Many of us are taught from as little as speaking age to do the right thing because it’ll yield a good result. Don’t lie, and you’ll stay out of trouble. Tell the truth, and you’ll be rewarded. Stand up for injustice and you’ll be a hero. Don’t have sex, and the guys will want to marry you first.
We’ve heard these statements before, and young minds have digested every syllable, trusting that they were perfect, they could earn the favor of the world. I’ve been amazed by how such a simple and seemingly harmless notation has become a rotting foundation of a "good" life. This pervasive and untrue idea that when we do the hard/right thing, we’ll get the good thing has thrown one too many people into persistent depression and unyielding anxiety. Just because we do the right thing, doesn’t mean we’ll get a reward. It’s a hard truth that we see every day but struggle to face.
Because it makes us truly count the cost of our choices. It demands that we ask ourselves if we're doing the right thing because it’s a part of our character or because we’ll get what we want. When we unlearn social coercion, we allow our needs to develop language. Every person is going to have the moment; the moment when they do the right thing hoping to receive triumphant affirmation only to receive backlash and ostracization.
That’s real life. Sometimes you do the right thing and get cussed out. Sometimes you do the right thing and lose a friend or have to step back from family. Sometimes you do the right thing and lose money. Sometimes the reward comes later and sometimes, it never comes.
I’ve found myself time and time again reminding my clients (and myself) that good people lose too. Good people lose often. Now the question is: Are you still willing to be good?
Until the Circle Comes Back Around,