As we search for strategies and practices that lead towards peace, keeping an open mind appears essential. While reflecting on this, I have become aware of a strategy I have practiced so frequently that it has become a negative mental habit. That habit, which is a mind closer, is my need to be right.

The primary reason my need to be right blocks peace is that it feeds on judgments…judgments that I make which are either false or, at best, not completely true. To satisfy my need to be right, I rush to judgment and fail to see possibilities that could lead to more beneficial outcomes.

Several events that have been in the national news indicate that rushing to judgment and needing to be right are mind closing strategies many people used in 2021. We determined someone was guilty when he/she was later found innocent or determined someone innocent when he/she was later found guilty. Some of these rash judgments led to division and violence.

I’m a fanatic Chicago Cubs baseball fan. Imagine 36,000 Cub fans watching a game at Wrigley Field when one of our players hits a ball down the left field foul line. When the ball hits the ground and the umpire yells, “Foul,” 36,000 fans boo the umpire. If in the next inning a batter from the opposing team hits a ball in the exact same place and the umpire yells, “Foul,” 36,000 fans would cheer that decision. What we desire influences what we see.

Our pre-judgment or our need to be right can block us from possibilities. If we are not aware of this, the ultimate preventer of possibilities often shows up in the form of blame.

In our June 24, 2020 Wellness Wednesday, we wrote: We have come to see blame as a major handicap to making a positive difference in our lives…It prevents us from seeing by closing our mind. We live in a culture where blame appears to have become rampant. Blame is our national habit. As soon as we don’t get what we want, we have a tendency to play the blame card. This keep us stuck in yuck.

Fortunately, we have a power that keeps our mind open. Curiosity allows us to see more or differently.We can lead with curiosity and maintain the power we have to make a positive difference for ourselves and others.

Although I have become keenly aware of my need to be right, I haven’t been able to eliminate it from my life. However, knowing that it will present itself from time to time, I am more clearly aware of my choices:

  • Need to be RIGHT –> Judge –> Blame –> Stuck in Yuck
  • Need to be RIGHT –> Be Curious –> See Differently –> Make a Positive Difference

Now when my need to be right manifests itself I can choose to activate curiosity and see possibilities otherwise unknown.

Notice this week when your need to be right shows up. In that moment, be consciously aware of your next choice. You can either judge and play the blame card or be curious and more effective.

From our Top 20 team…Kevin Brennan, Willow Sweeney, and Tom Cody…who remind me of my choice.

Paul Bernabei, Director
Top 20 Training