Give up the need to be right

Learning comes with a risk because it’s hard to unlearn what we have learned.

The best people I know have the ability to give up their position and know when it’s time to concede and replace old knowledge with new.

When we are weak we tend to ram our point home by using fear and agression to win an argument; usually followed by a wry smile as we lose all respect for the person who gave up on the truth in order to avoid conflict.

Does your happiness or emotional stability depend on being right?

We are time

Many of us are looking for stability but too many are looking outside of themselves without realising that stability comes from within. Many of the easy problems of mankind have been solved using the logical processes of business but not all problems can be solved with logic alone and now we find ourselves with a crisis of leadership as the old system makes way for the new.

Times of transition are times of opportunity yet charlatans surround us, mixing with the phantoms that pass us by all claiming to know what the future holds and appealing to our sense of greed which all too often blinds us to truth.

But you can’t con an honest man. We don’t spot lies by using our wit, we know them when we refuse to be lied to and that requires having respect for the truth ourselves. We are all leaders now, the old monarchies and one to many broadcast systems have made way for a new form of communication one often described as ‘many to many’ communication and with this has arrived a new found responsibility one which not all of us are ready to take.

Here is a wonderful quote I found in the book The War of Art by Steven Pressfield which I think is just right:

A victim act is a form of passive aggression. It seeks to achieve gratification not by honest work or a contribution made out of one’s experience or insight or love, but by the manipulation of others through silent (and not-so-silent) threat. The victim compels others to come to his rescue or to behave as he wishes by holding them hostage to the prospect of his own further illness/meltdown/mental dissolution, or simply by threatening to make their lives so miserable that they do what he wants.

I meet too many people who just want to make a fast buck. They aren’t interested in building a future; on the contrary they want to borrow from it to maintain the status quo. In order to build the future we have to look back and accept that the past isn’t over. Just as the Renaissance ‘forged new philosophies’ out of Plato[1] we too need to look to our past, break it down unpack those ideas and feel them in a way appropriate to the age.

Ultimately I think it all boils down to this: It’s not money we are short of it is time, for once it is gone it never comes back. The truth is bearing down on all of us and while some are embracing it with an open ended curiosity others are waiting to be taken to the brink because they think that what they need to compel them in to action must come from outside of themselves, they don’t believe they have what it takes from within.

Finally then we need to stop thinking of ourselves as victims of time and realise that we are time; we bring our past experiences to our future projects and weave them together to produce a present moment[2]. We need to stop finding time and instead start making it to do the things we care about.


Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)
  1. Renaissance Neo-Platonism By Richard Hooker
  2. Heidegger’s Being and Time, part 8: Temporality – The Guardian 27 July 2009

Previously on Twitter: Rupert Murdoch learned how to talk to the public