Forgiveness sounds easy but it can actually be one of the hardest things to give. In this episode, Derek Stone shares his own story of how forgiveness propelled him to become who he is today. When asked by his siblings why his life is drastically different from theirs, his answer is the power of forgiveness. He talks about why holding on to a grudge is not healthy and can hold you back from your true potential. He details this and so much more in his book, Why Should I Forgive?
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Million Dollar Forgiveness with Derek Stone
I am excited about this show. I have Derek Stone with me. After working to support his family as a struggling artist, Derek Stone chose to reevaluate his life and his way of thinking. In three short years, he grew a small one-man show into a million-dollar company. This amazing transformation came about through a decision to forgive his father. Derek left the path of blame and began traveling down a path of forgiveness, which led him to start living his best life. He is now on a mission to help empower others to make the same transformation by helping them take charge of their own lives. Welcome to the show, Mr. Derek Stone.
Thank you, Rodney. I appreciate it. It’s an honor to be here.
It’s an honor to have you. A million-dollar company all coming from the place of forgiveness. I cannot wait to hear the story that you have to tell about that because I believe that there’s so much power in forgiveness, number one. Number two, holding on to things and whatever it is. You’ve probably heard the stories where it causes illness, to be stuck and not be the game changers that we are designed to be. There’s much that comes from holding stuff in and not forgiving, but yet people continue to do it. I want to get into that and discuss your story and how you were able to overcome whatever it was you were holding it and get to a place of forgiveness. Before we do that, I want to ask, how are you doing with everything that’s going on in the world?
It’s crazy coming out of COVID-19. I’m a general contractor and have been for several years now. Our business is essential so we’ve been staying. We did take a couple of hits. We have a warranty department that we do for builders so we work for tract home builders for the majority of the time. Our warranty department got shut down from March to April 15th, 2020. They finally started realizing, “We can get them back into the houses as long as they stick to the protocol.” They started doing that so now we’re in the middle of refunding our warranty department. That’s a little headache, but other than that all the crazy stuff going around, we’re trying to keep our head above water and lead through that and see. As the obstacles come, we don’t run from them, we address them best we know how to and move forward.
Are you also feeling that this whole COVID situation and everything around racial marches and all of that stuff is more of an opportunity than a challenge for you? How are you viewing it?
I love people. I grew up in a Section 8 neighborhood in Mobile, Alabama. Me being a minority in the neighborhood so I grew up around African-Americans. I played ball with them for years. I don’t believe that it’s right. There isn’t an issue. I don’t believe that it’s right what people are going through. The equality that so many people in the past have marched for, fought and died for. I don’t know if there’s a problem or if the media is blowing it out of proportion in some sort. There is a huge problem with this, but if you go to the neighborhoods and streets, people love each other. It’s the select few. Every now and then, there’s a select few that have bad situations, bad timing and wrong places at the wrong time.
I like the idea of a select few. You’ve probably heard the saying, “You can’t judge the whole apple tree by one bad apple.” That’s the world we’re living in so how are you coping with it? What are some of the tools and techniques you’re using to get over this?
I did an estimate for a couple on a Friday afternoon and there was an African-American couple. They had their kids outside and their three-year-old little boy was playing with my pocket knife. I let him hold it and gave him a high five. I love people. To me, there’s not a place in my heart for the bitterness and the malice that some people are carrying. I get it’s a real deal in some places. For me, it’s putting forward. It’s come up in a few podcasts for me personally, but it hasn’t come up in work. People out there are doing life the best they can. I’m all about doing life the best you can with what you’ve got and move forward.
