What would your life look like if you valued serenity more than rightness?
Think of a time when you were unwilling to surrender your rightness. Not rights as responsibilities, but rightness in the sense of right or wrong. Do you feel yourself getting agitated? Can you be effective from that state of being?
Dr. Wayne Dyer says, “Whenever you have the opportunity to be right or to be kind, be kind.” Abraham Lincoln many years ago asked the very simple question, “Would you rather be right or happy?”
People have gasped when I admit there was a time in my life that I’d rather have been right. Have you ever thought or said, “At least I have the satisfaction of knowing I’m right!” Or maybe this one, “Well, I AM right!”
So, you’re right! Do you feel better? Your body will tell you. Are you calm and loving or tensed and agitated? Maybe a little on the righteous side? What does this cost us? Only our serenity, our relationships, and our effectiveness.
Then I advanced and claimed to prefer serenity but you’d never know by my actions! That’s because I only gave lip service to the concept. Creating the life we desire is an inside out job. Like it or not, agree or disagree, it’s one of those things that just IS!
Today I strive to operate from a place of choosing serenity. And yet, I can quickly revert to choosing (may not be conscious) rightness if I am lax in my responsibility to continually develop the more advanced part of my brain. One of my AHA’s was from a fascinating workshop I recently attended by a medical doctor on how our brain works – we mostly operate from the primitive part of our brain, but we think we operate mostly from a higher level. Yikes!
As human beings we have a responsibility or right to create the life we desire. Right 39 (page 105) in Embrace Your Rights “I have the right to be happy and serene, even if others around me aren’t or choose not to be.”
You may recall we visited this Right last month from a different perspective. Are you beginning to understand the importance and magnitude of taking responsibility to Embrace Your Rights?
Let me shatter a few common myths regarding the concept of choosing serenity over rightness. One is – “If I’m not right, then I must be wrong.” WRONG!!
Why? Because when we value our serenity more than anything else we think clearer, stay calmer, and receive better insights. Operating from this state of beingness allows us to be more effective, make better decisions, and achieve desired results that are beneficial for all. When we are focused on being right however, we tend to be frustrated, irrational, and create animosity. Have you noticed the dissension present when you’re adamant about being right? Reflect on your own situations. Ask yourself, “Which outcome do I prefer?” And by the way, have you ever been in a situation where more than one person is right but no one is saying the same thing?
Another myth is – “Valuing serenity over rightness says everything is correct” – WRONG again! It’s not that we don’t address the issues at hand or correct erroneous information. It is however WHAT leads the way. In my experience, “rightness” usually prevails when serenity leads the way. However, when “rightness” leads the way not only is serenity missing, situations also aren’t typically resolved. If they are, it’s quite often at the cost of the relationship!
Yet another myth is “How can I be serene when there is chaos all around me?” Because serenity is an inside out job and most people attempt to achieve serenity backwards. There will always be some external circumstance that will affect your serenity – if you allow it! That’s right, we allow, or don’t allow, situations to affect us. It is a choice. I know, it doesn’t always feel like a choice, but IT IS! Where we put our focus determines our level serenity.
The next time you find yourself agitated in a situation, ask yourself, “Am I choosing serenity or rightness?” If you’re like me you may be attacked by the “But I am right!” syndrome. No one said you aren’t – except maybe the gremlins in your head. However, if you keep replaying that message you will invariably feel tension. If on the other hand you ask yourself, “What would my life look like if I valued serenity over rightness?” you just might experience serenity AND be right!