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10 Universal Sayings! I was wrong

10 Universal Sayings

Chapter 2: I was wrong

People usually change for two reasons.

It’s either they have learned a lot,

or they have been hurt a lot. ― Aysa Angel

When you are on the water,

the wind may not blow in a certain direction.

That is life!


changes of circumstances can bring us down or lift us to success.

It is our ability to cope

and deal with uncertainties that shows our true ability.

Floating on the waves in unusual weather conditions,

the sailor must know how to adjust the sail.

When you make mistakes,


you need to reframe your thinking

to accept your shortcomings

and consider the best way to handle things right.

Boldly saying “I was wrong” is the way we accept to face difficult situations.

It’s a bit risky,

but the “fruits” we get will exceed our expectations.

I want to start this book with the acceptance of “I was wrong

because this is the hardest sentence to say

and most of us feel ashamed to say it.

It can be difficult to admit that you are wrong to others,

even to yourself.

And it’s even harder to admit “I was wrong” in front of

the people we care about most and care about us the most.

I learned this lesson many years ago when my wife,

Helen, was about to undergo cataract surgery.

The doctor said she could go to the hospital for surgery in the morning

and return home the same day.

That made me feel relieved.

But Helen said,

“No, I don’t want to rush before the surgery.

I want to be hospitalized from the night before to rest,

relax and be taken care of.

I don’t like waking up early in the morning

and rushing to get ready.”

At that time,

thinking that Helen’s request would only cause me more trouble,

I grumbled about the useless waste of time

and the amount of money she had to pay for her

early admission to the hospital.

But Helen decided to be hospitalized the night before the surgery.

The next day,

the doctor told me that I could disinfect my hands

and feet and go into the operating room to monitor the operation.

Thanks to a magnifying device,

I could watch the doctor carefully remove the old lens

and insert an artificial intraocular lens to replace it.

Watching the whole surgery,

I suddenly realized it was not as simple as I thought.

I found Helen right when she asked to rest

and keep calm before the operation.

But I only care about being able to finish the surgery quickly

After the operation,

I apologized to Helen,

I admitted to her that I was wrong and she was right.

Helen is truly a smart woman,

and I’ve gotten used to admitting mistakes many times in my life.

I’ve found that

if we’re too sensitive to the way other people see things in the first place,

it’s going to be difficult for us

to put ourselves in their shoes to see we’ve made a mistake.

It would be meaningless to admit “I was wrong”

if the words did not come from

the sincere heart but just flowed out of the mouth.

It requires serious and profound change from within.

Even if that admission hurts us,

we need to understand that as human beings,

everyone makes mistakes from time to time.

However, when we honestly recognize our flaws,

we will make a positive impact on the lives of those around us.

Admitting we are wrong shows that we are ready to change

and inspire others,

helping them to change in a positive direction as well.

“I was wrong” are just three simple words

that can help you become more confident

and optimistic about yourself.

The crux of this change lies in the decision:

“Do I want to create an atmosphere of optimism or pessimism?”.

So every time you feel like you’re wrong, admit it frankly!

It is easy to find examples of negative atmospheres in organizations

just because no one dares to say,

“You know what,

maybe I was wrong and you are absolutely right!”.

From personal experience,

I’ve found that admitting

I’m wrong helps to clear a heavy negative atmosphere in most cases.

For those in leadership positions,

admitting mistakes can be extremely difficult.

A leader is always considered a person with a vision,

a wise person who can comprehensively grasp the problem,

as well as an initiator and outlines the direction for others to implement.

But sometimes,

even leaders have to admit they were wrong.

As a co-founder of the corporation,

when I propose a new approach

or introduce a new product,

I confidently believe that

I have foreseen any problems that may arise.

When someone asks me,

“Have you thought about this?”,

my answer is usually:

“Oh, sure! Of course!”.

But thinking back,

I didn’t really think through the matter.

I was flawed!

Someone with a different perspective might notice something that

I myself did not anticipate.

Faced with such situations,

we will have to choose:

protect our proud “me” by putting on a defensive “armor”

and claim that we are not negligent,

or honestly look at it receive:

You are right! I’m wrong!

I haven’t thought it through

to that” know quality

When you accept mistakes,

you will have the opportunity to correct them

and work together to find a solution.

In addition,

sincerely accepting the opinions of others is also a way

to show respect for them.

