The 365 Commitment

Both Right and Wrong

Here is a life tip that I am trying to learn for myself. Whenever you feel that you are so right about something that you are just exasperated at how ignorant and stupid the other party is then you are probably in a situation where you are both right and wrong at the same time. This happens more that you would think. In my current job, there is someone that I am working with that completely pissed me off. I was stomping around the house all upset with a dark cloud following me around for hours because the completely stupidity of the other party. I was ready to go to war, take this person out, bring out both guns and start firing.

After a while I finally cooled down, and then started really thinking through the confrontation. I looked at it from the other persons perspective. I realized that they probably had a legitimate view of things and perhaps I should take that in to consideration. After careful review, I realized that I still felt that I was right, however, I also realized that my method of dealing with it was wrong. As a consequence, I was both right and wrong at the same time.

I daresay, that when you acting in a wrong way when you are right then the two are going to negate each other and you not going to make any progress. So all the energy and effort you spent in the confrontation was meaningless and for no reason. Make you feel better? I hope not. You see when we fight battles and go back and forth with another person, even if we are right we ended up being dragged into an engagement that leads us to no progress.

The trick is to see this and detect this early. Understand that you are indeed right (or potentially just wrong yourself as hard as that may be to believe) and also understand the perspective of the other person. Rather than attack the other person head on, work immediately toward a path that progresses you toward your right and just cause. You see you are never going to win every skirmish. In fact one of the great facts of a wartime tactic is to learn to lose battles in order to win the war. If you fight desperately to win decisively every skirmish, then you will end up depleted, drained, and unprepared when a decisive victory is ultimately needed.

To quote Sun Tzu:

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

So by understanding what the other person is thinking, what they want, you can ultimately win your side of the argument not by head on confrontation every time, but rather by understanding and accepting that you cannot win everything. You must give the other person a path to their perceived success or perhaps a glorious retreat.

So if you stand on the hill of defiance and boldly proclaim martyrdom with every fight, you will eventually lose. You are wrong in your approach and therefore wrong all together. Never forget that to be really correct, you must not only have the truth on your side but also know when to press your advantage and when to be OK with losing a few skirmishes along the way.

Guy Reams

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