Occasional irritations, frustrations, and difficult social situations are a given in business and life. How we respond to them – either with grudges or forgiveness – defines our potential for forward momentum. Today we’ll talk about how holding animosity toward anyone or any situation critically depletes our energy and stonewalls our path to success. Learn how to embrace radical compassion, elevate your energy, and give more grace!
Read transcript below:
Steve Napolitan: Welcome to More Business More Life Daily. And we’re talking about unsuccessful people versus successful people this week. And today I want to talk about forgiveness versus holding grudges. So, we’ve been talking a lot about energy this week and how things that we think about and we act on affect our energy level and affect our success. And so, one other area is when we hold grudges or even if it’s not a full on grudge, just even holding any animosity towards someone instead of just forgiving. The quicker that we can forgive, the more that we gain back our energy. Because when we’re holding a grudge or we’re upset with someone, we feel like we’re doing it to them. Like, “Oh my gosh, I’m never going to accept this. And this is … these things.” Right? And I’m not saying that people haven’t done us wrong, that’s not the purpose of this.
The purpose is for us to gain back our control of our life and our own success. And so when you hold a grudge, let’s say someone walks into a party that you are very upset with and you’re holding a grudge and you’re just so upset and you’re fuming, now notice your energy, like you’re upset, this is happening to you, and you’re having an emotional response. And then that person walks in, they’re like, “Hey,” and they just walk by and they’re not feeling anything. Because maybe they one, maybe they didn’t even know that you were upset with them. And even if they did, they just like blew it off. But when we let that energy consume us, then we get even more mad. And then what’s happening, right? So, the reality is if we were able to forgive that person and just let it go, then what more energy would we have in our life?
Even if someone cuts you off on the road, I used to get upset at that, but now it’s like, “Well, okay, go ahead.” Maybe they’re having a bad day. The one thing that helped me with this is we never know where they’re coming from. And I truly believe most people don’t get up every day to say, “Hey, I’m going to go see how I can wreck the world and make it uncomfortable for other people.” There might be a few people in the world, but I would say a few, like very small amount. Most people are dealing with their own thing. I’ll never forget a Stephen Covey story in one of his books, I can’t remember which one it is in, but basically he was on the subway in New York and someone came on with kids. And it’s during rush hour and all these business people are on the subway. And the man sits down, kind of moping, puts his head down, and then his kids just run wild on the train and everyone’s making looks and they’re like, “What the hell is going on?”
And finally Stephen Covey, who’s sitting next to him says, “I guess I’ll be the one to tell him because no one else is.” And I’m sitting right next to him. So, he nudges the man a little bit and says, “Excuse me, sir.” And he looks up. He said, “Yes?” And he said, “Hey, I’m just noticing that your kids are running around the subway, the train, you might want to stop them.” And then he said, “Oh, I’m so sorry, we just got back. We’re just gone on the train from the hospital. My wife and their mother just passed away.” Now think about that.
It always gets me when I tell that story, but the fact is, is that we don’t know where people are. And some people are getting so upset that this man’s children are running around, but they have no clue what another human being is going through. So part of this is compassion and just [inaudible 00:03:38]. We immediately want to get upset with others because they’ve done something to us when they may not have noticed. Or even if they did do something in an intentional way, it’s most likely because they didn’t think that it would hurt you that way. Or they’re just so caught up in what’s going on in their life that they’re oblivious to what’s going on around you.
And what’s helped me the most is we never know. And even if they won’t admit to it, some of us, work with anger when we’re hurting inside, when we want to cry instead of crying, we get angry. With sometimes, some of us when we want to cry, we laugh, we make jokes, we make fun of things. Everyone has their own mechanism to deal with these emotional things. And really it’s not even dealing with them. Really, it’s holding them back in a way. It’s just a surface level thing that helps us cope instead of dealing with it. So, when we forgive someone, then we lose, we let go of that energy.
It’s that there’s an old saying, they say if you wanted to kill someone, you can’t take the suicide medicine yourself. You can’t kill yourself to kill someone else. So if you’re holding a grudge, because you’re upset with someone, you’re giving up your energy. And when you forgive, if you can bring yourself to forgive, you can find a way to say, you know what? They’re dealing with their own thing in their life. I’m going to let go of that and I’m going to be me. Because you’re letting those emotions take you over. You’ll find a tremendous amount of energy that comes back into your life. And you can breathe that in and you can move forward. You only hurt yourself in these situations more than anyone else. So when you’re holding a grudge, you’re hurting yourself, and that’s why I find that successful people will forgive.
And in that forgiveness is power inside of yourself and giving yourself this energy back into your life. Your life force will come back instead of letting it out. And you’ll notice that’s the pattern of this week where you’re doing these things that are letting our energy go instead of keeping it with us where we need it so that we can be the best us. So, look at areas in your life that you can let go of old anger, grudges, or even immediate things that happen on the fly in a store or on the freeway and start noticing how you can forgive. I hope this has been helpful today. I look forward to seeing you on the next episode. As always, remember, choose gratitude and create freedom.