I was in a yoga training a while ago, and we were discussing the issues that get in our way and hold us back in our lives. One issue that came up is the need to be right. The teacher shared this helpful quote: “Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?” – Dr. Phil
At first, it didn’t necessarily make sense to me. Can’t you be both right and happy? Then I started to think of all the time I had spent forcing my opinions on others, or thinking a friend or family member should have behaved in a different way because that’s what I would have done. I slowly began to realize that these were not right or wrong issues; they were my preferences and opinions.
There are times when being right is important. (e.g., driving directions, train schedules, having knowledge in your field, etc.) However, most of the time, discrepancies are either a matter of preference or not as significant as you might want to think. A few examples:
- Your significant other says the wrong date, or recalls something slightly differently, and you just have to correct him
- Someone says something that is slightly incorrect but everyone knows what she meant, and you correct her anyway
- When what the other person said is good enough, yet you insist on saying your piece because you just know you can explain it better
- When another person cleans something a bit differently than you would and you do it over
- When someone boils broccoli instead of steaming it like you would, and you don’t want him to cook for you
You get the idea. In these instances, you have the choice to let it go. You can be mindful and recognize the insignificance of something, give someone some grace, and maybe even be grateful someone else is cleaning, cooking, or taking the time to explain something for you.
The next time you feel the urge to jump in, fight over something insignificant (most things), or correct someone, ask yourself: Do I want to be right or do I want to be happy?