Being Right Or Being Open

Posted by on Jun 28, 2010 in Legacy, Life | 2 Comments

Let’s get this out there first: I love being right.

I think this is generally true for most people, but something about my intensely competitive nature — and the fact that I think things through pretty well before I make up my mind — seems to amplify this feeling even more.

There’s nothing wrong with being right. Making “correct” decisions can help people, help organizations, and help the world.

But at the end of the day, doesn’t an obsessive need to be right all the time come in direct conflict with being open to new things?

Fundamentally, if I believe I already have the end-all-be-all “gospel truth,” it also means I’ve closed my mind to other options. I’m no longer open to hearing other perspectives or seeing from someone else’s point of view.

Maybe we can only be “right” until we learn something new.

We make the best decisions we can with the information we have, but then we learn something we didn’t know before — something that upsets our apple cart, shifts our paradigm. Suddenly, we aren’t “right” anymore.

Perhaps that’s the more important part of this: being committed to always learning new things, being open to change, and available for growth.


If you liked that post, then try these…

The Courage Of Detroit by Josh Allan Dykstra on January 25th, 2009

People: Your LEAST Important Asset by Josh Allan Dykstra on November 5th, 2009

Jim Wallis: American Gangster by Josh Allan Dykstra on February 5th, 2008


  1. Jen Gresham
    July 16, 2010

    Certainly true for me, Josh. One of the things I love about being a scientist is that I hold every belief up for re-examination from time to time. Even more exciting than being right is discovering something you never knew before.

    Nice post!

  2. Josh Allan Dykstra
    July 18, 2010

    Hey Jen! Absolutely, I love that about science.

    I think there’s something about this idea — continual improvement/growth — that also applies to organizational structures. Is there a way to “weave in” this kind of ethos into a company? Tech companies seem to do this pretty well; love to see it catch on everywhere. Think it could do everyone a lot of good!


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