Because I chose to admit I was wrong,

I understood the value of getting employees’ opinions and views

and discovered the importance of keeping regular meetings at Amway.

We call this meeting Say What You Think.

Every few months,

we choose a representative from each department to come and talk to me.

They are allowed to ask any question, make suggestions,

even critique, comment from big things

(such as technical problems in the production system)

to small things (such as complaints about food) food

and drinks in vending machines).

Saying what you think is a way to let employees know

that we don’t have all the solutions,

we can make mistakes,

and that their opinions are always respected.

We act on the suggestions drawn from the discussions

with employees to build a better company.

But first,

I myself have to have the courage to admit my mistakes

in front of the staff.

It was one of the wisest decisions.

The stubbornness to believe that

you are right is the main factor that

causes the breakdown of relationships.

It gives rise to pointless arguments

and then we realize how stupid we are.

Jay Van Andel and

I have remained friends

and associates for more than fifty years.

We wouldn’t have been as successful

as we are now without agreeing on our goals and business decisions.

Since Jay is older than me,

he serves as chairman of the board,

and I serve as the chief executive officer on a board of two of us.

We have agreed that all business decisions must be agreed to by both.

In the early days of Amway,

I was overwhelmed by my ego,

wanting to buy a more luxurious car.

While the company’s distributors drove luxury Cadillacs,

Jay and I drove the “old-fashioned” Plymouth and Desoto.

At that time a car dealer in Grand Rapids had a beautiful

and elegant Packard that I really wanted to own.

I decided to buy it for the company car without consulting Jay.

I had to apologize to him for that.

However, he was not angry and even said:

“It’s okay,

you’ve made up your mind,

so cheer up!”.

I got what I wanted,

but I also violated the company’s financial policy

by making my own car buying decisions.

In the process of working together,

it is inevitable that

we will disagree to the point of controversy.

It was the time to discuss the dress code for diners when coming to our restaurant.

It was one of the most mundane decisions that

led to huge controversy.

Cygnus is the name of the restaurant located on the 26th floor of

the newly built Amway Grand Plaza hotel

(opened in the early 1980s)

with sweeping views of the city of Grand Rapids,

and this is also one of the most luxurious restaurants in the world in the city’s first.

We argued with each other whether to keep the restaurant formal

with the requirement for male diners to wear suits and ties,

or to open the door to everyone

so that it could be expanded your business.

It was the only time in years of collaboration

that one person used a veto to overturn the other’s decision.

But fortunately, we built a solid friendship,

and the “case” of the Cygnus restaurant gradually became a small thing.

However, many friendships and family relationships have been broken,

even coming to an end because of unnecessary arguments.

For most people,

having to admit they’re wrong hurts their pride and ego.

However, when we think more maturely,

it becomes easier to admit the truth.

We will achieve more success,

make fewer mistakes,

and be less sensitive

and vulnerable to a problem.

When we’re young,

we try to build our self-image,

so we’re often afraid to admit our mistakes.

As we age,

we boldly share our mistakes in life and admit to ourselves

and others that we have a long way to go

before we reach perfection.

In fact,

admitting mistakes is a way of liberation,

helping both parties feel peaceful,

relieved and also a sign of maturity in thinking.

Honesty in the face of mistakes shows humility.

People often appreciate the virtue of humility,

no one likes arrogance.

Saying “I was wrong” is the first step in the healing process.

For example,

when a child is caught eating clumsily from a box,

he responds by devious denials

and arguments to defend himself.


we are also more inclined to defend ourselves than

to admit we were wrong.

Denying sins brings no end

What a good result.

We only mature when we consider relationships more important

than protecting our views or face.


when we understand that everyone can make mistakes,

we will no longer feel guilty.

It is also a way to heal the pain we have caused others.

If you still hold a grudge in your heart,

it gradually deepens into wounds that are hard to heal.

Making mistakes is inevitable.

Denying their existence only contributes to pride and discord.

Remember “Humanity is not ten perfect”!

Perfectionists always demand that everything they do be perfect.

But has anyone reached such a standard?

An arrogant ego will take you far,

but only integrity and humility will lead you to success.

In addition,

admitting mistakes helps us heal physical

and mental illnesses.

Medicine has discovered a close connection between physical health

and mental health of people.

I’m not a doctor,

but I fully believe in the power of admitting fault

instead of resisting;

tolerance and forgiveness instead of holding grudges;

and accept that you may be right or wrong.

