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Wednesday
Apr202011

Kathryn Schulz - TED Talk "On Being Wrong"

What happens if we consider being wrong?

I just spent 17 minutes of my day watching Kathryn Schulz give a talk on the meaning of being "wrong". Best 17 minutes I've spent in a while.

Her premise is simple:  open yourself up to the possibility of what "else" is out there.  Challenge yourself to see the world (and reality) through a different person's window ... or at least recognize that there are millions upon millions of different windows out there.  Her message?  Embrace your wrong-ness.  It is an integral part of the human condition.  It drives us and helps us create.  It moves us forward as a species.

Physicians are especially prone to not wanting to be "wrong".  It's true, being wrong can have desperately negative consequences in your line of work.  But for many docs this fear of risk, failure, and error transfers over into other parts of their life... where being wrong is less clear-cut and the consequences are more of a grey area.  They agonize over life changes, career moves, interpersonal challenges with colleagues, to the point of "analysis paralysis" where they are immobilized and unable to do anything.  

But there is freedom in embracing wrong-ness as a possibility.  Kathryn speaks not only of being wrong, but of opening up your awareness of when you are unconsciously wrong, but think you're right.  This is a much more dangerous place to be, and warrants some thought.

Watch the video.  Think about how you feel about being wrong.  Open your window.

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