Imagine seeing someone facing a wall and just banging his head against it, over and over. The wall isn't moving, and his head is turning into hamburger, but he keeps on banging. You'd think he was nuts, right? That's exactly what you're doing when you make bad choices and then keep making them because...well, just because. You don't need a year of therapy to figure this out: If you're not getting more of what you want and less of what you don't, then it's not working.

If you're resistant to taking a good look at yourself, it's possible that you're a "right fighter": one of those people who spend far too much energy convincing the rest of the world that they're right. They're right as parents, they're right at work, they're right in their relationships, they're right about politics—and they are all too ready to fight about just how right they are. These insecure people are too fragile to ask themselves how things are working for them, because they might not like the answer one bit. It might mean making a change or admitting they've been (dare I say it?) wrong.

Doing what works requires insight and courage; it's easier to keep doing exactly what you've done before. Getting out of your comfort zone can be frightening, even if your comfort zone isn't really so comfortable. But if you want something different, then you have to do something different.

You can choose to be right...or you can choose to be happy. I vote for the latter—but hey, it's your call. The next time you get frustrated with your results, though, look in the mirror and ask yourself, "How's that working for you?"

Dr. Phillip C. McGraw's daily talk show is in its 12th season. He has written seven best-selling books; his latest is Life Code: The New Rules for Winning in the Real World (Bird Street).

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