This was the decal on the front of a T-shirt that a friend sent me.
Of course, it’s a provocative question to ponder, “Would you rather be right or happy?”
If we’re honest with ourselves, we’d probably answer with “Both!”
But the truth is that we only get to pick one. And if we choose to be right, then we give up happiness.
How can that be?
The need or desire to be right comes from the ego mind seeking validation. I have a position on a particular topic and my “being right” equates my existence (being) with my legitimacy (right). The sense of “me” is both validated and authenticated.
That’s ecstacy to an ego.
Here’s the problem with that. Enhancing our sense of self with being right is a losing proposition.
True peace or happiness only results when we let go of the need to be right. All our sense of pain and suffering comes from acceptance of the ego thought system as our guide. The ego is never satisfied. It continually needs reinforcement and affirmation. Which is why we have so much drama in our lives.
In the sage words of Eckhart Tolle:
There is nothing that strengthens the ego more than being right.
But the moment we choose against our ego, the need to identify with any position or judgment immediately disappears. It’s as if a huge dark cloud dissipates and we’re enveloped in beautiful, radiant sunlight. An amazing calmness permeates every pore – the feeling is simply wonderful.
So the next time you find yourself in an argument – or strongly identifying with any opinion – consider that question of whether you’d prefer to be right or happy. In a not-so-subtle bit of irony, the right choice is for happiness.