I was at the gym this morning working out and there were two guys talking. One guy turned to his friend and started correcting his form. Now, I had just met these guys a few days earlier and the instinct to jump in and tell him that his advice was wrong, was really high in me. I mean, I really had to fight it.
You see, I’ve spent over two decades in the fitness field and acquired over 18 degrees and certifications and have been teaching fitness to people, as well as, to fitness professionals for a very long time. That innate nature inside of me just to correct him and give him the right information was going so strong and it made me start to think, “What is the outcome that I want?”
You see, I just met these guys and they were both really nice. I could’ve stepped in and said, “Hey look, the advice you’re giving is really bad.” This person might actually even hurt themselves and embarrassed his friend. I could tell that he was actually really enjoying helping his buddy out and really what I would’ve done is just push them both away.
I sat back and relaxed and just simply had conversations with them. What this made me realize is as little as three years ago my need to be right was so strong within me that I actually shattered relationships around me. I chose a black versus white scenario where there was no gray. I did this in relationships, friendships, but also in my marriage. Now it could’ve been doing the dishes. You see, I was brought up a certain way that when you did dishes you had them so sparkling clean even before you put them in the dishwasher and I would correct my wife.
I would go over and say, “No, no, you’re not doing this right,” and talk to her. Taking out the trash, “No, no, no, we actually we’re going to sort it a certain way.” There was my way, the right way in my relationships. What I found is it caused so much strife between my wife and I, between my friendships.
I constantly felt that I needed to correct people. This could’ve been on news stories, politics when I’d hear people disseminating information that was just blatantly incorrect. See, I had a shift. I had a shift where I decided, “What is my outcome in the situation?” In a conversation, I don’t have to be right and often times I probably am not. There’s a gray area. If it’s a relationship conversation, I can choose to be happy. Sit back, relaxed, and have that conversation.
Now I see this a lot within my own family when they’re talking about politics. You have people on the left and you have people on the right. Sometimes they just don’t agree, and they end up really driving each other apart, and not enjoying each other. In fact, disliking the other person based on opposing views.
The reason that is, is because their view is right. The other person is wrong. When you make somebody else wrong, you’re just pushing them away. You’re saying, “You are not enough. You are not good enough for me. I am right, you are wrong.” Now, I’m going to give you the opportunity here or the paradigm shift that you have the possibility of choosing to be happy in these situations.
Don’t be like the old Doug creating strife, creating this situation where you have to be right and it’s so hard to bite your tongue. When really you could have this outcome of this amazing relationship with somebody and actually open yourself up to learn another point of view. Fast forward to today, I actually seek out people with opposing points of view so I can learn more, because I realize how much it was so important for me to be right, rather than just being happy.
I can tell you from my own experience in relationships when I’ve made this shift from wanting to be right, versus, wanting to be happy, it has made me such a happier person. It’s opened me up to new relationships and my relationship with my wife has never been better.
I’m going to ask you this today, where across your five to thrive, but especially in your relationships are you striving to be right? Are you striving to be right with a coworker? Are you striving to be right with a friend? Are you striving to be right about politics? Is it about sporting events? “My team’s better than yours.” Where are you stuck in the black and white situation of being right, versus, being happy? Where is this creating unhappiness in your life?
Once you have that down, I’m going to ask you to do one more thing and that takes action right now. Take action in this moment of clarity to choose happiness. Look, you have the right to be the author of your own story and that starts with creating your story in the moment, in the moment now.
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