Skip to content

Mental Framework: Right, Wrong, & When

Q: If two people have conflicting facts, how do you know who is right? 
A: Perhaps they’re both right.

I used to think in fairly black-and-white terms regarding whether someone was right or wrong. I didn’t always assume I was right—that would be arrogant. But when someone suggested something as fact that was contrary to my experience, I was pretty quick to regard them as mistaken. 

If I interpreted the world differently, then I typically thought, “He’s wrong.” 

If I perceived the world similarly, then I typically thought, “She’s correct.”

And then I learned to upgrade my mental frameworks and begin to ask the question, “When are they right?” Or “When is that true?”

If someone told me it’s daylight 20 hours out of a 24 day cycle, I would have said they’re wrong. And there would have been hard facts to back me up. The Weather Channel reports that in Denver, at this time of year, Sunrise happens at 5:40am, and Sunset happens at 8:30pm; which results in less than 15 hours of daylight. 

However, if I ask, “When are they right?” I could have easily remembered that Alaska, during certain parts of the year, get’s 20 hours of daylight in a 24 hour cycle.

Not every fact is true all the time. But that doesn’t mean we can dismiss it as wrong. A broken clock is still right twice a day. 

Actionable Question: What fact did I dismiss recently that may have more credibility than I realized? 

Have a great week,
Andrew Nemeth