Would You Rather Be RIGHT or HAPPY?

Lately I’ve become aware that like most people, I am very fond being “right.” As I contemplated what this says about me, a deeper question fell into my lap: what if there was no such thing as “right” or “wrong?” What if everything was sacred?

There are well-established philosophies in the world that maintain the very same. They hold no moral high-ground for the concepts of right and wrong. To them, all is simply a matter of action and consequence, leading to ultimate balance.

Karma, they call it. They believe, as the founders of the world’s great religions had taught, that there is no redemption in judging people as “right” or “wrong.” That task is left to the Almighty.

Why then do so many people stake their happiness and sanity on the need to be right? It’s a Herculean task, considering that righteousness can be a moving target. Very often, what is right now may be left behind later on. Right or wrong, left or right… who among us is qualified to say?

It was once considered good and 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 absolutely right.

What aspect of humankind so fervently feels the need to be right, even in the face of death and devastation?

The answer: the cognitive mind, called ego. This is the aspect that pursues “rights and wrongs” with reckless abandon. It exists to be “right,” to establish support for its beliefs, to impress those beliefs on others, and ultimately to have them capitulate in agreement. Yes indeed, we are right. We can’t all be wrong.

And yet, we’ve all witnessed people who are never flustered when others disagree with them or charge them with being wrong. These people are generally happy with who they are. It follows that their egos are in alignment with and subservient to a deeper aspect which observes without judgment from beyond the fray.

Ego always has to be right. A person has to believe that what he or she thinks is right, and no personality can be at rest with itself when it knows the beliefs it lives by are wrong.

Conversely, the soul doesn’t cling to being “right”—it’s indefensible; it has nothing to defend—and it resonates with being happy and at peace instead of being right.

You’ve probably asked yourself the question more than once: Would I rather be right—or happy? The next time you find yourself baited into an argument, take the opportunity and put it to the test.

It’s a very powerful exercise: With all sincerity, tell the person confronting you with an argument that they’re right, and leave it at that. Remember, you are addressing their critical thinking—the ego—which wants to be right. By agreeing with them, you’ll 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 much easier to find.

Even if your own ego is tying itself in knots over the issue at argument, this exercise is liberating. The payoff: When people disagree with you, realize they’re not opposing you; they’re differing with the beliefs and constructs of your ego. Your job is to not take it personally. It really can be that simple.

Love and light always,



About the Author:
Peter Winlsow is a life coach based in Scottsdale Arizona, serving Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Mesa, Tempe, Peoria and all surrounding metro-Phoenix cities. Read more about him at www.peterwinslow.com.