Third Guess

I’m working on earning my second million dollars. The first one was too hard.

It’s an old joke, but it’s still funny to me. You can’t make your second million dollars without making for first. And making your second million is only easier because of all the things you learn while making the first.

This week I found myself in a situation where someone was second-guessing me. I hate being second-guessed. If I say that something needs to happen, someone comes up and tells me I’m wrong and it shall not happen, then I am slammed. I am rooted do the highway.

We are on the road. Things need to progress! Why this refusal?

But wait. Maybe the second guess was not a full stop. Why does one person’s opinion stop traffic?

I realized there is a third guess.
First is my best guess about what needs to be done next
Second guess is another person’s guess that the first guess is wrong
Third guess is my guess that my first guess is probably wrong, because someone said so.

I do it all the time.
“Here it is!”
“No, you are wrong.”
And the brain spins. I am wrong. I don’t think I’m wrong. But that person said I was wrong. I must now look for all the ways that I am wrong,

I’m good at thinking. That’s why I was so happy with my first guess.
Then the second guess is taken as an evil challenge to find all the ways to make the second guess true.

If I open my mind to all the possibilities in the world–most especially the possibility that there is something I don’t know–then there is a big chance that my first guess was wrong and has flaws.

Oh that third guess.

Quicksand. Wheels spinning. Rut-forming crazy making third guess.

I put so much more effort into that third guess, staying up during nights when I should have been sleeping. Boring my friends and family with the crisis of all the ways that I am wrong.

And then 3rd guess 2.0. That’s the part where the guess itself is not the issue, but the person who made that first guess is the problem.

I am a failure. What right do I have to make a guess at all?
I am stupid and incapable. I should never try again.

No wonder most people sit on their guesses. That first guess is very dangerous. Some people never recover.

I’m going to keep trying though. That 3rd guess 2.0 program that wants to eat my soul? I need to that one to stop. That loop is a downward spiral.

Gentle voice with myself. Kindness and courage. Stop working on the 3rd guess. It’s too hard. Go back to that first guess. All the reasons I made it in the first place. What is right with it?

Of course in a world of infinite possibilities, there is something wrong with it. Everything wrong with it.

But in this here and now, what is right with it?

Go back and defend and explain. That is the only way to keep traffic going.

That first guess contains all the hope for every possibility for things being right. Stick with it until you recognize a better guess.

Don’t stick with no.

Guess to the yes and make it so.

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