The Magic of Letting Go

by Ron Haynes

A famous show business personality was once asked to comment on the effect of continually focusing on past resentments and negatives. “My wife and I,” he said, “were offended by something another couple had done. We held a grudge against them for 16 years. Then we found out that, while we were busy holding the grudge, they were out dancing.”

let-go That story was told by a motivational speaker I heard a few years back. He told that story and a few others to make the point that when we fill our minds with past negatives of any sort, we continue to make ourselves victims of the original event.

In the example of the show business personality, no one else is being hurt. The other couple either wasn’t aware of, or didn’t care about, their grudge. Their resentment might even have been well justified at the time. But who benefits when we continue to hold the resentment in our minds day after day, week after week, month after month, or longer? No one.

Who is hurt? We are. How? By choosing to focus on a negative, we fill our minds with that negative. It permeates our spirit. It leaves less room, or in extreme cases, no room at all, for focusing on bright, positive possibilities. The negative doesn’t have to be a grudge. It can be a failure, a fear, or a negative perception about the way the world works and the chances we have for getting the things we want.

If you’re looking for a job and you’ve failed in the past, or if people haven’t treated you properly, or if you resent certain people or certain companies for what they’ve done or how they’ve done it, you will open up more opportunities for yourself if you forget about them, let go, and move on with your life. You don’t have to cozy up with these people or companies, just don’t let the past negative dominate your mind.

Simply by releasing them and the whole circumstance from your conscious focus, with an almost magical ease, you effortlessly open up more room in your mind and imagination for positive future events.

Wouldn’t YOU really rather be out dancing?


About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1000 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.

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arina nikitina

Great piece here! It reminded me of one person’s account of how she harbored ill feelings for someone at work, and it’s been many years that she felt bad and angry. As it turned out, while she couldn’t let go and was suspicious all the time, the other person has been productive, making meaningful relationships and all that. All the while, the burden of anger and resentment was one-sided, and tragically, rendered nothing good.

True, people need to let go, especially things that didn’t work out in their favor, or events and people that somehow let them down. Like how we should treat mistakes, such instances should be taken as a lesson… and then move forward.

Thanks, Ron! People will sure learn what to hold on to and what to let go. If only to relieve themselves of unnecessary, and most often wrong, burdens. Keep it up!


I really enjoyed this. :)
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Amy Croson

Albie D @ TalkingCentsBlog

Excellent post. When it comes to grudges, it’s great if you can just let go. But sometimes that can be hard. You’ve been hurt, and you expect/hope for some sort of closure or amends. That’s why I think communication is just as important in these situations. You can sit and stew, allowing the grudge to continue and grow deeper… Or you can bring it to the forefront and talk about it. Tell the person how you feel and see what happens from there. A solution may not always be reached this way, but at least you’ve done something and no longer have to sit wondering.

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