Can it get any worse?

I am writing this as one of the last activities I will perform today before heading to my television to watch the election returns. As I think about that, it occurs to me that tomorrow, when all of the results are in, about half the people in the USA will be happy, maybe excited, maybe thrilled, and the other half will be unhappy, probably disappointed, maybe discouraged, maybe even depressed.

With this reality, I ask myself: how did we get here? Why does it seem so bad? Why is my country more polarized than ever? This presidential election has been the worst I’ve ever experienced. So much anger and hatred on each side. And is anyone out there happy about what’s going on in Congress? Obamacare was passed without a single Republican vote. There hasn’t been even the slightest movement on either side of the aisle to work with the other side for the good of all of us.

Unfortunately, I know exactly why this has happened and my greatest hope is that it has finally gotten so bad that things can start moving in a more positive direction. If you don’t know why it has happened, it’s quite simple. We human beings always only have two choices: listen to the voice of our higher consciousness or listen to the voice of our ego. You can read all about those voices in Unshackled Leadership. The simple reality is that the dominate voice is that of the ego.

As a practical matter, the two choices come down to either being right or being happy. I recently heard someone reframe that into you can either be right or be peaceful. Whichever one you pick, the reality seems to be that we have gotten to the point where people think that how they get to be happy is by being right. It just doesn’t work that way. One or the other, happy or right. Those choices are mutually exclusive.

So what’s going on is that seemingly everyone in politics wants to be right. If you watched the TV show 60 Minutes the other night, several people have chosen to discontinue their political careers because this need to be right at all costs has become so pervasive, they no longer have any desire to participate. What a sad state of affairs.

I’m writing this because we have to put this to an end. All of us, starting with you and me, must start making a different choice: to be happy and peaceful. And what do we have to do to go that route? Just give up the need to be right. If you’re willing to do this, it will have an enormous impact on every aspect of your life. All of your relationships will improve dramatically. Your home life will get significantly better and everybody around you will appreciate what you’re doing. And at work, you may actually be able to create a work environment where people not only get along, but actually enjoy being with each other. If enough of us make this commitment, who knows where it might lead. Look at it this way, it surely can’t get much worse!