Would you rather be right or happy? The answer might seem obvious, but if you’re honest with yourself, how often do you choose to be right at the expense of inner peace and happiness? If some part of you believes that being right is the sure-fire way to find inner peace and finally be at ease, then I invite you to please read on …
The Wrongs with Rightness
Think about it – if humans chose happiness over being right most of the time, do you think there would be war? Do you think our courtrooms and dockets would be over-booked for month or years with law suits – many of them petty, and even spiteful? Do you think we’d have so many inter-personal conflicts: at work, in the family, or among ‘friends’? How about road rage? What would that look like – or would it even exist – if we humans really chose happiness over the insane need to be right?
I’m not kidding. And if you just look around a little – including at yourself – you’ll see just how much this obsession with rightness mucks up even the sweetest experiences. It insinuates itself into even the most intimate affairs and may be the most persistent stumbling block to effective communication, loving kindness, happiness, and most certainly – forgiveness.
Forgive and Forget
And speaking of forgiveness (the uber-key to happiness), how about this one: “I’ll forgive him, but I’ll never forget”? There’s two ways to see this, one is to recognize what the “I” in this statement has learned from a negative situation in order to not make the same mistake. Fair enough. But have you ever heard this come out of someone’s mouth and you just knew that ‘forgive’ was getting the lip service, and ‘never’ was closer to the truth?
This need to be right in the face of all kinds of miserable things like divorce; withholding love from a lover, family member or worst of all, a child; drawn-out law suits with their accompanying depositions, legal fees and mythic-proportions of ‘he said-she said’; revenge behavior of any kind; and petty politiking in the office, are all manifestations of a mental assumption that’s insane. What is that assumption? That ‘rightness’ equals happiness. Why is it insane? Because you might as well argue with a hole in the ground than try to force every body (or anybody) to think, perceive and believe just like you.
Oz the All-Powerful
But here’s the good news: it doesn’t have to be this way. If you’ve got the gumption (and many would say, ‘courage’) to look this ‘rightness’ square in the eye, you can change it in an instant.
Just as Dorothy discovered, there’s no All Powerful Oz. The need to be right is just another mask of a scared little ego, uncertain of its place in the world and trying to feel more secure. Once you pull the curtain aside, things will never be the same. Because when you truly see the nature of your ego (and everyone else’s, for that matter) here’s what you’ll discover: it can never be satisfied. The ego will never feel safe enough, strong enough, confident enough or right enough to finally sit down and shut up.
So if you truly want to find inner peace, then the first (and maybe the only) step is to surrender your ego’s need to be right. No conditions, no exceptions. Letting go of the need to be right in your personal AND professional life will change you like you can’t even imagine.
And if you’re coming up with all kinds of excuses, arguments, or ‘exceptions’ to this rule, just remember: that’s your ego talking, and s/he’s the one who, yep, always needs to be right.
What do you think? Is it possible to surrender the need to be right in all circumstances? What’s the worse thing that could happen if you did? What’s the best?