Happiness Destroyer: Having to be Right

Okay, hear me out on this one because it’s important. In fact, this may be one of the most important messages right now because we are so divided. And not in a red vs. blue state, but in a mother vs. daughter, employee vs. manager and Christian vs. Muslim state.

We are divided because of the simple yet naive notion that if I am right, than you are wrong.

I am right about how healthcare should operate. Therefore, you are wrong.
I am right about which industries are valuable. Therefore, you are wrong. 
I am right about our country’s future. Therefore, you are wrong.
I am right. You are wrong.

Just typing all that, I can feel the negativity pushing down on me. I can feel anger fueled by naive and condescending assumptions about your worth. It’s the us vs. them mentality we all claim to despise and yet we feed into it all the time.

Stop. There are a million plausible solutions to today’s problems. Your way may be right, but someone else’s way is right as well.

Life is about iterating solutions. It’s about continually improving and constantly changing our world. It’s about finding what works and then finding what works even better than that.

90% of the time, it isn’t right vs. wrong. Clearly, I’m not talking about the things we all know are wrong. I’m talking about the problems we face as a society today. I’m talking about how we work together to iterate our way to a better future for all.

The only wrong way is backwards. Everything else is on the table. Everything else has worth even if it’s only to teach us a better way forward.

Let’s stop focusing on who’s right. Let’s stop fighting for our way and instead embrace the idea that all solutions have some value.

Happiness requires compassion and optimism and emotional control. Proving you’re right neglects all three.

Kinder Facebook etiquette. Facebook tends to be the battlefield for proving yourself right. So before you post or comment or share, pause and consider your intent. Is your entire purpose to prove you are right? If so, don’t post. Really.

If you aren’t willing to consider the merit of every possibility, you aren’t adding value into these much-needed collective conversations about a better future for all.

Pretend you’re wrong. If your solution is proven inadequate, what do you do next? Understanding that there are many different ways to achieve the same goal empowers you with empathy and understanding.

Have grace. Stop fighting for the upper-hand. Choose to be the bigger person. Even if you are right, assume they may be right as well.

It isn’t my way or no way. There’s your way and then our way. If you think your way is the only right way, you’ll be alone in your pursuit. The problems we face as a society - equality, healthcare, violence - require working together to figure out a better, happier path forward.

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