One thing I will admit is that I am a confident person that is somewhat of a go-getter. Sometimes that confidence can boil over into being a very proud person, which means I need a reality check to make me aware of what’s really important every now and then.
This past week, there was an issue at my job that resulted in a decent sized mistake to happen (I won’t go into much more detail out of respect for others involved). When I had gone to the source to try and clear it up and see what I could do differently on my end to make sure it wouldn’t happen again, I was greeted very, very negatively. And that is an understatement.
I like to be right. Correction, I love to be right, and I never realized how much until this past week. Don’t get me wrong, when I am not right, I don’t have a problem admitting it, but I do try to hold onto being right as if I was going down on the Titanic – I hold on for dear life, stubborn as hell.
After being greeted quite harshly by the source of my problem and not being listened to and only denials and flat out lies from the other end I was utterly frustrated and beyond livid. I couldn’t believe someone else’s mistake would be reflecting on me like this. Not to mention the person wouldn’t even try to work with me to solve the issue, or work toward making sure it didn’t repeat itself. I was right after all and the person on the other end of the line should be admitting they were wrong and apologizing to me.
But that is life and quite frankly, it didn’t matter who was right and who was wrong, all that mattered was what was right. For me, the mistake had been made, there was no going back and undoing it, so why get so stressed out about it? I know, easier said then done, but it’s true. I realized after doing a little reflecting, that this person on the other line could’ve been having a bad day, his job could’ve been really stressful, or maybe someone he loves is sick. There are a number of reasons that someone can be feeling negatively,and feel the need to take it out on someone else. But I think it’s just as negative to take it personally and let it manifest within us.
And I let it manifest. I was angry all day long to the point where I was angry for the sake of being angry. More so, angry for the sake of being right. But at that moment I noticed how much time I wasted being angry. In that amount of time I could’ve been thinking about good things – homework, internships, friends, family – anything that was good in my life. Instead I wasted it on a situation that was so minuscule and pointless in the grand scheme of things. That’s when it hit me:
“You may think your only choices are to swallow your anger or throw it in someone’s face, but there’s a third option: you can just let it go. And only when you do that is it really gone and you can move forward.”
-Ted Mosby, How I Met Your Mother
When I was able to let go of the anger, and let go of the need to be right in the situation I realized that there is so much time wasted on our own pride. So much time needing to validate ourselves and boost our egos that we miss the opportunity to embrace the good in our life. More often then not we think we know what’s right, but what really needs to happen is our ego getting knocked down a few begs for us to learn what is right.
A minute of anger wastes 60 seconds of happiness. For me, that day of anger, stole hours of happiness. I could’ve been reading my favorite book or working on my writing. I could’ve talked with a friend on the phone or spend time with family. Instead I wasted the day. But in that wasted day I truly learned when we let go of our anger, and more importantly our pride, we can spend more time appreciating the many, many blessings in our lives.