Have you ever had the opportunity to state your case for being correct about a particular situation, only to find that another person’s perspective is also true and valid?  Isn’t that annoying?  Ok ok, I will be the first person to admit that this whole concept may sound juvenile and flaky however let’s just be real for a second. I recently had the most ridiculous “Facebook Conversation” with the general public about a situation my wife and I both were trying to address differently. If there is anything I’ve learned in my years of marriage, it is to immediately do a Facebook poll to settle the disagreement.  You’re welcome, that’s free advice, use it at your own discretion.   

The topic that sparked our debate was (drum roll) Coffee!  Not coffee flavors or coffee makers but rather if it is appropriate to remove the pot, in mid brew, to pour yourself a cup of coffee before allowing it to completely finish brewing.  This is silly right?? Of course, it’s totally appropriate to remove  mid brew and pour a cup!  However, what I found (after 133 comments!) was that other people disagreed with this and actually wait for the entire pot to brew before pouring.    

While I was enjoying the back and forth of the conversation I had brewed up (hee hee) online I noticed my boss had taken the time to actually do a study on the question!  Scientifically speaking, if you take a cup of coffee before the entire pot brews it actually dilutes the rest of the pot.  Likewise, the pot is designed with a stopper allowing the maker to stop pouring while you remove the pot to pour a cup of coffee mid brew.  His scientific solution to the foundational question asked?  The groundbreaking answer that will tip the scales in favor of one side or there other??  We’re both right…  Yep, there’s truth in both of our stances.  I have to say, this answer was unsatisfactory.  Both right??   

I was partially correct, so why did I dislike the answer so much?  It comes down to motivation!  My motivation for asking the question in the first place was to gather as many people as I could to agree with my point of view.  It had to be right?  I was convinced most people would side with me and that was the motivation for posting it in the first place. It was not about seeking to solve.  My thought recently has transitioned to how often I may be guilty of this is in other areas of my life.  We are potentially causing ourselves undue stress because we don’t accurately identify our motivation for asking a question or taking a side.  Although the coffee incident was all in good fun, we sometimes blur that motivation line on more serious topics.  Before asking that co-worker your question, question your motivation.  Before typing that comment on social media, what’s your motivation? Before raising a concern, ask yourself what your desired outcome should be. Do I want to find common ground?  Do I want to stir the giant pot of drama?  Do I want to just see their reaction?  Save yourself time and anxiety by thinking about this before stepping out into a potentially controversial space.  If your motivation is not good, then you may be best to keep it to yourself.