Everybody wants to be happy, and yet there are many unhappy people in the world. As human beings, being able to experience both happiness and unhappiness is perfectly healthy. What’s undesirable is getting stuck in the latter for a long time. Life is too short to be filled with excessive sorrow or unhappiness.
Children are a lot more resilient when it comes to dealing with unhappiness. Somehow, that ability gradually diminishes as we grow. I want to share with you a little ‘secret’ that can help you bounce back up more readily … and experience more ups than downs in life. Whenever you are unhappy with someone, particularly your loved ones, pause to ask yourself this simple question: “Do I rather be happy or be right?”
You see, human beings are inherently ‘wired’ to want to be ‘right,’ as if the survival of our ego depends on being right. We want to be right about our beliefs, judgment, assertions, etc. and would put up a good fight to defend them when challenged. However, having observed many unhappy people so far, I noticed something common in them. They rather be right at the expense of their happiness. They hang on to unpleasant experiences far longer than they should, hold on to grudges and resentment, secretly wanting to make other people ‘wrong.’ I often wonder what it would be like, if only they are willing to make one simple choice … to give up the need to be right, and let the possibility of happiness unfold again in their lives.
So, next time you get into a conflict or unhappy situation with someone, remember … your happiness is just one choice away. Imagine Dad standing before you, asking “Son, do you rather be happy or be right?” I hope you will make the ‘right’ choice, and attract the butterfly (as Thoreau put it) to come and sit on your shoulder.
Your Happy Dad