In my best Austin Powers’ voice, I want to say, “That’s not right.” But in all seriousness, who is the boss of right or wrong, good or bad, or what is perfect? I know, as a kid, PARENTS ARE THE BOSS. So they say what is right or wrong, good or bad. Society also has laws and guidelines about what is right, wrong, good, or bad. And we all know we need to adhere to them if we want to stay out of jail and fit into society.
But when it comes to happiness, we need to understand that how we label/judge things determines how happy we make ourselves or how angry we make ourselves. Not only do we apply laws to what we see, but we also apply guidelines and standards around what we think is right or wrong, good or bad, or what perfect actually is. In order to be happy and control our judging, we need to remember three things…
1. There is NO such thing as perfect!!!
You hear people say, “Oh, it’s perfect” when they receive a great gift. Or “That’s not right…it has to be perfect”, to complain when something is not done to their standard. But in reality, perfection does not exist. Sure we can chase this imaginary thing, but we will never capture it. We can get close, but we will never seize it. What we can seize is “good enough.” No, I don’t say “good enough” just to knock something out. I say it to help you understand that you can do your best at something, and when it reaches a certain level, then that is all that is necessary. In order to be happier, we have to understand that perfection doesn’t exist and to hold anyone or anything to that, is pointless and a recipe for disappointment.
2. There is NO such thing as right or wrong!!!
This may be a tough one for everyone to agree with. We label things as right or wrong every day. If a kid beats up another kid, “That’s not right.” Or we laugh as someone for falling down, we think “That’s just wrong.” But in reality, how do we know if something is right or wrong? Sure, we don’t believe one person should pick on or beat up another person, but what if that butt kicking made a positive impact on the victim’s life? What if they become tougher, more compassionate, or more considerate because of it? Maybe a butt kicking is what they needed. NO, I don’t condone anyone hurting anyone else, but I try not to label things right or wrong. When this happens, I am making judgments that can affect how happy I am about things I can’t control.
3. There is NO such thing as good or bad!!!
Another one I may catch some flack for is saying that nothing is really good or bad. It is simply what we think about what happens that makes them good or bad. If you remember last week, the post on Maybe So, Maybe Not, you will see that we don’t necessarily always know the impact of something so labeling it good or bad doesn’t help. We need to accept things as they come to us and make them have a positive impact on our lives, regardless of how our mind has been conditioned by society to label things.
I know it goes against the grain of society to say there is no such thing as perfect, right or wrong, good or bad, but it doesn’t make it any less true. We are all going to experience things in life…things that we can’t control. Things that will have a positive and negative impact on our life. In order to be happy, we have to resist the need to label things that happen in our lives. Instead, lean into everything that happens. If something is naturally a positive thing, then experience it but don’t let it go negative. For example, a person wins the lottery but then loses his or her family because money got in the way. On the other hand, if something feels negative, you can experience some of the impact, but you can always make it a positive. Ever heard of anyone who had something awful happen in their lives that they turned into a positive life change? Happens all the time.
My point here is that you have a choice on how you experience everything that happens in your life. We can continue to label things as perfect, good, bad, right, or wrong as society has conditioned us to think. Or we can remember that we should take anything life throws at us and turn it into a positive.
In order to be happy, drop the labeling and get to leaning in to whatever happens in your life!!!