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The Need to be Right

The only way to take control of your life, raise your standard of living and move beyond merely surviving is to create your own unique product or service that you offer to increasing numbers of people in exchange for the things of value that you desire. This simple formula applies to countries as well as people. A self-sufficient economy has its own products or services of value to export to the world. Similarly, a self-sufficient individual has something of value to exchange in the global marketplace. That thing of value is based on your natural talent, skill, or interest—in other words, your passion!

All manners of assertions
criticisms and the like,
are mostly said so we can say
"You see there? I was right!"

So much of all our earthly ills
and heartaches that we face
are caused by us replaying
tapes we really should replace

It blocks all human progress
makes us trade plowshares for guns
keeps addicts in denial
and turns mothers against sons

And those whose views you trample
and who leave feeling "less than"
leave not with warm intentions
but with vengeance as their plan

But ask yourself, "What outcomes
might my words produce instead
If rather than choose conflict
to myself I simply said:

"I’ll let you keep your dignity
and self-esteem intact
We’ll both be free to choose new ways
to be and interact

And though we won’t agree
or see eye to eye on everything
I’m open to the change and growth
this new outlook will bring

It’s just a pyrrhic victory**
being "right" at your expense
a love that’s based on right or wrong
is naught but false pretense

So from this moment onward
despite how it’s always been
I know I won’t always be right
but now I know I’ll always win!"

COMMENTARY: The need to be right. It takes many forms in our lives. We often hold views and opinions about people and situations (e.g. “All engineers are geeks", or "It’s too hard to start my own business") that serve us in some way. They keep us safe and feeling protected so we never have to venture out into the unknown and risk what we’ve come to know as "failure."

The need to be right comes up in our interpersonal relationships. We hold on to images of others and ourselves, of past hurts, errors in judgments, mistakes, so that we can feel justified in our suffering. We can blame others for our present conditions and never have to face the responsibility for changing them.

The need to be right justifies our interactions with strangers. We can lash out at drives who cut us off on the highway, shoppers who try to jump ahead in line, all because "we’re in the right, and they’re wrong, so we won’t give in." Think of all the energy you’ve wasted over the past year defending your delusions, asserting your dominance, justifying your judgments, while diminishing others’ own self-esteem by your need to prove them wrong and prove yourself right.

You say: I’m smart. I’m in control. You were wrong. I was right. He is bad. I am a victim. The world is evil. They don’t understand. Things are difficult. I always lose at this game. And, when the world turns out just as you believe it to be, you get to say, "See, I was right!"

SUGGESTION: So from now on, instead of asking, "How can I be right today?" ask instead, "What can I learn? Whom can I help? Knowing that the only way I can truly succeed and raise my own self-esteem is by raising the self-esteem of others, how can I support [name of person] in his/her journey without making them feel "less than?" What new ways of understanding people, situations, and myself are being presented to me? What interpretations of these situations will aid my growth and development, rather than reinforce stereotypes fears and animosity? Is this really important enough for me to fight for? Will the energy I expend in proving my point get me the willing support, admiration and warm wishes of my "adversary", or is there another way?"

You might be surprised at what new realities you can create when you give up your need to be right!

Note: For more tips on acting on your ideas, changing the game, and creating a passion-centered lifestyle, visit!

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Until next week, remember, success is a journey, not a destination!

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