I love to be wrong. Not all the time, but some time. Realizing that I was wrong about something means I’ve grown.
Learning happens when you either find out something new – or, you change your mind about something you thought you knew. That’s why I love to be wrong.
Don’t get me wrong — I wouldn’t want to be wrong about the Sheriff or something I reported on the news. But I just love when I have an opinion about something or someone and I am enlightened to the point where I change my mind and, yes, admit I was wrong.
Some people think admitting you’re wrong is a weakness but to me it sounds more like ‘Hey, look what I learned!!! Now I know something I didn’t know before!! Woo-hoo!!!’
Politicians are often criticized for ‘flip-flopping’ on an issue. But I’d rather vote for a politician who admits he was wrong and changes his position than one who holds firm for fear of judgment (as long as his final position is the same as mine!).
Sometimes being wrong can be ‘awesome’. I don’t really like that word but it seems to work for Neil Pasricha, so I’m going to go with it. For instance, let’s say you play the lottery. You don’t really expect to win, do you? No. But what if you were wrong?
This is the topic of my post today because I was wrong about Penelope Trunk.
My first interaction with Penelope was not good. I asked her to do an interview called ‘teach me to blog’. She was gracious enough to agree, and generous with her time, but the interview didn’t really go so well. I’m pretty sure at some point in the interview she referred to one of my questions as ‘stupid’, or something close enough. Needless to say, this interview did not make air because I really don’t like to be thought of as stupid. ‘Teach me to blog’ sounded more like ‘don’t be an idiot, just do it’. Not really the approach I was looking for.
I thought wow, this girl is rough. And, I really could never like anyone who is so offensive.
That’s where I was wrong. I was wrong about her being rough. I was wrong about her being offensive. Or, at least I was wrong about my not being able to like her – even if she is rough or offensive.
3 Reasons I Like Penelope Trunk (Or, Why I’m Glad I Was Wrong)
1. The ‘stupid’ question was about technology. Penelope later explained that she, too, wasted a lot of time early on obsessing about the technology and it really doesn’t matter.
Just start. That was her message.
Once the dust settled, and my ego healed, her message stayed with me. So I started — The ParmFarm. The most important message here is just because you don’t like somebody doesn’t mean you can’t learn something from them.
2. I’m embarrassed to say that prior to our interview, I hadn’t really spent a lot of time reading Penelope’s blog. Turns out Penelope has Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism which tends to show itself as having difficulty with basic social skills — as in you might just come right out and say something seems stupid if that’s what you think, rather than offer a more tactful response.
Now I actually do feel stupid. If I had known about the Asperger’s in advance, I would have judged her differently, or not at all. The message here is just because you don’t understand someone’s actions doesn’t mean they can’t be explained. It just means you don’t understand. Now I do.
3. Even though she rarely stays on topic, Penelope Trunk is supposed to offer career advice. If there is anyone who has managed to find the perfect career given her strengths and weaknesses, it’s Penelope Trunk. Because she has Asperger’s, she often can’t help but say what she feels. While that may not play well in some circles, it’s the holy grail for bloggers.
Every time I get an email with a new post from Penelope I can’t wait to open it. It’s like opening the door to find a friend who you just know is going to have something interesting to say. Yes she can be rough. And yes, even offensive. But I like Penelope because she’s real.
The message here is, with a change in perspective, weaknesses may look like strengths.
And that’s why I changed my perspective about Penelope Trunk.
You can’t always be right. When you’re wrong, make the most of it.