I once spent an entire day cursing and assembling furniture. Ever do this? Ever open a box and look through the instructions that have no words?
I’ve had to assemble desks throughout the years. I once put a shed together. I’ve built tables and shelves and I admit that I am not the best at this. However, I’ve improved but at the same time, I’m a little out of practice. If I’m being honest, even at my best, I always come up with spare parts.
Above all, the one lesson I learned is if something needs to be forced then perhaps it doesn’t fit. I say this because oftentimes, I thought I knew what I was doing.
I thought my way was the right way and to be sure that I was right, I forced pieces together. I did this only to realize that I was wrong, which meant I had to undo what I had done. In the end, I spent an entire afternoon trying to assemble this coffee table, which could have taken minutes if I’d only followed directions.
Life is this way too.
Forcing something together does not make the perfect bond.
Our assumptions amaze me. The way we see things or the way we talk to each other is truly incredible. I am amazed at the confidence people have in their opinion; as if their way is the only way and anyone who disagrees with them is simply wrong.
I listened to a person tell me about the war and the news on television. I listened to a person say that none of this was true and that the news coverage about the war is nothing more than a bunch of props.
I did not argue. I didn’t say yes or no. Because why?
Why would I entertain a conversation that I so strongly disagreed with? However, the interesting thing about nodding along with someone is they naturally think that you agree.
Again, it’s amazing!
I heard this person tell someone else their opinion. And somehow, they believed I was on board. I know this because I was unexpectedly included with the conversation and heard, “Just ask Ben?”
Like a swivel, my head spun in full surprise. I thought to myself, “I never agreed with this.” And I didn’t agree. More to the point, I didn’t want to argue or have a political debate. I certainly didn’t want to hear more about this person’s opinion. So, I kept quiet and now, suddenly, I agree?
Are you kidding me?
Once more, this is amazing to me.
The power of opinion is truly incredible. I see this in our everyday life. I see this at work. I see this when I have to put furniture together. I saw this when I spent an entire summer installing automatic sinks in the bathrooms of a commercial office building.
The “I know better” model is absolutely hysterical to me. In fact, opinions and the know-it-alls can literally take an hour to do a ten minute job. The problem is not the know-how; however, the problem is the rigidness of opinions or the belief that “I’m right.”
By the way, this is why fights happen at work. This is why people argue. This is why family get-togethers break out into loud shouting matches and why a kid named Garrett threw me in the bushes when we were in third grade. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone thinks they’re right.
Garrett thought he was right too but naturally, I disagreed.
Everyone thinks that life should go a certain way, but guess what? Life doesn’t always work according to our opinions.
I listened to a reading about effortless living. What a great idea . . .
I thought about this. I thought about the idea of life without arguments. I thought about life without the forced calamities and the compulsive need to be right all the time.
I thought about life without being forced and went back to the lesson I learned while assembling furniture. “Don’t force anything!”
If something does not fit easily, then maybe it doesn’t fit at all.
I learned that following instructions is key. Follow the flow. . .
I learned that my best thinking is not always the best plan; therefore, I have to remain teachable and allow myself to be humble. I’m not always right. Neither are you (and neither was Garrett. He was just bigger than me.)
I cannot change the way people think nor can I change a person’s belief. I might not agree and I might not like this. I might not share the same views but that’s fine.
Besides, I’d rather be happy.
I keep hearing people say, “Facts do not care about feelings.” I agree. Facts do not care about people’s feelings. Fact is fact. Truth is truth and any alteration of this becomes an opinion.
Facts don’t care. However, people are supposed to care. Unfortunately, not everyone does. So, don’t force them. Instead, I leave them to their own business.
I wasted an entire day assembling furniture because I swore that I was right. I wasted hours of my energy because I was sure that certain pieces were supposed to fit. But I was wrong.
Or, how about this? I wasted much of my life arguing, bickering and fighting because I thought I was right. And I had to be right too.
I go back to that idea of effortless living. I go back to the ideas that discuss the absence of pride and ways to remove ego. To be agnostic; to neither deny or doubt, to neither support or oppose but instead, to be flexible enough to understand that A) I’m not always right and B) there are other ways to live and C) it’s easier to be happy than it is to argue.
Do you want to be right all the time or do you want to be happy?
This is a great question.
Follow the flow.
Don’t force anything.
And be the best “you” possible.
Trust me, this is great advice.