Your Right to Be Wrong3 min read

For a long time I used to think being “right” was a big deal. I had to say the right thing at the right time, know the right people, read the right books, live in the right neighborhood…

I did all this not because I wanted to, but because I thought it was a prerequisite for success.

If you want other people to respect you, then you have to look and sound a certain way, right? Makes sense, if conformity is all you’ve ever been taught.

What no one tells you is the price you must pay for this. Yes, conformity gains you a certain type of approval from others, but it comes at the cost of losing your sense of self.

You have to systematically search out everything that’s a little bit “off” about you and bury it as deep as you can. You know that you can’t get rid of it — it’s a part of you, after all — but maybe you can hide it so deep that no one will ever see it, so that a world that only respects the “right” will never realize how “wrong” you really are.

Maybe, just maybe, you can fool everyone until you’re in a position of power and no one’s opinion matters anymore. Then you can be free. Right?

Umm… no.

Rebels and Power

The people we pay attention to aren’t the masters of doing what’s “right;” they’re the misfits who have the courage to be wrong. They take whatever everyone else is doing in their industry and turn it inside out.

It’s not just about differentiation; it’s about perverting the norm, destroying sacred traditions, and screwing with the way people think. It’s about doing, saying, or living something that’s so completely unexpected that people can’t help but pay attention.

It’s about realizing that most people spend their lives breathing stale, recycled air, and then spending the remainder of your life finding and opening windows to make that air new again.

  • Who would’ve thought a movie that told a story backwards would become a cult classic that people would talk about for decades? But that’s what Christopher Nolan did with Memento.
  • Who would’ve thought paintings consisting of nothing more than splattered paint would sell for millions of dollars? But that’s what Jackson Pollock did with his art.
  • Who would’ve thought a Jewish guy from the UK would become famous by playing an anti-Semitic, socially-retarded Kazakh? But that’s what Sacha Baron Cohen did with Borat.

The one trait they all have in common: the courage to be wrong.

There is no Right or Wrong

You need to realize “right” and “wrong” exist only between quotation marks. Every day, the world decides their definition, and every day, we have the opportunity to influence what that definition becomes.

Revolutionaries don’t just burn the rules. They write new ones. In destroying the standard, they create the standard. Destruction is also a creative force.

Will some people dislike you? Sure, that’s the way it works. Real leaders are willing, even eager, to be disliked and even hated, not because it makes them feel important, but because they know it’s the price of change, and no one can pay that price but them.

Do you have that kind of courage?

If not, it pays to find it. No one pays attention to a coward for very long.

And if all you do is what’s “right,” then a coward is exactly what you become.


Join the conversation

comment 34 comments
  • Mina R.

    When you started blogging did you ever feel like you were being 100% real and uncensored but felt almost as if it was TOO much… even though it just was what happened? Or does anyone else feel this way?

    • Jordan Peters

      Too much? As in… too loud? Maybe. Sometimes. It’s because we are socially conditioned from a young age in ways that no longer apply to us in this new online environment. But you get used to it, and then you can write what you want, how you want.

      • Mina R.

        Not loud, but I almost feel like I just arrived to a party to meet new people and started telling them creepily personal things and ..I don’t know. I will keep checking your page for the awesome suggestions! thank you!

      • Shayma

        So true

    • judithhb

      That’s exactly how I felt. Putting myself out there. Was I doing it right? Now, I just do it and don’t care if it is right or wrong. And if somebody reacts to my point of view and comments, then I am happy.

    • Sandi Staton

      Yeah, I still do. I feel the real me is too much for anyone to handle and that I’m always being judged when I bear my soul to the world. But, that’s part of the struggle of breaking free and being the real me.

  • Sky Lover

    Very encouraging…

  • Shayma

    If only human weren’t so forgetful. It amuse me how the brain is perfectly able and successfully push out the reasonable recipe for the menu (life). I know what I want where I wanna be but the journey heck it’s clumsily cluttered with non sense. Thanks for the gorgeous insight

  • Ashleyhouck

    I agree with this. We all need to be true to ourselves

  • glenmckenzie(justabitfurther)

    We do live in a time and space to breeds conformity. In the blogging world and this is from my somewhat limited experience, writers get started and tend to follow some formula that for the most part conforms to some “norm.” Once you realize that there is no “norm” that needs to be followed and that you can chart your own course, then great things can happen. Will they happen? Who knows the answer to that? Charting your own course does take courage, but at the end of the day at least you can say, “I did what I wanted to do and said what I needed to say.”

    Great post!

