We all have disappointments in life-whether it’s in a job or an experience or a person…or even in ourselves. But how we handle those disappointments really determines the outcome.
Bitterness brings on a ton of unhealthy emotions and feelings that are hard to let go of, especially after a lot of time has passed. What if we took that same energy and applied to being BETTER instead of BITTER!?
I’m not perfect… never have been and never will be. So don’t misunderstand. I’ve been known to hold grudges sometimes or fail to overlook or even refuse to forgive. But when I focus on being better instead of being bitter, there are so many reasons to celebrate.
Here are my Top 3 favorite ways to be better rather than bitter…
1-Service Above Self: yes, it’s the well-known mantra of Rotary International, of which I am proud to be part of, but it’s also much like a phrase you’ve most likely heard your entire life… the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Remember the popular definition of character? Doing the right thing even when no one is looking?
That’s what Service Above Self means to me. Like getting up on a rainy Saturday to serve lunch at the local Rescue Mission or volunteering in the hot sun for a Special Needs Baseball game. No matter how depressed or exhausted or angry I felt when I walked in, I felt so much better about life when I walked out.
2-Choose Your Relationships Wisely: The people you associate with on a daily basis speak volumes about your character as a person. Remember your parents telling you nothing good ever happens if you’re out and about at 3am? Or maybe your mom was like mine – “if your friends jumped off a bridge does that mean you would too?” It’s still true today. If you’re seen having lunch every day with those who gossip about your friends or co-workers, you’ll be associated with them and people will assume you’re gossiping too. Maybe that’s a lame example, but you know what I mean…
3-Smile It Off: As in…that Taylor Swift song “shake it off,” except just SMILE it off! A nice, relaxing, pleasant smile can go a long way in diffusing a situation or putting someone at ease. (And to be honest, it can help you “bite your tongue” when you need to also!) For me, it also helps me to “think before I speak” sometimes-and that is a huge help in trying to be better rather than bitter.
What about you? What advice do you have to be better each day and let go of bitterness and resentment?