“How you’ve been GRINCHED”. Part 5. Heartless.
Dear reader, this article is Part 5 in a series of 10 articles titled: “How you’ve been GRINCHED and you didn’t even know it”. You can read the previous articles here: Read “Grinched” Part 1, Read “Grinched” Part 2, Read “Grinched” Part 3, Read “Grinched” Part 4.
GRINCH – irritated by the happiness of others.
Let’s take a closer look at the last component of GRINCH (Heartless) personality. The Grinch was so good at this: his heart was so small that it became impossible for him to feel anything for anyone. He actually made it a point to measure the size of his heart and make sure it’s as small as possible.
H – Heartless [definition]: displaying a complete lack of feeling, empathy or consideration.
Have you ever caught yourself saying “who cares, it’s not my problem”? Have you ever said “you messed it up, you fix it”? Do you walk by a homeless person or pet and avoid eye contact? Do things that happen around you make you feel like you don’t care because you’re not directly involved? Have you been hurt/betrayed before, so now you don’t even bother to try a similar experience again? Have you ever learned about a natural disaster and as long as it’s not in your area forget about it the very next day without even thinking about helping those who were impacted? Have you ever broke up a relationship without any explanation leaving the other person pretty devastated? In the heat of the moment, have you ever said something really bad that you immediately regretted saying?
These are all hints that your heart may have shrunk and become Grinch-like too. It seems like every day on TV we witness people who are heartless. Those observations unfortunately often become bad examples that we tend to follow. From politicians and celebrities, to sports, reality shows and local news, we witness so many acts of heartless behavior. The power of negative stories that attract eyeballs and ears has never been stronger. No wonder why so many people around us do things that are inexplicable, that make you scratch your head and shrug your shoulders in a disbelief. We are all proficient at judging and criticizing, making up “solid” excuses and avoiding responsibility. It’s never our fault and why should we care anyways? And that’s how our hearts keep getting smaller…
Does that mean that you can’t change? Of course not, it’s all up to you. You always have a choice, that’s the beauty of being human. You can melt the ice around your heart and show compassion, be curious about someone other than yourself, interested in offering a helping hand to those in need. You can show that you actually care about how someone else is doing. You can bring your friend, colleague or boss a cup of coffee when he or she is having a rough day and expects nothing from you. You can make someone else’s day by complimenting them on their dress, shirt, glasses, shoes or haircut. You can smile to a stranger in traffic, on a bus, subway or a busy street and lighten up their day. You can express your gratitude to a few people in your life daily and tell them how much you appreciate them and what for. Call your mom, dad, sister, brother or a good friend and tell them that you love them. Do it genuinely, from your heart and witness how awesome you’ll feel, how happy you’ll all of a sudden be, how that smile won’t get off your face. Is it really that hard? I don’t think so. If not for their big hearts, the leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Mr Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela would not have been able to relate to, connect with and inspire the millions of people who became followers around the globe. Being heartless gets you nowhere, showing and sharing your heart opens any and every door you can imagine.
As you can see the Grinch in one way or another is present in all of us. And it doesn’t mean that it’s bad and wrong. It serves as a proof that our past experiences often shape us into “things” we don’t want to be. Knowingly but more often unknowingly we become Grinches. So, what do we do about this? The good news is that all of the qualities of the GRINCH: Grumpy, Resentful, Irritated, Numb, Cynical and Heartless [and others that you may come up with on your own] are habitual and like any good or bad habit they were once learned. If something is learned, it can be unlearned and replaced with another habit that you actually desire to have, not wound up having. It’s like building a muscle: if you train a muscle that you never trained before, it will strengthen and grow in response to the stimulus you’re providing to it. So, if you actively start catching your bad habits and replacing them with good ones, eventually the good habits will grow stronger and stronger and overtake the old ones.
Remember, the little girl in the movie saw something good in the Grinch and she didn’t quit until he and the people of Whoewill discovered the true GOOD nature of the Grinch. It took her a lot of effort and even embarrassment along the way, but her strong belief in the good transformed not only the Grinch but the entire town. Therefore, consider that no matter how bad things are, not matter how strong of a Grinch you may be, there is always a way out. There is always someone out there that will listen to you, appreciate and understand you, will see you for who you truly are, will help you realize that living as the Grinch is not a good way of life. It leaves you empty inside, alone in your world, deprived of energy, power, and happiness.
I recognize that as much as I don’t want to admit it, I’ve been Grinched too. However, I’ve been working for a long time on finding ways and solutions on how to UNgrinch myself. And I’m happy to tell you that it’s possible, doable, achievable and very much enjoyable. Since we’ve already identified the Grinch characteristics, let’s rebuild a Grinch that will no longer be grumpy, resentful, irritated, numb, cynical and heartless. Let’s turn this Grinch into someone who appreciates life, enjoys company of other people, shares himself freely, expresses emotions powerfully and intentionally, achieves goals in life easily and inspires others to do the same.
Welcome to the Grateful, Respectful, Inspired, Noble, Compassionate, and Humble GRINCH. Parts 6 through 10 will focus on building these new characteristics. Buckle up…
Ⓒ 2018, Sergey Kiklevich, CEO of Gambit Solutions Inc.