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Being Right vs Doing Right

Updated: May 9, 2020

The Internal Difference Between Being Right and Doing What’s Right

This is a classic case of taking the problem/case personally vs Doing the prudent thing of planning to solve the scenario using possible outcomes and sticking to it. Your Ego on the line vs Objectively analyzing without taking it personally.

In order to “Being Right”, the decision becomes inductive and we will look for reasons, other people’s opinions or anything to keep us in our position and justify ourselves— anything to keep us from looking stupid, wrong, or contradict yourself.

“Doing Right” focuses on whether we have done our proper scenario planning or homework with the calculated degree of outcomes under which we carry out the action.

Internationally renowned education expert Edward DeBono in his book “Teaching Thinking” says, “A person will use his thinking to keep himself right.

We have seen classic cases of serial entrepreneurs and Stock Market Traders who personalized previous successes, Ideas, and market positions. They couldn’t admit or accept their mistakes or losses as their ego couldn’t take it and stayed until they couldn’t get out.

As Ray Dalio, Founder of Bridgewater Associates suggests –

“…open-mindedness is motivated by the genuine worry that you might not be seeing your choices optimally. It is the ability to effectively explore different points of view and different possibilities without letting your ego or your blind spots get in your way. It requires you to replace your attachment to always being right with the joy of learning what’s true.
…open-mindedness doesn’t mean going along with what you don’t believe in; it means considering the reasoning of others instead of illogically holding onto your own point of view.”

Don’t take it personally and be open-minded. In business, markets, and life, we shouldn't concern ourselves with being right and avoid decisions based on emotion/ego. Instead, follow our plan and define how much we can limit our liabilities/losses. That’s what sets the successful decision-maker apart from the not-so-successful.

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