The Best Way to Be Happy No Matter What
Not that long ago one of my clients sent me an email promising to sue me.
I had just checked my email and there in my inbox was my x-client’s message sent to myself, his lawyer, and every person that had been on the project.
The potential lawsuit wasn’t a complete surprise though. I had been going back and fourth with his current designer in regards to the working files that the client and I each believed were the sole property of our own businesses.
I’d never been sued before and was hoping that it wouldn’t come down to this. But, sitting there, reading that email again and again, wondering how I was going to respond and already visualizing having to defend myself in court to a judge, I realized that as blown-out as the situation had quickly become, that in front of me lay a very simple question:
Being Right vs. Being Happy
“With every experience, you alone are painting your own canvas,
thought by thought, choice by choice.”
~ Oprah Winfrey
Inasmuch that I believed I was completely right in the matter, I also knew that being right was bringing me nothing but worry, anxiety, anger, frustration, and a potential lawsuit.
Even though I had a viable case and every right to stand my ground and go to court if that’s what it came to, getting into a legal fight—or any other fight for that matter—wasn’t at all what I wanted for myself.
I had come to a crossroads in my thinking and needed to choose which road I was going to travel down; the road of being “right” or the path of being “happy.”
The Real “Battle”
There’s an old saying that goes: “Sometimes you have to loose the battle to win the war.”
This statement is true especially when we see life as a war. However, when we realize that it’s okay to lose the battle because life isn’t a war, then we can see the foley in the above saying.
When we do this our ability to quickly assess circumstances and make conscious choices that move us closer to creating the life that we want are substantially increased.
Me making my x-client and his new designer the enemy was an example of habitually creating a war in my own mind where battles were fought between right and wrong and winners and losers were made.
Let Go of Your Need to Be Right
“You must be the master of your emotions if you wish to live in peace,
for he who can control himself, becomes free.”
~ Leon Brown
By relinquishing my need to be right I opened myself up to two things:
- Surrendering the need to fight, and …
- Allowing myself to clearly see the situation for what it really was
With the security that comes from making choices that are in alignment with who I really am — a peaceful, loving, caring, and kind person—I was able to think from my heart instead of being ruled by my ego.
“I’m choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am.
I’m making space for the unknown future
to fill up my life with yet-to-come-surprises.”
~ Elizabet Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
Every single moment of every single day we make choices. Choices about the foods we eat, the drinks we have, whether or not we will make the time to go to the gym, and choices about honoring our commitments to family and other loved ones.
Each decision we make either moves us toward our goals or away from our goals.
Choosing to be right or choosing to be happy really is an either/or decision. Unfortunately, most people aren’t even aware of the thoughts that they think or choices that they make—let alone being able to link the effects of their lives with the direct causes.
But it doesn’t have to remain that way.
Sometimes happiness lies in the simple realization that life doesn’t have to be a battlefield. Or, that being happy isn’t something that just happens to only a select and random few.
The seeds of happiness grow or shrink from the decisions we make in our lives—and we are always choosing which path we will take by our thoughts, our emotions, our words, and our actions.
When the question arises of what we will do and how we will respond to what life brings, our answers must evolve past the ego’s short-term need to be right, and align with that which will bring us lasting happiness.
Tips to Grow By
Much like ending a bad habit, eliminating the need to always be right—and therefore being miserable—isn’t something that occurs overnight. It requires a strong willingness to change, and the commitment to keep learning, growing, and adapting through the changes.
Sometimes choosing happiness will mean giving in to someone else’s wishes and sometimes it won’t. What being happy does involve is knowing what you want from life and surrendering yourself to that.
So, whatever undesirable situation life brings you, take a moment before responding to ask yourself:
“Do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy?”
And that’s how to be happy no matter what
One Last Thought…
Which choice are you making and how is it affecting your everyday life?
Please do share your thoughts by leaving a comment in the section below.