We have all most likely witnessed or been involved in a grudge match. Ask yourself, “How did that end?” Nearly everyone has been hurt by the actions or words of someone else. Some people have been hurt by their own actions. This hurt may lead to extended feelings of anger, bitterness, or even revenge.
Confucius says, “To be wronged is nothing, unless you continue to remember it.” That alone tells us that each one of us have complete control over letting go of the past and moving on to a greater and brighter future. Steve Maraboli in his book, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience writes, “When you hold a grudge, you want someone else’s sorrow to reflect your level of hurt but the two rarely meet.”
Isn’t that what a grudge is all about? A grudge is nothing more than trying to get even and hurting someone as much as you perceive you have been hurt. Life doesn’t work that way. The person who ends up getting hurt is you. Again, again, and again. The cycle never stops until you determine it is time to stop. The past is the past and that is where it belongs. As much as you try, you cannot bring the past into today or into the future.
Let those past hurts and grudges fall by the wayside. Begin the healing process. Allow today and the person you see today be the person you engage with. You do not have to welcome them back into your life, but you owe it to yourself to allow peace and harmony into yours. So how do you make this happen?
Tip: Try this. Take an extra two minutes out of each day to learn your barista’s name (they wear a name badge) or tell the receptionist at work to have a great day. This does more to brighten your day than it does theirs. Did you know that many Starbucks purposefully misspell your name on the coffee cup? Why? First, it is an opportunity to laugh it off and to make a joke out of it. The experience becomes memorable. Second, how many of these have you seen on social media? It is a marketing technique that invokes humor. Humor and a grudge do not mix. Humor is the grudge’s anecdote.
When you begin to employ humor in your life you are also opening yourself up to receiving love. Love comes in many forms and from many things. The love you have for your family, your significant other, is different than the love you have for a friend. How about a pet? They display the quintessential unconditional love.
Begin by accepting help from friends when they offer it. This is an act of love. How often does someone offer help and you refuse? You don’t want to be a bother. If they did not want to help, they would not have offered. By refusing their help, in many ways you are insulting them. Likewise, accept compliments when they are directed to you. “Thank You” is the most powerful and poignant phrase we can speak.
When you welcome these forms of love, and help and compliments are, you begin to allow yourself to be loved in tiny ways you never thought possible. Much like a win, with love, even the smallest forms create the largest results. As you open yourself up to receiving such rewards you also open yourself up to loving yourself even more.
After all, if you don’t love yourself and praise yourself, how can you expect anyone else to? Remember that unconditional love? Let it begin with you towards you.
bartism: Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something; forgiveness, however, is for those who are substantial enough to move on. (Criss Jami, Salome: In Every Inch In Every Mile)
Gratitude may be the most powerful force in the Universe. Be grateful for everything, even the negative and the bad. That is how you learn and grow and mature. You are accountable for everything that happens to you. Granted, if you were hit by someone while driving or if your house was broken in to, you are not accountable for that act. What you are accountable for is how you react to that event. That reaction is what separates successful people from people who see themselves as a victim.
When you are grateful for the negatives and grateful for the hard times, then you begin to genuinely count your wins. Even the smallest wins are wins. Collectively, you hit the lottery. You begin to see wins in your life unlike you have before. Practicing gratitude gets you off dead center and keeps you off dead center. It is how your journey must begin. Be grateful for the journey and for the possibilities ahead. As Miss Mona said in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, “One good thing when you are moving on is wondering what you’ll find and one good thing about a past that’s gone is leaving it behind.”
By practicing gratitude, you begin to counter negative thoughts with positive thoughts. You recognize there are many positive things in your life you do not give credit for. The key is to capitalize on the positives when your mood needs a boost.
So how is this done and how does this become automatic in your life? Jim Rohn is credited with saying, “Work harder on yourself than you do your job. If you work hard on your job you can make a living. If you work hard on yourself you can make a fortune.”
Soon you begin to realize the relationship between your success and your passion. If you are not following your passion, then it is impossible to live your life to its fullest. By dedicating time daily (and not Monday – Friday) to improving yourself, then your world begins to improve. Those closest to you begin to see the change. That change impacts and inspires them. So what is the key? Think of KEY as an acronym – Keep Educating Yourself. Podcasts, blogs, iTunes, YouTube, and many other social media platforms are packed full of personal development nuggets.
Can you do it alone? Yes, but it is better to share your wins. Find yourself a win-buddy or an accountability-buddy. Seek out a life coach or mentor. Everyone needs a mentor or a coach. Think of the greatest performers, the greatest athletes, and the most influential people. They all have someone who coaches them, advises them, and challenges them to perform at a higher level.
Finally, you are encouraged to minimize your belongings. The less you own, the less you realize you need in order to get by. This is an empowering concept and eases wallet as a byproduct! Begin by challenging yourself with this scenario. You have the opportunity to relocate to a place where you are guaranteed total success, where you have no financial stress, and where you and those your care about are always happy. The only requirement is that you can only take with you two pieces of luggage and a carry-on. What would you take? You cannot return for more, nor can you ship any belongings. So, what is it going to be?
When you think in terms of two pieces of luggage and a carry-on, you begin to realize that most everything is material. It can be replaced and the real value is in the memory and what it means to you. That is how personal development works. When you realize the value is internal and not external, then you are beginning to be in alignment with your core beliefs and are executing your passion.
bartism: I've come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that's as unique as a fingerprint; and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and allowing the energy of the universe to lead you. (Oprah)
When you make room for surprises you begin to realize life cannot be undone. What is, is. See it, understand it, learn from it, and grow and change. Make every moment a moment without regret, guilt, fear, or anger. Make every moment a moment of wisdom, understanding, and love.
How often do you, or those you care about, try to control every detail of your life? Some call it OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and some just call it CONTROL. Your goal is to not control every aspect of your life. Your goal is to give your life the freedom to surprise you from time to time.
Surprises are better than promises. Many believe that promises are made to be broken. Surprises cannot be broken. Surprises, though often planned, are a spontaneous action. The person being surprised has no knowledge. The same is true when you allow surprises in your life. Sometimes the best things come when you’re expecting nothing at all.
Acknowledge that the things you may be the most unsure of may well end up being the things you are the most grateful for. Then, you begin living your life by your design. So, how do you know when to try, when to take a chance? That is one of the surprises. You never know until you give it a shot.
A great surprise and a great way to build momentum is to speak to one new person each day. You do not need to introduce yourself or know their name, merely acknowledge their presence. How often have you entered an elevator, pushed the button to your floor, watch the elevator fill with people and then the majority of people watch the numbers illuminate as the elevator crosses each floor? No one acknowledges anyone else’s presence.
Break the ice. Greet someone with a “good morning” or “good afternoon.” Or, if you want to really have an impact, as you exit the elevator and just before the door closes, stop, turn around, and wish all of those remaining on the elevator a good day. Talk about surprise! I bet you’ll see many smiles on many faces. And, I bet your face is going to have one, too.
Be creative. Be spontaneous. Be original. Greet someone on the sidewalk, at the mall, at the grocery story, or anywhere else you desire. Also, take notice when you enter a store if you are greeted by an employee. Studies prove that stores that greet the customer upon entrance and upon exit have the highest satisfaction rate. Create that satisfaction in your life.
bartism: Never expect things to happen. It’s better to be surprised than to be disappointed. And, once in a while blow your own damn mind!
bart is a nationally known, sought-after motivational speaker, author, blogger, personal coach, trainer, entrepreneur, and major advocate of the theatre community.
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