Being Wrong – Challenging Our Investment and Life Beliefs

He is financially speaking the wealthiest man in the world, Jeff Bezos of Amazon. But I admire him more for some of the interesting things he says, the things he does and his philosophies, than simply for his bank account. I read about one important factor he uses to determine if someone is really smart:
The flexibility of your mind when presented with new information that may contradict old long held beliefs about the world. I think developing this skill can lead to an increased ability to build wealth.
Bezos says the key is how you handle and manage being wrong. In other words, we are all wrong sometimes about different views and financial decisions in life. We have to be, we are only one human with one mind and one view in an ocean of millions. We are not all knowing Gods or beings that can see everything that will happen in the future, at least not yet! How we mentally navigate being wrong is the key to success. A person that is not very smart has one fixed and consistent view of the world that never changes with new information and data. This is a foolish way to live in a dynamic world.

“Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (And apparently Jeff Bezos of Amazon agrees)

Here are some ways to make better decisions with investing and in life over the long run:
  • People that are willing to entertain the idea that they may be wrong make better decisions.
  • Maintain humility when taking in new information and making decisions.
  • Can you truly see new information or views and consider them?
This can have all kinds of positive impacts on your financial life and ability to build wealth. If you were wrong about a particular investment or purchase, admit it and move on. As Ray Dalio says, try and see the world as it is, not as you wish it to be. So ask yourself when was the last time you changed an opinion you may have held? How flexible is your mind and is it open to other ideas and viewpoints? It may be a critical skill in your ability to build wealth and achieve the success you seek. There are several ways to apply this to building wealth and improving our finances:
  • Challenge our spending. Are we spending the “right” amount on the “right” things. Is our spending within budget and are resources being allocated to some investments for the future? Taking a hard look in the mirror and at our spending can lead to a greater ability to achieve financial success.
  • Are we getting caught up in fad investments? Ask yourself if you are getting caught up in the latest “get rich quick” scheme, or are you applying sound financial and mathematical principles to your investments that have stood the test of time?
  • Are we in the right career field? This is a vital question to ask oneself from time to time. Does the job demands align with our greater values?
  • Are we truly doing all we can to add value? Are we striving to add value to our lives and others each and every day? How can we be there for someone and ourselves? What can we manage and create effectively?
  • Are we thinking outside the traditional route that we are born into? Do we really want what society tells us is “success”?
I know, these are “deep thoughts” by Jack Handy, but can be worth considering on the journey to financial independence and better money and life management.  

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