Prove me wrong, please!

I’ve spent the last few weekends of the last few months plotting, writing, and working on my “book.” The more I thought about and worked on it the more I realized I wanted these ideas out in the world. If I put them out now, I can just collect them later.

To my own discredit. None of these ideas are unique. I don’t have a mind so clever that I’m bringing revolutionary thoughts to light. I’m simply taking the last 30+ years of lessons and sharing them with you. I’ve adopted concepts from the stoicism, the school yard, Buddhism, and many other areas from icons like Bruce Lee, Kevin Smith, Seneca, Bob Ross, and Alan Watts. I’ve taken these ideas, thought on them, reflected, practiced, discarded them, and re-adopted them. In the true spirit of Jeet Kune Do, I’ve adapted what is useful, rejected what is useless, and added what is specifically my own. This is essentially a record of The Tao of José. Staying true to its nature, this Tao is not static. It grows, changes, and evolves as I grow, change, and evolve a little more every day.

My intention is not to provide a guide on how to live, but to simply share some thoughts on how a nobody like me made it this far, so far. My hope is that at least ONE of these “rules” piques your interest and some of the sources that helped mold my view of the world, will inspire you to dig a little and build out your Tao. Whether it be for your kids, your friends, your family, that guy/girl that always seems to be at the coffee shop at the same time as you, ferociously writing their own book, or simply posterity.

So here we go, the first thoughts behind “Bathroom break philosophy.” Little, bite-sized philosophical musings you can ponder while you poop.

Enter every situation with the willingness to be wrong.

Being wrong is hard. Ego is a nasty thing. It’s been said by many humans much smarter than I that ego is the enemy. I just so happen to agree with that statement. Through intentional living and practice, you can start to notice when your ego flares up. What happens when we set ego aside (as best we can) and we welcome the idea of being wrong? What happens when we enter into every situation with the willingness to be wrong?

If you are able to enter into every situation willing to be wrong, you open yourself up to being able to learn from anyone at any time. All people are superior to you in some way and have a knowledge that remains a mystery to you. It may be something as innocuous as how to prepare a better drip coffee, to something as heavy as how to perform an emergency tracheotomy. It may be simply learning and accepting you are wrong, but we are able to learn from all.

“If someone can prove me wrong and show me my mistake in any thought or action, I shall gladly change. I seek the truth, which never harmed anyone: the harm is to persist in one’s own self-deception and ignorance.”

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

With the willingness to be wrong, comes the ability to grow and better yourself. Provide yourself the perspective to preemptively see the other side and you’ll never have to feel humbled by others, as you will perpetually remain in a state of humility.

As a bonus, seeing the reaction on someone else’s face when you very clearly and simply state “Oh, I was wrong, thank you for showing me a better way to approach this,” is priceless. Sometimes it’s even difficult for the other party to accept your willingness to be wrong.

2 thoughts on “Prove me wrong, please!

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