Do you want to be Right or do you want to be Connected?

How many times have you continued an argument or stayed angry at someone because you believed you were right?  I think most of us do this a lot of the time.  Think about it.  Even if someone cuts you off in traffic, you get irritated because it just isn’t right.  They were not supposed to do that.  Or that was not supposed to happen.  I can think of at least  a thousand times that thought has crossed my mind.  But what does being right get us?  It gets us the sick satisfaction that someone else is wrong.  So what?  Does that lead us to happiness, peace, and joy?  Not for me it doesn’t.

Needing to be right is the ego’s way of separating us from other people.  It makes us special.  Being special is not necessarily a good thing.  When we are special, we are not connected to others.  When we are right, we are better than that other person.  It puts us above that person.  When we are above that person, we can not be fully connected.  But most of us like feeling better than because it feeds our ego and masks our true feelings of not being good enough and being less than.

Another thing being right give us is the “wonderful” sense of being a victim and being victimized.  I say “wonderful” because most of us relish the feeling of being a victim if we admit it or not.  Being the victim allows us to blame others for our unhappiness.  It allows us zero responsibility and accountability for our feeling and actions.

I am writing this post because this is something I have found challenging over the past few years, ever since I became aware of how being right creates distress and unhappiness in my life.  I see this need to be right all around in me with my family members, friends, and co-workers.  It creates so much stress, anger and sadness.  Yet, when I point it out to people, they have a hard time accepting it.  I guess because then I would be right and they would be wrong.  That’s funny, isn’t it?  By admitting we are creating our own misery by our need to be right, we are no longer right.  The pull to be right is so great that it supersedes being happy and at peace.

My husband and I have this thing we do when we are in the midst of an argument.  One of us will usually be able to see what is happening and say to the other “Do you want to be right or do you want to be connected?”  I’ll be honest.  There are many times when I have said, “I want to be right.”  But after a few minutes, I realize what I am choosing and invariably, I choose to let it go and be connected to the man I love.  Sometimes I don’t want to let it go because then he is right and I am wrong.  But all of that is just made-up anyway.  No one is ever right.  It is all interpretation.

So I offer you this…the next time you find yourself fighting to be right be it with your spouse, children, friends, co-workers or the “jerk” who cut you off in traffic, say to yourself, do I want to be right or do I want to feel love, peace, connection and happiness?  If you are like me (and I believe you are), then I expect you will choose connection over the sick satisfaction of being right.

Just Do It

In the yoga I teach, we often talk about Taking Action.  Nike calls it “Just Do It.”  I am talking about doing what it is you say you want instead of complaining about what you don’t want.

As a therapist, I often listened to people for years talk about how unhappy they were in their lives, their jobs, their marriages etc… We would spend countless sessions discussing what was not working in their lives and why it was not working.  I always found it fascinating that people often did nothing to change their current circumstances.  I would coach them on how to move forward and, week after week, I would see minimal improvement in their situations.  When I started teaching and living yoga, I noticed a difference in how people dealt with their unhappiness.  They often took action to create something different.  I even noticed that in myself.  Once I started teaching yoga and practicing it daily, it was difficult for me to complain about my life.  It was my life.  If there was something I did not like, I was the only one responsible for making that change.  So it got me thinking what was it about yoga that moved me from stagnation to action?

First, yoga teaches us to stay in “I don’t know.”  When we don’t know how a situation is going to turn out or what is going to happen, the possibilities are really endless.  I was recently coaching a client on organizational issues and she said “I’m just not organized…I’m not that kind of a person.”  ”Well with that attitude,” I said, “you will never be an organized person.”  In yoga, we drop what we know.  In reality, if you want to be an organized person then you must drop the identity that “I am disorganized.”  You let go of the past to be open to what is possible in the future.  If you believe your stories and scripts, they will become your reality.  How many times has this happened in our lives?  We believe something bad will happen, it does, and then we reinforce that belief.  Yoga helps us stop this cycle and create a new reality.

Another concept we learn in yoga is to take risks, to venture out of our comfort zone.  Ever hear the phrase, the evil you know is better than the evil you don’t know?  Is that true?  Most of the time, people are fearful of changing their current circumstances because they don’t know how it is going to turn out.  When you do yoga, you are often challenged to try something new, even something scary like a headstand.  A lot of times, I ask people to close their eyes when they are in a balancing pose and standing on one leg.  When people take the challenge, they are often surprised at how long they can hold the pose with their eyes closed.  Stepping out of the comfort zone can be an eye-opening experience to what is possible when you let go of doubt.  For me, I would never have known what a great business person I was if I had not closed my psychotherapy practice to open a yoga studio.  I was shocked at all the innate abilities I had in marketing, customer service, and business building.  If we never leave what is comfortable, we will never know what is out there.  This can be the case with letting go of a job, relationship, way of life and even a way of being.  When we let go and have faith, the possibilities are endless.

So if you are sick and tired of hearing yourself complain about some aspect of your life, let go of what you know and embrace “I don’t know,” take the risk to step out of your comfort zone to see what is possible.  I believe that you will be surprised by what you find.  No matter what, you are no longer waiting for life to happen to you, you are creating your life right now.  What are you waiting for… You are Ready Now!