Forgiveness, David T Rosen

I talk a lot about business, but in an era personified by the entrepreneur and personal monetization, the business and the personal have become inextricably entangled. That makes managing your personal life an integral part of how you run your business.

Now, there’s a lot of opinion about the best way to manage your personal life. Some of it is straight genetics; some of it is upbringing and culture. Some of it is personal choice, and it’s not really my place to tell you how to make your choices.

But what I can tell you is what’s worked for me, and what hasn’t worked for me. And one thing that has never worked for me is holding a grudge.

It’s natural to get angry when you’re wronged, or when you feel you’ve been wronged. Sometimes, it’s even necessary. But there’s a big difference between feeling angry and being angry. You are more than your emotion. When you feel angry because of somebody’s actions, try to put yourself in their shoes. Why did they do what they did? Did they wrong you, or were you wrong in the first place? Is there a lesson you can learn from their actions? Anger can motivate you to learn the answers to those questions by prompting insight and challenge.

But whether there’s a lesson there or not, the anger should pass as quickly as it arose. Anger has its time and place, but when you hold on to your anger and let it simmer and stew, that’s when it becomes a grudge. And that’s when it becomes a real problem.

Stop right and think. Is there anybody you’re mad at right now? Think about it. It might even be somebody you haven’t talked to in years that you left in bad blood. If you can think of somebody who you’re mad at, think about what they did (you might not even be able to remember!) and forgive them for it. No matter how bad, no matter how much it hurt at the time. Stop and think “you know what – that’s over, and it no longer matters, so I forgive you” and let it go. Don’t forget the lesson, but let go of the anger. Anger takes up mental resources, and when you’re in business for yourself, you don’t have the time for anger.

And you know what? You’ll feel better, too.

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