Doing the right thing your way is a powerful choice

Doing the right thing your way is a powerful choice

A few weeks ago when driving to the gym, a car in front slammed on his brakes and swerved onto the other side of the road causing the other driver to also slow.

He was trying to not run over a dead dog.

I pulled over. The scene was horrific. I have no idea if this is someone’s pet or if someone had grown tired of it and let it go.

I reached down to touch its ear as if somehow it might still be there. With three dogs of my own, it was distressing to think that this animal was left to suffer. Although one can hope that the suffering was short lived.

A lady stopped to ask if I was ok. She watched me – I was distressed – and protected me as I pulled its body out of the road. Others passing beeped I am not sure if they were annoyed or what.

Why was moving it out of the road the right thing?

Two reasons that this was the right thing

Despite this animal already being dead, it didn’t seem right for its body to take any more cars driving over it.

And its body could help to cause an accident if more people decide to swerve to miss it.

Despite what you think about death or animals surely in all of this there is a message about doing the right thing? Moving the animal so no one gets hurt. For me, there is also a bigger message about our values.

I am not one to walk by. I don’t want to fix people, but I am a good friend and if I can support someone I will. I do what I think is the right thing at that moment. I also do what I think is right for me, whether that is for me personally or for the wider world based on my values.

There will be more things that crop up for me as my life progresses and I hope that I will always do the right thing – for me and the world.

I was left wondering what ‘right thing to do ‘ I am currently neglecting.

What about you?

What does it mean to do the right thing?

I like this quote

Don’t try and do the right thing, because there is no right thing; there’s just the right thing for you. Scottie Thompson

It sums it up.

Your right thing will be based on your values and beliefs. You will act because what you are acting on means something to you.

When I see bullying or unfair behaviour if I can (safe to do so) I will halt it. Justice and fair play are values of mine.

How do you know that what you do is the right thing?

This is a tough question. Sometimes the right thing is to walk away, other times it will be to act on something. Either way, you will know. Later, let’s say you walked away from something and you feel regret then you now have a choice, don’t you? Act or live with how you feel. It is never too late to apologise (or do what you consider to be the right thing). It may not get a good response and that is none of your business. Even if not acting meant that someone else did something to themselves or others, that is not your fault. It is all about choice at that moment.

Often the right thing requires no conscious deliberate thought, you simply act. When my dog was in a panic in the canal and the ex-husband did nothing, I went in and rescued him. Foolhardy? Maybe, but it was my right thing.

Think of people who say after a brave act, ‘oh it was nothing, anyone would have…’ These people are amazing. Would anyone do what they did? Who knows? Their internal values barometer said ‘act’ and they did.

These are my thoughts about the right thing.

Trust your feelings

Quite simply when you observe something, it will trigger a feeling in you. Notice how that feels and what it means to you. Can you stand by? Do you need to act? Trust plays such an important part of doing the right thing. Ask what do I feel about this?

Make a conscious choice

If it is something that you can act on, that is not in the moment, go to your feelings and make a conscious decision based on them. You cannot know the future or the absolute outcome of your actions, but you can consider what might be the result. Feel what is your right thing and make a decision.

Act from love

The other day something angered me. The anger was temporary. In fact, I laughed when I realised that I had been triggered by water leaking into my house through the negligence of a rubbish builder. I saw it as the anger igniting action. The actions that I then took were from a different place – a place of love.

Let go of what the outcome might be

As I said above you can not predict the outcome of every action. Let go of what the outcome will be. If you have acted from love and trust your feelings then chances are it will produce a good result. If it doesn’t what can you learn from that? What might you do differently next time?

Doing the right thing is a personal choice

The right thing will always be a personal choice. Always go with your feelings. Heart, gut and then head.

What right things are you neglecting? I’m sure I have a few.

Right things form part of our stories. Is your a story that you want to turn into a book? Yes? Then please give me a call and we can have an informal chat about writing a book.

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Dale Darley

Strategist, Coach, writer and author. Helping you to make sense of your ideas and personal stories so that you can create simple strategic direction and design the right products and services for your business. Mum to three dogs and a family of swallows. Life without cake is a life unlived.