  • bgddyjim

    Your post made some sense, right up until you got into the “no right or wrong” part of the sermon. From an artistic standpoint, and Memento, fine. From a Hostorical or political standpoint you’re idea is not necessarily wrong, but it is childish in a “greed is good” way.

    No right or wrong is exactly why there is war and what’s wrong with the human species. Not to put too fine a point on it. The notion right or wrong don’t exist, let alone have consequences, should be roundly rejected every time its proposed.

    • JanBeek

      Yes, that’s the point I was making with the attention-getting deplorable stuff that divides us that we hear too much of today. It’s just plain WRONG!

  • Matthew Whiteside

    To speak with the voice that resonates deep with in me. The one that is curious and finds humor in even the saddest situations. That voice that has been told it was wrong and to go sit in the corner. That is the voice I was born with and the one I speak with today. It takes courage to grow up and be who you truly were meant to be. Thanks for this article.

  • kstites@abundantlydistracted

    Thank you for this article. Being individuals and having our own ideas to share is wonderful. I spent more years than I care to admit “conforming” in the corporate world. When I did try to express my ideas outside of the norm, I was condemned for not doing what was the “right” thing. Being in a place now where self expression is encouraged is terrific! This is a lesson I wish I was willing to accept earlier. Be an individual, find your passion, enjoy your life! Thank you again for the article!

  • Camille

    Amazing post Jordan, love your writing style. And a lot of food for thought. Thanks for sharing

  • JanBeek

    You’re right, and “your” wrong at the same time! 🤪 Your ideas prove “You’re” right. When you said, “saying, or living something that’s so completely unexpected that people can’t help but pay attention,” I couldn’t help but think politically – and sure enough, we USAers are paying attention – and every day our “leader” is saying AND living the unexpected/unusual/ unacceptable & deplorable (in my mind). And it sure gets lots of attention! 😰

  • Sandi Staton

    WOW, Jordan! I’ve struggled with that all my life till one day, I had to face all that junk I buried deep within. And it wasn’t pretty. Thanks for sharing and reminding me again that it’s okay to be real.

  • Clever Girl

    It takes a lot of courage to live one’s life fully, and to one’s own standards.

    Not everyone has the awareness, capability, strength and fortitude to do that. Fear of being judged and outcast by friends, family and society is a great motivator for conforming as we are social beings.

    Should people be judged harshly because of those fears and called cowards? Or should we have compassion and understanding? Because if we offer compassion, more people would have the courage to live their lives out loud.

  • quetzacoralblogs ~Y

    Being honest and true to yourself and acknowledging who you really are, as well as understanding your true self existence is one of the ways people outshine others and fulfill the basic purpose of life!
    And that is very important!
    Thanks for sharing this post
    It’s wonderful and thought provoking
    Best regards ✨

  • jonicaggiano

    I really appreciate your extremely well written and true article. I must say because I came from an alcoholic family where constant insanity was the norm, I have always been a bit of a rebel. I still am. It has cost me dearly, however. I was a misfit in high-school, had little to no friends, and while still in the corporate world was told that I was too honest for my own good! Now back in NC where I grew up, after living in Seattle for years, I have also had a reawaking. Racism is still horrid and I will continue to speak out against it. Much of my neighborhood doesn’t like me because I don’t like guns, racist, or Fox news. What can I do? I have a necklace that says, “Well behaved women seldom make history.” I love that t-shirt by the way, where did you find it? Thanks again…

  • Luna Pratiwi

    Such a provoking thought! But, I love it. Thanks for sharing.

  • Shani

    I agree with not being afraid to be ourselves and to be respected for it, but I believe that it is within ourselves that we seek what is right knowing wrong choices have consequences

  • Zayah Lee

    Thank you so much of this! I’ve been having a bit of a hard time at home where my mother wants nothing but absolute perfection. We, as her kids, have these expectations to fulfill and honestly it’s draining the life out of me on the daily. I’ve tried explaining that people’s perceptions are so different that your “wrong” might be so “right” to/for me. And that’s okay. People are different, and so is their understanding and view on a lot of things.

  • OpenRead


    • Cristian Mihai

      It’s your right… as in a “a moral or legal entitlement to have or do something.” A noun. Who taught you grammar?

  • It's Tea Time

    love this post! You have to speak your mind even if it make you unpopular

    • Cristian Mihai

      Thank you! And, yes, write your truth even if your fingers shake on the keyboard.

      • It's Tea Time

        You’re welcome! Yes you’ll feel better afterwards

  • Michael Lawrence

    I find that the ability to give myself permission to experiment and make mistakes, or even the freedom to do things the “wrong” way, takes practice. It takes a while to build up the necessary fortitude–but one big help is in connecting with the intrinsic joy that comes along with being creative and gutsy.

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