplish that – it looks more real. If I decide to study Swedish 30 minutes every day – there is a BIG chance that after 1 year I will be able to communicate in that language.
What I need is 2 things:

  • plan/agenda
  • consistency

Seth Godin gave a great example of the Encyclopaedia Britannica and Wikipedia. A lot of money was spend on Britannica and Wikipedia was built for free and still is – millions of people are building Wikipedia every day.

You don’t become indispensable merely because you are different. But the only way to be indispensable is to be different. That’s because if you’re the same, so are plenty of other people.
The only way to get what you’re worth is to stand out, to exert emotional labor, to be seen as indispensable, and to produce interactions that organizations and people care deeply about.

  • what can I offer others (organization, people)?
  • what do I have or what can I create?
  • am I the answer to organization’s needs?

So what is stopping us from becoming linchpins? Are not good enough? or maybe we are not smart enough (like all those very smart and famous people)? or what? how many more excuses are we able to create? Seth is asking a simple question (and I think those are the worst kind of questions):

You can’t – or you don’t want to?

I can and I want to become linchpin. Am I scared? of course I am but I want to create something, I want to be part of something important (important to me, to organization, etc.). I think that every time I feel that big black monster “fear” I need to remember that I am changing my life and that’s a big deal for me and that fear won’t win.

people of Besbee_AZI love The New American Dream which Seth explained in his book:

  • Be remarkable
  • Be generous
  • Create art
  • Make judgment calls
  • Connect people and ideas

Have you ever wonder how to do that? I think it’s not that hard to be generous or connect people and ideas. Lets remember about those small steps, that might help.

If you can be human at work (not a machine), you’ll discover a passion for work you didn’t know you had. When work becomes personal, your customers and coworkers are more connected and happier. And that creates even more value.
When you’re not a cog in a machine, an easily replaceable commodity, you’ll get paid what you’re worth. Which is more.

Exactly, where is your passion? ohh I know, what you can say “I have car loan, credit cards to pay. I don’t have time for passion.” But what if we won’t try, what if we stay as those cogs in a machine, what then? We will go through our lives without even knowing that we can do something more. Something which can make us proud.

From my own experience I can say that passion to what we do is fantastic. That passion made me feel way much better, and made my work better. My coworkers and I built a great workplace/team. And I am not sure if we would be able to built that without passion and engagement.

The question is: Do you want to become a linchpin or not? Do you want to try to change your life? You have only one chance to do something with your life…because you have only 1 life.