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Powerlessness the Downside of Being Right

This insightful video delves into the concept of powerlessness stemming from the need to be right. It emphasizes the process of interpreting events, seeking agreement, and ultimately claiming justification, which leads to a sense of blamelessness and impotence. The narrative explores the cascading effect of creating mental packages around experiences, hindering one’s ability to acknowledge and rectify misunderstandings. The author advocates for the willingness to be wrong about being right, highlighting the counterintuitive nature of personal growth. The video touches on essential aspects of personal development, urging readers to embrace openness and self-awareness to foster positive change in communication, conflict resolution, and teamwork.


Powerlessness. This is about the downside of being right. This is, I think, one of the most important things that’s ever kind of come to me. I try to practice it as much as I possibly can at home and at work. Here’s where it starts. Something happens. It doesn’t matter what it is, but it makes your needle jump. It’s a trigger of some kind. A good thing, a bad thing. Usually a bad thing. Somebody says something or does something that you don’t like. Immediately you have some interpretation of what happened, and that begins to form a kind of a box. You begin to start to package what it is that happened. First you think about it and have your interpretation of what you saw, what it means. Then you search for agreement. That is, you go around and you get other people to agree with your interpretation of what happened. That’s called gossip. That’s another package that you put around. What happened back, back at that other moment. And then you decide you’re right. As soon as you have enough agreement from enough people, you go, I’m right. And then that’s another package that goes around what happened. And at this point, it’s getting harder and harder to actually remember or see what happened. Now, it’s not so much about what happened, but it’s about your process of what you’re doing with that. Then after you decide you’re right, suddenly at this point, automatically, as soon as you’re right, you become justified and blameless and innocent. Oh, and by the way, impotent. Powerless. A huge box goes around that package, and then ultimately, you become unwilling to be wrong. Not about what happened, but you become unwilling to be wrong about being right.

That’s what you’re doing. As soon as that happens, you have a huge package that goes around that piece, and it’s now virtually impossible to go back. Something happened. You have an interpretation, then you search for agreement, you end up gossiping about it, decide you’re right. You’re now justified, blameless, and impotent. Now you’re unwilling to be wrong about being right. Something has to give. Here’s the process. When you blame someone, when you wait for someone to get it, or to change when you’re waiting for them to change. When you make someone wrong. When that happens, you’re giving them all the responsibility. Oh, and by the way, all the power to create change. And you have done it. Isn’t that fascinating? My good friends Gaye and Katie Hendricks have a great saying. Arguments in a relationship, arguments about who is right are races to the victim position. Anytime you’re trying to be right in an argument, you’re racing to be the victim at the end. You get to be right. Oh, and by the way, powerless because the other person then has all the power to make something happen. You need to be open to being wrong. This is really, really difficult. Not about what happened, but about being right. When that happens, it’s counterintuitive. But by being willing to be wrong about being right, you begin to experience the power to create change. Try this any time you catch yourself wanting to be right. Experiment with being willing to be wrong and see if that doesn’t help you get back to that central thing, which is something that happened in the world inside all those packages that you created in order to preserve yourself being right.


This insightful video delves into essential survival skills for navigating today’s workplace challenges. Covering skills seven to ten, it emphasizes the importance of developing courage to face challenges (symbolized by “tigers”), mastering cross-functional teamwork, adapting to rapid change, and finding purpose beyond routine tasks. The author encourages readers to view their work as contributing to a larger purpose, urging them to quit a mundane job and discover work that aligns with personal passions and makes a meaningful impact. With a focus on personal development, organizational growth, and effective teamwork, the video provides practical advice for thriving in the dynamic modern workplace.

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