# 63 on my, 99 Life Tips–A List is: Learn to preface statements with, “I could be wrong,” as needed. Recognize how true this is.
I’ve written previous pieces on preference and on being right in your own eyes exploring the idea expressed in this piece. Yes, you choose what you prefer. You also feel right in your own eyes when you do so. But… you could be wrong.
This truth about the potential for error applies not solely to actions, but applies to opinions and beliefs as well. It is important to keep open the possibility that you could be wrong.
I count as among my most helpful moments in life, two disasters when, to my horror and shame, I was wrong about everything. I don’t know if there is a sage adage that you learn more from failure than from success, but if there isn’t, there should be.
The first such moment was learning how wrong I was—living independently from God.
That was a Big one.
The second was learning how wrong I was to build a life around an unfaithful woman in the naïve belief that it would last forever because we’d stood in front of the aforementioned God, and a bunch of people, declaring that it would.
Never trust anyone without a limp
Both these instances pulled the rug out from under me in the most marvelous way. And they’ve left me with a limp. Remind me sometime to tell you my story about Jacob wrestling with the Angel.
That limp is internal. It’s the constant reminder to be vigilant not to put confidence in myself as an accurate predictor of my accuracy.
And let me just say here in my piece about the need to admit to yourself that you could be wrong… I could be wrong.
I don’t feel any need to set myself up as a guru or ultimate authority, even on matters I know a lot about. That flies in the face of conventional wisdom, especially for writers like me who produce lots of so-called “life advice” stuff. We’re supposed to own our niche, and position ourselves as THE VOICE, or the expert, or some other non-sense. Hmmm… I wonder if GregTheOracle dot com is available???
When I read someone like that, I discount 95% of it, and laugh at the other 5%. Seriously.
Look, confidence is great to have. If you need some, be confident in this. You could be wrong.