The Correct Answer Is Not Always the Right Answer

There’s a difference between the correct answer and the right answer. Most people, including me, (actually, especially me) learn this lesson the hard way.

If you’re asked to guess a woman’s age, the correct answer would be to look at her closely and estimate as best you can what her age is.

The right answer would be to go through the same exercise and then subtract seven years.

When we feel indignant, we’re more likely to focus on how we’re correct, why we’re correct, and everything to do with our correctness. All of this at the cost of what we’re trying to accomplish.

When we feel generous, we’re more likely to focus on what the right answer is. We remain focused on what it’s important for us to achieve.

The correct answer is black and white. It’s the employee handbook. It’s the returns policy. It’s printed in the manual. The right answer is in the gray area.

Being correct gives a quick hit of satisfaction at the expense of the long-term repercussions. Choosing the right answer may not feel as good today, but it pays major dividends in the long term.

The correct answer in spite of all other considerations leaves a lot of correct people walking around with noseless faces.

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