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Recently, an associate of mine, who is an executive coach, posted the following question on her Facebook account, “Would you rather be right or happy?” I thought this was an intriguing question and began to wonder if it was even possible to answer it with a binary, either/or response. My natural inclination was to want a combination response e.g.

“I want to be right and happy”. So, I continued to ponder and explore it from several different perspectives, including:

1. Do people instinctively feel the need to “be right”?

2. Can being right really make us happy?

3. Can we be happy without convincing someone else we are right?

4. Is it possible to be right and happy at the same time?

As a result of my pondering (and discussions with a few other colleagues), I’ve come to appreciate how hard it is to answer the question of being right or being happy. I’ve also become curious about how people in different regions of the world might respond to this question. For example, would a Westerner answer this question differently than an Asian?

Let me know what you think (and indicate if you are a Westerner or an Asian) and I’ll summarize the input in one of my next postings.