Do you want to be ‘right’ or do you want to be happy?
This excellent question can help resolve many emotional struggles we may find ourselves in, particularly when working with horses. Which would you prefer; to be happy, or to prove you’re right no matter what?
I know what my choice is, yet sometimes I let myself get confused with the thought that being right will make me happy, even if I have to feel absolutely miserable in the process.
Training Horses The ‘Right’ Way
Particularly when we’re learning, we are told there is a right way and a wrong way. Obviously as students we want to do things the right way! But sometimes the ‘right’ way is just another way to describe the way that is a comfortable habit, or one that produces results in the show ring, or earns accolades and cheers from the crowd. The right way becomes an external proof of success and a standard model for everyone to follow who wants to likewise be a success.
It’s easy to think that happiness lies at the end of a long, painful, frustrating road of struggles with our horse to teach him how to perform one way or another. In the end was that brief second of ‘happiness’ worth all the heartache?
And after all that fighting with the horse, the truth is that being miserable in the process doesn’t guarantee your success the same way that training every day in a way that creates happiness for you and your horse doesn’t guarantee your failure.
The Cliché of No Pain, No Gain
How many times have you been told ‘no pain, no gain’ over the course of your life? Particularly when you’re young and you complain you don’t want to do something because it’s making you miserable to struggle through it. Yes, there is value in learning to push through to reach goals in life even when it is difficult, but does it have to be painful as a rule?
Asking the Difficult Questions
I think we need to start asking more questions when we experience a difficult road block that causes us great unhappiness. Ask ourselves if there’s a better way to do things, if it can be simplified, if it’s even the right path we’re trying to barrel down?
Instead we cling to this idea that if we injure ourselves along the way the end goal is that much more valuable. The title is more impressive. Did you think of how impressed your horse was at the end of that long struggle?
Happiness and success can and do go hand in hand, but only when you’re in sync with yourself and the life around you. Take a few minutes during your journey to ask yourself the important questions so you can enjoy the journey AND reaching the goal!