Which Do You Prefer: To Be Right or Happy?
Lately, I’ve become all too aware that I’m very fond of being right. As I pondered the premise, a real poser fell into my lap. What if there is no wrong? What if everything serves in some way?
There are well-established philosophies in the world that maintain no moral high-ground for the concepts of “right” and “wrong.” They simply regard life as a procession of action and consequence. It’s called karma, and it’s a very strong guiding influence. In the West, an urban poet once gave credence to the notion in expressing “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.”
Why do so many people stake their happiness, if not their very sanity, on the need to be right? It’s a circuitous quest, considering that righteousness can be a moving target. Very often, what was right before may be left behind later on.
It was once considered proper to own human beings, until enough people deemed it no longer right to do so. The argument split our country in two, leading a nation to war against itself. Many on both sides of the issue met their ends believing they were right.
What aspect of humanity so fervently feels the need to be right, even in the face of death and devastation?
The critical thinking mind, called ego, is the aspect that pursues its rights and wrongs with reckless abandon. It frequently carries the unmitigated need to establish support for its beliefs, impress those beliefs upon others, and ultimately have them capitulate in agreement.
And yet, we’ve all witnessed people who are never flustered when others disagree with them. They make a distinction between authenticity and ego, making the choice to be happy. Happy with what? These people have chosen to be happy with who they really are. It follows that their egos are in alignment with the deeper aspect that observes without judgment from beyond the fray.
It makes sense when you realize that ego always wants to be right. It has to believe what it thinks is right, and no personality can be at rest with itself when it thinks the beliefs it lives by are wrong.
Conversely, the authentic self doesn’t cling to being “right.” It’s indefensible; it has nothing to defend. It resonates with being happy and at peace instead of being right.
Ego takes things personally, but to the core essence, the authentic self, nothing is personal. Initially, this can be a tedious distinction, but pay it your earnest attention and it becomes clear; in fact it’s simple. You want to pay attention, because this concept can change your life (and your health) for the better in many ways.
The next time you find yourself baited into an argument with a stubborn opponent, take the opportunity and put it to the test. Even if your ego is tying itself in knots over the issue, from the perspective of the true self, this exercise is liberating.
Do this: With sincerity, tell the person confronting you with an argument that they’re right, even if you’re sure that’s not the case. Remember, you are addressing their ego, which wants to be right. By agreeing with them, you will immediately take the wind out of their argument and defuse a potentially volatile situation. They may not even know how to respond to you, and the solution you seek will be easier to find.
The payoff: When people disagree with you, realize they’re not opposing the true you; they’re differing with the beliefs and constructs of your ego. By making a distinction, you essentially change the game. The solutions you seek are always near at hand when you make space for the authentic self to shine in the face of your challenges.
Peter Winslow, DcH is a Life Coach and Counselor. He connects his clients to their inner power for life changing results. He offers services, products and information for optimal health, happiness and personal enlightenment. What a difference the right voice can make in your life. Take an empowering journey with a free guided meditation mp3 by Peter Winslow at http://www.trueinnerbeauty.com.
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