The 2nd - Or Maybe 3rd - Most Important 3 Words in Life

Long time readers know I’m a big fan of admitting we can’t know certain things, and the words “I don’t know” are a perfectly acceptable answer to some questions. 

Along with another 3 word phrase pertaining to the expression of our devotion, I would propose another important 3 word phrase: “I was wrong.”

It’s hard to say at times, isn’t it? 

That argument about politics. 
That debate about medicine. 
That career decision. 
That decision not to consult Google Maps.
That can’t-miss stock pick or strategy. 
That loss of patience. 
That failed business venture. 

However hard it may be, it's helpful to give ourselves an honest assessment in areas of our lives where we’ve been wrong. It’s one thing to admit it ourselves, and it’s another level to tell others. 

Put ourselves on the receiving end of hearing “I was wrong.” It is wrapped in humility, and even as an apology. It’s disarming - it shows sincerity and self-awareness. In fact, rather than creating distrust, I believe it actually builds MORE trust with an individual. 

I remember interviewing a family doctor at one point. I looked up his background and saw he was disciplined years ago for something. During our initial conversation I asked him about it. The report I read didn’t give a ton of details, so I simply asked him if his punishment was merited or if it was blown out of proportion. Without violating any HIPPA rules that I know of, he briefly explained the situation, admitted that he was wrong, and told me he learned a lot through it. That comment boosted my faith in his character much more than him either denying or downplaying it. 

Not only is admitting we were wrong relationship-enhancing, it can also be good teaching points - both for ourselves and for others. If we live life - relationally, financially, professionally, spiritually - and never admit any wrong doing, we’re deceiving ourselves. We’re all extremely flawed, so either we’re not asking hard enough questions, or we’re glossing over opportunities we could be learning from. 

Telling our kids we were wrong models humility, and will most likely show them that it's safe to be wrong at times and admit it. 

Perhaps I’m just extra self-reflective this time of year, but 2020 seems to be filled to the brim with things we all could learn from. Perhaps starting with our own assessments. 

Interesting Resources

Morgan Housel
"The illusion of control is more persuasive than the reality of uncertainty." 

The PNC Christmas Price Index
4 min read | PNC
I can't recall if it was my friend Treavor or Ryan who first introduced this to me a few years ago, but they recently brought it up again. PNC creates a price index of gifts mentioned in "The Twelve Days of Christmas." I won't ruin any surprises - but even the first total Christmas Price Index was eye opening! Fun little exercise, and you can seriously impress some friends with your trivia (or trivial) knowledge. 

Holy (Wedding Song)
5 min view | The City Harmonic (YouTube video)
Some songs capture you in an odd way. That happened to me last week as I randomized my playlist during a work day and this song came on and have probably listened to it 20 times since. Partial lyrics:

This is the story of the son of God hanging on a cross for me
And it ends with a bride and groom and a wedding by a glassy sea
This is the story of a bride in white singin' on her wedding day
Altogether all that was, and is can stand before her God and sing

Snapshot of Growth vs Value
2 min read | First Trust
I'll post with limited comment, but here's a snippet: "[Bank of America] notes that, since the end of the financial crisis (2008-2009), the valuation dispersion between growth and value stocks reached its highest level at the end of September 2020. Historically, when the valuation dispersion has been this high or higher, value stocks have outperformed growth stocks 95% of the time over the subsequent 12 months, by an average of 24 percentage points."

That snapshot was from late October - and this one (second image) was from this month. Hmm. Smaller companies (another investing factor that I believe in, along with Value) have recently been outperforming their larger counterparts. Only time will tell if the pattern continues. 
I'll be sending some more formal Christmas wishes next week - but in case you opt not to check your inbox that day, I wish you a very sincere Merry Christmas!

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