Never be totally right. Once we reach the end destination, we stop exploring. The closure dissuades new ideas from entering. Once we perceive ourselves crossing the finish line for knowledge, we stop questioning. Once no more pondering taking place, stagnation sets in.
It is a balance between acceptance of where you are and what you don’t know. There cannot be growth without discomfort. Restlessness creeps in and serves as a reminder that it is time to spice something up. There are implicit layers in society. In elementary school, the placement test gages where you are at. The regular or honors math track and what type of challenge is reasonable. Age group is the first right answer to comparing skill levels. It assumes the same amount of time living equals learning aptitude. Like Confucius said, “If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.”
This applied to the swim team for me too. Time trials were to assess which skill level I should be training based on my best efforts. We had to swim in every event. It was never one size fits perfectly assessment. I barely would make the cut for a higher level in my sprints. Nevertheless, I would opt-in for the higher level. It typically was with my older brother for the more challenge. They made me feel slower than I thought I was. Surrounding myself with the faster swimmers would only force me to become more like them. They forced me to raise my internal standards of excellence. Who we rank ourselves against matters.
It was straight-forward on the swim team. Being outside of that system, life is more complex with more variables to factor in. To ensure that you never stop learning, we must evaluate your present self against your past self. Evidence proves your progress. You can be more sure of your direction. This is the best we can do as scientists in our life. We must run better experiments.