"You were given a right foot and a left foot, not a right foot and a wrong foot." - Buckminster Fuller
I fricking love that quote! Perspective, at the end of the day, is subjective and that's what this quote reminds me of. Our perspective, our truth, and what we consider personally right and wrong. Oh, and before I continue I think it's important to share that I'm not talking about the absolute wrongs in this world. Wrongs like racism, racial profiling, discrimination, hate speech and hate crimes, cruelty, abuse...those are definite wrongs. What I'm talking about is the differing of opinions, thoughts, ideas, and perspectives. THE NEED TO BE RIGHT That quote also reminds me of that need to be right which I recently bumped up against. My own and someone else's. Not to bore you with the gory details. Let's just say, I was trying to convince someone to see something my way. And since turn around is fair play, I was also on the receiving end of similar behavior. And it got me thinking... Why, as human beings, do we have to be right? What happens when we're wrong? My answer to the question... my ego. It's my ego that drives that need to be seen as a value-add, to "save face", or to be seen as smart. And you want to know something funny? When I'm on the receiving end of someone's "need to be right", I don't see anything of those things because I'm too pissed off. "Don't tell me what to think. Your way isn't the way for me so stop trying to get me to see it your way. How dare you discount my thoughts." That means there's a damn good chance I'm not coming across as a value-add or smart. Just annoying and discounting. SEEING THINGS THROUGH THE LENS OF RIGHT OR WRONG The reality is, when I look at things through the lens of right or wrong, I close myself off from seeing a different perspective. I shut down the opportunity to learn and to grow. I stay in that place of "it's my way or the highway" or as a dear friend and colleague of mine says, I'm "married to being right". And worse, I put a tight lid on the opportunity to connect. SO, WHAT IF... What if I(we) entertained the thought that there's a right for me and a right for you? That neither is wrong. For the sake of clarity, that's not to say that I have to adopt another person's thoughts, ideas, perspectives, or opinions. Just be open to listen and to be curious. I do that when I'm coaching my clients and some pretty cool things happen. I remove my ego and listen from my heart. I create deeper connections. I learn something new about my clients. I get cool ideas. And I definitely avoid being annoying and discounting. THE CHALLENGE & CALL TO ACTION So, I'm daring myself to a challenge and I'd love the company if you care to join me. For the next 21 days, when I catch myself "needing to be right" in my personal relationships, I'm going to switch gears. I'm going to engage my curiosity and listen open-heartedly (like I do when I'm coaching) and see what cool things I may learn. Are you with me?