I Think I’m Right But You Can Convince Me I’m Wrong

A Critical Doer capitalizes on opportunities to be better


One of the best ways to improve your capacity for doing is to improve the quality of your thinking.  A good friend of mine offers a great example of how to think through a proposition to a logical conclusion that guides meaningful action and a successful outcome.

Jim Powell (nickname “UW” for Ultimate Warrior–will save that story for another day) is a good friend, archery mentor, frequent commenter on this blog, and a Critical Doer.  Whenever he proposes an idea, it’s hard to argue because he’s one of the smartest mammals I’ve ever encountered.  But whenever he offers an idea, without fail he ends it this way…”I think I’m right but you can convince me I’m wrong.”  It’s actually a brilliant statement as it is an invitation to test his idea using sound scientific and philosophical reasoning that will ultimately lead to a better outcome because the proposition was based upon substantiated truth.

Most often we take an idea and our instinct is to prove it’s true or validate it.  In reality, that method of thinking is contrary to both scientific and philosophical methodology to arrive at the truth.  The correct methodology is actually to refute or disprove an idea in order to determine whether a proposition is true.

Karl Popper’s Theory is the basis for determining truth based upon “falsifiability” in an “if A (antecedent) then B (consequent)” proposition.  An example would be the following statement:  “if you get good grades in school then you will become rich.”  If you set out to prove that statement correct, you could validate it by finding examples of people who received good grades and became rich.  In taking the opposite approach of testing the consequent by asking did all rich people get good grades, you would find that many people became rich that didn’t receive good grades or even go to school.  Therefore, you would reject the proposition as an absolute and accept the idea that there are many ways to become rich.

The point is through the application of logic in Popper’s theory, many options to achieve a goal (becoming rich) are now possible as opposed to only one option (good grades) when testing the antecedent for validity.  By simply asking the question based on philosophical logic, the probability of success increased exponentially through expansion of possibilities.

Your challenge is to take a look at how you’re framing and testing ideas for decision.  If you’re not applying logic and attempting to disprove an idea, you are significantly narrowing your chances of determining truth as well as viable options to achieve a goal.

Don’t be afraid to put your ideas to the test of sound logic and have it be disproved.  The name of the game isn’t so much about your ideas being right or wrong…it’s about your organization being effective and its people performing at the level of fulfillment.  Give it a try and be amazed at how much more you can do when your actions are guided by truth.  It’s what a Critical Doer would…do!


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Updated: December 7, 2015 — 10:14 am