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March 22nd, 2011

For many of us, men especially, being right is the most important thing. We live in a society that praises perfection, that rewards certainty. Countless stories have been told and written about the importance of kids getting it right in order to get into the right college, choose the right career and the right spouse. After all, isn't getting it right what Tiger moms would want?

Given the proliferation of choices we face today, can we ever get it right that often or, is the baseball metaphor more apt, that if we only hit 300, we're doing pretty well? Couple this with the conflicting messages we get as kids, that making mistakes helps us to learn, and helps us to make better choices in order to get it right the next time. Author, journalist and N.Y. Times columnist Alina Tugend tries to sort out all of these conflicting messages in her new book Better by Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong. My conversation with Alina Tugend: