Mindstate Motivation Blog

Even If You Think You Are Right You May Still Be Wrong

What was the situation you found yourself in where you knew you were right about something but it was not the right thing to do in acting on it?

There is a big difference between being right and doing the right thing.  I’ll give you a personal example to stimulate your thinking.

Flashback a long time ago to my days of being a “jerky” high school student.  Trust me—I had some good days but during far too many of my high school years I thought I was soooo right!  But…was consistently doing wrong by not doing the right things.gary12

A case in point…she was a very nice girl.  I liked her and we had several dates and seemed to have a good thing going.

That is until I rightly judged my feelings for her had ebbed to the point where I really wasn’t very interested anymore.  I knew I was right about my feelings but didn’t have the guts to do the right thing and let her know that.

So—what do I do?  Well, imagine it is a beautiful summer’s evening and I’m with a bunch of friends standing around a friend’s car.  We’re having a great time having a highly relevant and intelligent conversation—;<)— about all things important to high school kids.

Now, I have a date that same night with the aforementioned girl.  I think I was supposed to pick her up at 8:00 p.m.

Doesn’t matter!  The conversation I was having with my group of friends turned to a movie that was showing that night at the local drive-in.

Yes, there used to be drive-in movie theaters!  Remember I’m going back several decades in telling you this story!

All of a sudden we all decide to pile into one car (there were about 8 of us) and go to the drive-in movie together.  I was jammed in the trunk of this car with two other people.  Talk about trusting souls!

Anyway, you guessed it.  I stood up my actual date for that night.  I don’t necessarily dwell on it but it bugs me that I did that.

Why?  It’s a simple answer.

Yes, I was right that I didn’t really like this girl anymore.  However, I was absolutely wrong in not doing the right thing and meeting her that night to tell her my feelings.

Here’s another story with a similar theme about being right but not necessarily doing the right thing.  The originator of this story is unknown and the story is in the public domain so I feel comfortable (and right) in sharing it with you.  The message is so powerful I am convinced it’s the right thing to do.

carpenter-513338_1920An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer/contractor of his plans to leave the house building business and live a more leisurely life with his wife enjoying his extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end his career.

When the carpenter finished his work and the builder came to inspect the house, the contractor handed the front-door key to the carpenter. “This is your house,” he said, “my gift to you.”

What a shock! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently. Now he had to live in the home he had built none too well.

Clearly, the carpenter was right that he was ready to retire.  The bad news is he did not do the right thing in the end.

So it may be with you.  You build your life in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best.grafton-1075549_1920

At important points you do not give the job the right effort. You may have felt you were right at the time then with a shock you look at the situation you have created and find that you now have no choice but to “live in the house” you have built.

If you had done the right thing, you would have done it differently.

Think of yourself as the carpenter. Think about your life as a metaphoric house. Each day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Build wisely. It is the only life you will ever build.

Be right in all that you do but more importantly always do what is right.

garylogonewbrownsmallDo you have a story where you felt you were right but did not really do the right thing?  What will you do to not repeat the same mistake in the future?

Please share your thoughts by commenting below.  

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Crop of GNCC ShotMindstate mentor, author, trainer and speaker, Gary Greenfield (@LifeRider) provides self-employed people inspirational insight and concise business ideas to help improve mindstate and minimize stress. He believes a mindstate that is positive and stress that is minimized helps self-employed people better profit through performance.

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