We will feel healthy mentally and physically

when we have lifted the burden of always being right

and freed ourselves from the fear of being judged by others.

For that reason,

I don’t keep silent when I know I’m wrong,

and show a benevolent attitude

when I admit the truth.

I am also open to the opinions of others.

It is just as important to confirm that

someone’s opinion is right,

just as it is when we honestly admit our shortcomings.

After realizing our mistake,

we will easily forgive ourselves,

maybe even let it slip into the past.

Knowing that we also sometimes make mistakes,

we will easily open up to the mistakes of others.

One of the prominent characters with this personality is Gerald R.

Ford, the 38th President of the United States.

I lost a friend and America lost a respected leader

when he passed away after Christmas 2006.

The press coverage of his funeral is clear evidence of a humble man of strong faith.

His integrity and faith were most evident

when he announced a pardon to his predecessor,

Richard Nixon,

for crimes he committed while in office.

President Ford knew that

the pardon would most likely “jeopardize” his 1976 campaign,

but he did what he believed was right.

In his public address to explain his pardon for Nixon,

Ford said he couldn’t expect God to show him justice

and mercy if he couldn’t show it to others.

He looked beyond political interests

and personal interests to forgive,

put aside the old story for the sake of healing the country’s wounds.

President Ford realized that

the future of his country was far more important than the fate of his predecessor.

We waste energy hating someone.

A bright future is more important than any hatred or guilt.

“I was wrong”

is a statement that can ease the pain of a strained relationship,

end an argument,

start the healing process,

and even turn enemies into friends.

Accepting you’re wrong can threaten your power,


and status,

but everything of value in life requires a bit of risk.

Over the course of my career,

I have used my sailing experiences as proof of taking risks

– you won’t know how to sail if you just stand on the shore and watch.

I often tell the story that Jay

and I sold our business not long after World War II

and bought an old wooden sailboat.

We set out from Connecticut

and sailed along the coast toward South America as planned,

even though the two of us had never actually sailed before.

We lost our way,

ran aground,

and then the sea patrol also had a hard time finding us.

The boat was punctured

and sunk off the Cuban coast,

but we continued our journey

by other means to reach South America.

I have learned an invaluable lesson that is to take risks

and move forward confidently.

If you wait until you have enough knowledge

and experience that you think is necessary,

you will never dare to step forward to reach your goal.

When Amway Corporation launched its venture capital investment

through the development of its first overseas subsidiary in Australia,

I gave a talk to distributors titled The Four Winds.

The message that

I want to convey is that the wind blows in all four directions,

sometimes the wind will go in the direction of us

and can also blow against the direction we go.

Success depends on how we face those winds.

I remember the days when sailing on Lake Michigan,

the wind from the west gently blew

and I let my boat down the water.

On days when the wind changes direction to blow from the east

then I knew I was experiencing unusual weather

and couldn’t predict

what was going to happen.

As the northwesterly wind blows across the lake bringing

with it cold air

after days of wet weather,

the lake begins to ripple violently,

and you need to know what to do to control the boat

or give up the journey.

For me, no matter how fierce the “wind” is on my way,

the fire of hope in me always burns brightly.

When you are on the water,

the wind may not blow in a certain direction.

That is life!

Uncertainties, changes of circumstances can bring us down

or lift us to success.

It is our ability to cope

and deal with uncertainties that

shows our true ability.

Floating on the waves in unusual weather conditions,

the sailor must know how to adjust the sail.

When it comes to making mistakes,


you need to reframe your thinking to accept your shortcomings

and consider the best way to handle them all right.


Boldly saying

“I was wrong” is the way we accept to face difficult situations.

It’s a bit risky,

but the “fruits” we get will exceed our expectations.

Relationships with family

and friends can be broken simply

because we are afraid, or too stubborn,

to be afraid to say,

“I was wrong.

You’re right.

Please forgive me and forgive me.”

Life is too short,

while the human ego is too big and very vulnerable.

The ego interferes with the healing of inner wounds

and the ability to improve relationships

with just a few simple words.

“I was wrong” helps change our attitudes

and unlocks the many benefits of good relationships.

It’s hard to admit when you’re wrong

and even harder to admit it to others.

What if you admit your shortcomings?

Try it out!

Honestly accepting “I was wrong” won’t be as demoralizing

as you might think.

It makes everything easier

and your heart is also more peaceful and comfortable.

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