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Roy S. Johnson: Let It Go

Negativity can make you sick. But not if you don't allow it to.

Somebody's already pissed you off today. Or disappointed you. Or annoyed you. Someone's gotten on your next-to-last nerve. And it's not even time for lunch. Heck, you may have even not gotten out of bed yet. People will do that. No matter how many times you say, "I'm avoiding all drama today," someone will drag you into it. Deep. It might happen at the gym, where some jerk is grunting so hard you'd think he was trying to lift the Grand Tetons. Another guy refuses to let you jump in on a machine, even though he's running for another one.

Then you turn, and someone has left just enough sweat on the mat to gross you out. At work, your boss is, well, being like bosses can be. One co-worker is snippy, another is being a conniving, underhanded backstabber. And a client dumps you for a competitor, after you did all that legwork. Your relationship? Please. There is no limit to the range of emotions possible when two people try to make a go of it as one.

There's love and anger, passion and pettiness, exuberance and agony—all while you're just trying to brush your teeth. People will do that to you, and there's little you can do about it. Just this: Let it go. I'm not going to delve into forgiveness. Or even forgetting. They're the right things to do, but they're also extremely hard, for even the most compassionate guys.

To "let it go" is a bit different. It's what you do for you. Negative emotions are anvils. They weigh you down, preventing you from going where you need to go and achieving what you need to achieve. Too many of us drag them around, lugging them through the day from place to place, meeting to meeting—when all we have to do is drop them, leave them at the curb with the rest of the trash. Between 5:25 a.m., when I get up for my workouts, and when I finally drift off to sleep at night, I have approximately 1,050 minutes to accomplish everything I need to get done that day—in the gym, at work, with my family and friends, at my church, and with my charitable endeavors.

I don't want to waste a single one of my precious minutes on negativity, especially generated by other people. I'll even go this far to keep negativity at bay: If I fi nd myself standing near someone who's whining or complaining or simply being a jerk, I slowly move away. If it's a friend on the telephone, I get off as soon as I can. I treat bad energy like germs. It's everywhere. But I do everything I can to keep from getting ill.

Yes, negativity can make you sick. But not if you don't allow it to. Let it go. Drop it as if it's scalding. Then do all you need—and want—to do today.

Onward...

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