top of page
  • michelle m. davis

Would You Rather Be Happy or Right?

Do you google information to see if your guess is correct? Whether questioning an actor in a movie, the capital of a country, or some other “fact,” it’s human nature to want to know the answer. I suppose we pride ourselves on quickly assessing knowledge and being masters of trivia.

Unfortunately, the ego’s desire to be right often comes across the wrong way. While the intent

may be pure, the behavior may backfire. Can you recall when a healthy discussion turned into a battlefield? No longer was the correct answer the goal. Proving ourselves as correct was what mattered.

Frequently we miss the big picture—the real truth—which isn’t black and white, but shades of gray. But what if instead of insisting we knew the answer, we let it go?

Maybe it boils down to whether you would rather be right or happy.

For years I felt a compulsion to prove my point. Sometimes I still find myself falling into this trap. But whenever I push an issue—insisting I’m correct—it rarely ends well. That’s why unless it’s of critical importance, I’ve decided it’s better for me to be happy than right.

Of course, this means I must restrain my urge to google the answer when someone says something that seems incorrect. But if I hope to maintain my peace and calm, I need to bite my tongue in certain situations.

It’s so tempting to imply that we’re right. But here’s the thing: even if we are a 100% certain that we’re right, we could still be wrong. Or we could admit our right-ness at the wrong time, or in the wrong place. We could claim our right-ness in the wrong way, or use the wrong tone. All things considered, it’s better to keep how right we think we are to ourself. Better yet, admit where the other person was also right in their intention, or in their timing, or in their tone. It’s much more generous to share the “right” than it is to claim it all for ourself.Light Watkins

For years, we were taught the earliest civilization began around 4,000 B.C. But recently, individuals such as Robert Edward Grant discovered proof of ancient civilizations that date back thousands of years earlier. So, what is the truth?

Perhaps one could argue that what is “right” is fluid and depends upon the information we receive. Because as our capabilities increase and we learn more, it’s inevitable that what we thought was “right,” is actually “wrong.” At what point do we disregard the old information and declare it inaccurate? Here is where conflict can arise.

I’d rather be happy than right.

We need more happy people. While many individuals profess to possess the “correct” answers, we seem worse off today than ever before. Because whenever we label others as right/wrong, we declare a winner and a loser, creating a deeper separation among us. More division is certainly the last thing our world needs.

I’d rather be happy than right.

It’s hard … I get it because I like to be right. But when I allow myself the grace to pause and suspend judgment on what I think is inaccurate, my world because easier, calmer, more peaceful. Besides, the older I get, the more I desire this state of being. If achieving this requires I relinquish the need to be right, then I’m willing to do so.

I’d rather be happy than right.

Only we hold our truth—and we do not need to prove it to anyone. Nor must we convince another that what we believe should be their truth.

I’d rather be happy than right.

Surrendering the need to be right elevates us to a higher state … where egos no longer rule behaviors. While this is often a difficult place to find, once there, we realize how easy it is to be happy instead of right.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page