When is something right – and how do you know it is right? I’ve pondered this question this year in regards to my own decisions I am considering in my own life. There is certainly a complexity in regards to this question.
Universal Right Things
There’s things in life that are universally right – that is, most people would agree they are the right thing to do. This includes:
- Don’t hurt or humiliate other people
- Don’t mess with someone else’s stuff without their permission
- Allow others to pursue their own life, liberty, and happiness
Beyond this though, the list starts to become more gray. This seems to be true in a lot of areas from work to hobbies to relationships to what to believe about even life itself.
I’m just one man who definitely does not have all the answers to life’s questions about what is right beyond the basics. But I do have SOME ANSWERS :). Let me share them with you.
When all FOUR of these are in alignment, then I think a risk is worth taking in your life.
Right Is a Feeling
What is right for each of us is often a feeling inside. It’s our internal guidance system of emotions and feelings that says a situation is or is not what is best for us – in the short term, or forever.
How do I feel when I walk toward the edge of a ledge where there’s a 30 foot drop? I start to feel a little uneasy. It’s pretty easy to act on those feelings and get away from the edge so as not to get hurt.
How do I feel if I’m about to pull over to the side of the road and help someone and I get a strong sense that it is a trap instead of someone who really needs help?
How do I feel about starting a new business? What about talking to a new person? What about making a new friend? Examine your gut feeling – what does it tell you? This is one area that is a good gauge for what is right.
Right Is Timing
Jim Rohn, my mentor, said it best, “There’s nothing quite so powerful as an idea whose time has come.”
One of the reasons I am a futurist is that a futurist tries to understand and predict where things are headed in the world. What opportunities will be available a few years or more down the road? What will make sense to create now that people will want later on? Virtual Reality certainly seems to be something whose time is coming soon.
What about interpersonal relationships? I’ve mentioned it before that in my own interpersonal relationship with Heidi, that we are both in constant communication about the direction to take our family. Right now, the timing is starting to line up, even as Heidi will need some surgeries on her shoulders. Timing in our case is a plan between us, which we have come up with for this year. We’ve created the timing ourselves.
I think timing becomes obvious when there is almost a ‘magical’ alignment of circumstances that suggest it is the right time OR the feeling, logic, and personal thought about what is desired are so intense that it doesn’t matter if everything is in place or not.
Right Is Logical
Feeling is important, but so is logic. Logic works a lot like a computer program. Let me share a little program with you now:
bool passedTheLogicTest = false;
passedTheLogicTest = true;
That’s a pretty simple program right there. How do you know something is logical? Here are some ‘logical’ questions to ask yourself about any decision which you want to know is right or not:
- Will it violate anyone’s basic human rights as shown at the top?
- Will it cripple the life of anyone involved health-wise or financially?
- Will it create contention and drama in the lives of those involved?
- Am I thinking the ‘grass is greener’ on the other side and not acknowledging that all things have challenges?
- Am I making this decision impulsively without careful thought?
- Have I sought the opinions of others?
- Have I deeply reflected for myself what I want?
It’s the questions that can help you understand if something is logical. Logic simply says, “Does this make sense for me in my life and will I be happy doing it?”
Right Is Personal
The last of the four right pieces. I’m sure I’m no exception when I say that I have things that are very personal to me that I want in my life. I have my own expectations and desires just like you do. I have great dreams and aspirations.
The deep and personal things inside each of us are things we want in our life. Unfortunately, at any given moment, there may not be enough alignment in the other areas to make it right. This can be devastating, especially if you feel VERY STRONGLY about something.
When something personal feels very close to home for you, but other areas aren’t lining up, it can cripple your mind. My suggestion is to try and have patience. The true tests in our lives are the things we feel deeply personal to ourselves, but the other areas have not lined up to make it happen.
I call this one of life’s greatest challenges – the ability to cope with a deep personal desire when other factors in life have not lined up to make it happen. There’s no easy solution for this, except to admit your personal want and be patient. Chances are, if you are serious with the universe about it, the universe will line things up for you in the proper time.
Line ‘Em Up
Feeling, Timing, Logic, and Personal. These are the four areas that make something right. There’s nothing quite so powerful as when all of these line up. Even having one or two of them line up is extremely potent.
If you happen to be in a situation where your emotion and personal line up, but not logic and timing, I know you are probably feeling some pain right now. Use that pain to grow and better yourself. The pain is temporary, so long as you take your strong feelings and personal desires and channel it in to your own creativity and full life.
Wishing you the best, especially if you are trying to figure out the things that are right in your life.
- When One Test Is Passed, Another Is Given
- Leaning Into The Unknown Experiences
- How Cool Is “Open” by Andre Agassi
- Shout Outs To Awesome People (March 2010)
- Moving Fast With More Responsibilities