That’s Right Too

I’m life coach and sometime philosopher Peter Winslow. When last we met I left you with a question: why do we feel the need to be right, even in the face of uncertainty or harm?

That’s right (har!)—it’s ego. Ego always has to be right. As a rule, every person believes that what he or she thinks is right, and no ego can be at rest with itself when it knows the beliefs it lives by are blatantly wrong.

And yet, we’ve all witnessed people who are never flustered when others disagree with them or charge them with being wrong. How do they do it? These people are generally happy with who they are; it follows that their egos are aligned with a deeper aspect, one which observes without judgment.

You’ve probably asked yourself the question more than once: would I rather be right—or happy? The next time you find yourself baited into an argument, put it to the test. Here’s how:

With all sincerity, tell the person confronting you with an argument that they’re right, and leave it at that. Remember, you are addressing their critical thinking—the ego—which wants to be right. By agreeing with them, you’ll take the wind out of their argument and defuse a potentially volatile situation. They may not even know how to respond to you, and the solution you seek will be much easier to find.

Even if your own ego is tying itself in knots over the issue at argument, this exercise is liberating. The payoff: When people disagree with you, realize they’re not opposing you; their egos are differing with the beliefs and constructs of your ego. Your job is to not take any of it personally. The solution really can be that simple.

– Peter Winslow

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That’s Right

I’m life coach and part-time philosopher Peter Winslow. Lately I’ve become aware that like most people, I am very fond of being “right.” As I contemplated what this says about me, a deeper question fell into my lap: what if there was no such thing as “right” or “wrong?” In other words, what if everything was sacred?

There are well-established philosophies in the world that maintain the very same. They hold no moral high-ground for the concepts of right and wrong. To them, it’s simply a matter of law: actions have consequences, and we learn from our mistakes.

Karma, they call it. They believe, as the founders of the world’s great religions had taught, that there is no redemption in judging people as “right” or “wrong.” That task is left to providence.

Why then do so many people stake their happiness and sanity on the need to be right? It’s a Herculean task, considering that righteousness can be a moving target. Very often, what is right now may be left behind later on. Right or wrong, left or right… who’s to say?

It was once considered good and proper to own human beings, until enough people deemed it no longer right to do so. The argument split our country in two, leading a nation to war against itself. Many on both sides of the issue met their ends believing they were absolutely right.

What aspect of humankind so fervently feels the need to be right, even in the face of death and devastation?

The answer: the cognitive mind, also called ego. This is the aspect that pursues “rights and wrongs” with reckless abandon. Its very existence depends upon being “right,” to establish support for its beliefs, to impress those beliefs on others, and ultimately to have them capitulate in agreement.

Yes indeed, we are right. We can’t all be wrong…. can we? Tune in to the next installment for the righteous answers.

– Peter Winslow

 

Your Identity Makes All the Difference – Part 6

I’m Peter Winslow, a life coach based in Scottsdale AZ. In this series of posts we have been learning about your true self, and what it means. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t a matter of your name, rank and serial number; your address, education or career; your religion, family history, personality or even your physical body.

What are the three core aspects of the true self? You will recognize them as: Love, Joy, and Peace of Mind.

In the last post we discussed love. Now we’ll look at the next aspect of the true self (what we are at our core) which is joy.

Many people go into the world seeking joy, yet too often it remains elusive and fleeting to them. Why? Because joy is something we find within us, not something that others can grant us.

“When my boss gets off my back, I’ll be happy.” “When I get that new Ferrari, I’ll be ecstatic.” “As soon as these things happen I’ll be truly joyful…” are expressions that indicate a profound misunderstanding of one’s own true nature.

When you acquire the Ferrari, the joy doesn’t come floating out of the steering wheel. Joy isn’t emanating out of the metal and rubber and leather and other things that make up the car. It is the joy within you becoming fully present with the circumstance that you are feeling.

You are made of eternal joy, but your thoughts may have gotten in the way. The thoughts you choose to believe are the only things that can block you from feeling the joy within you.

Like all authentic aspects of the self, joy is dynamic; it is growing and giving. It’s one of the dynamic essences that make you who you really are. And who you are, you will find, the world reflects back to you in equal measure.

So it is that we can bring joy to the world, rather than expecting the world to bring us constant joy—which simply does not happen. Expecting the world to provide us with perpetual joy is a dysfunctional expectation that always leads to disappointment, and worse.

In our next meeting we’ll discover true peace of mind. Now wouldn’t that be nice?

– Peter Winslow

Three Common Sources of Stress and How to Respond

American Psychological Association

 

The owner of Gold Mind, LLC, Peter Winslow is a life coach, award-winning author, and public speaker based in Scottsdale, Arizona. In his role as life coach, Peter Winslow assists people with their goals by helping them identify and work to remove barriers such as stress.

The American Psychological Association observes acute, episodic, and chronic as the three general forms of stress. As serious disease can result, it is important to know where stress comes from and how to respond. Consider these three regularly occurring types.

1. Emotional. Nearly three-quarters of Americans experience emotional stress regularly, and this creates hormonal imbalance. Engaging in small tasks that lead to big results can help train the mind to positively respond to overwhelming situations.

2. Sleep-related. Anything that interferes with sleep, be it insomnia or long working hours, leads to increased stress levels. Reducing caffeine consumption and eating smaller meals during the later hours can improve sleep quality and quantity.

3. Dietary. An imbalanced diet, including not only what but also when you eat, will result in bodily stress. Following a regular eating schedule with a strong variety of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy oils can provide an antidote.