Let’s talk about forgiveness and how forgiveness can put you on the path to success. You’ve done that. You’ve got a lot to say about that. That’s one of the topics that you like to talk about. What is the big deal about forgiveness?As the obstacles come, we don't run from them. We address them best we know how to and then move forward. Click To Tweet
It’s an amazing thing. When people feel stuck, they feel like they can’t make a good decision. They’re in their own little prison cell. They don’t know how to get out of it. The first step I would say is to evaluate your heart. Are you holding bitterness and anger towards anybody? People always say, “Don’t look back.” All these motivational speakers and even I’ve said it in the past, “Put your hand to the plow. Look forward and don’t look back.”
In my situation, I was so grateful I had to look back. The reason I had to look back was to see how far I’ve come. I wanted to look back to see how far I had come and I wanted to see what the trigger was that got me to my success to where I was in that situation. All those roads pointed to two decisions I’ve made. One was the decision to forgive my dad and after that, I had prayed for God to restore the relationship between me and my dad. Six years after that, my dad called me up in the middle of nowhere and said, “Do you have a second to talk?” I was like, “Sure.” He said, “I don’t want to be known as somebody who walked out on their kids and I want to ask if you’ll forgive me. I want to be in your life and I want to be in my grandkids’ life. I want to ask you if you’ll forgive me for the way I’ve treated you guys for the past several years.”
I put a big smile on my face and I was like, “Dad, I forgave you a long time ago, but I’ve been praying for this day for a hot minute.” What’s crazy is I asked my dad for a biblical blessing like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’s situation. He made it happen. One day he called me up and he spoke Deuteronomy 28 over me and it was I was getting knighted. I was handed keys to this mighty army or something. I don’t know what the feeling is or how to describe it but it was this awe-inspiring deal. All of a sudden, everything in life started changing. Weeks, months and everything after that started changing for me to get in there and ground it out.
One of the things that I had learned is when I got a hold of Andy Andrews’ book shortly after that and that was The Traveler’s Gift. The Traveler’s Gift is a seven decision for personal success and that book changed my world. I’ve got the journal and I implemented it for 30 days. I did each gift and put it in my heart. I’ll seek wisdom. I take responsibility for my life. I agreed to stay with a forgiving spirit. All those things transformed my life because what had happened was I had this poverty mentality. It was this poverty mentality of this get rich quick. Look at anything that looks like gold, get rich quick, and jump on it. Five businesses later, that get rich quick wasn’t happening. I was going broke quickly trying to do those things.
I got into this one situation where I was like, “I’ve got to change my mentality. I can’t do this get rich quick. Let’s go in and work hard and see what that delivers.” Three years of doing it by myself. I never hired anybody because I was scared to trust anybody with my name. Finally, after working 80 hours, this project manager asked me, “How’s your family?” I started crying. I was like, “I don’t know. I haven’t seen them in 1.5 months.” I was grinding that hard. My wife is super supportive. She knew that I was doing what I had to do. I’d given her the opportunity to come home now because we were doing good financially. I started hiring my first person because I want to see my family again. I ended that year with ten people working for me and the following year, we quadrupled in size to 28 people working for fourteen different builders doing over $1.2 million in revenue. It was pretty crazy to do that in a three-year time span.
Do you feel that what allowed you to have that level of success was you letting go of some of the bitterness and blame that you hold in your heart?
Absolutely, because I wouldn’t have found the opportunities. The reason I say this is I’m looking at my siblings, if I can speak honestly, they’re a mess. All of them have been divorced at least twice. My first brother once, but he’s been single ever since. The examples they’re setting for their kids and this and that, I could go on. Looking at how my life has been different from theirs, the one thing that I did differently because my mom pulled me aside one day and she said, “They’re upset and they want to know why you’re so different. They think, ‘My dad is here to see me.’” The difference is, I chose to forgive him and they haven’t. They still let this stuff bother them.
What happens is that when you hold all this stuff against, you live behind a facade and you carry this burden around. You don’t know what this burden is, but you’re carrying it around. When you open the door to forgive people, that burden is gone. For me, I no longer felt the need to live behind that facade. I was at a party looking for a place to happen on the surface. When I got by myself, I was eating myself alive by the enemy within, inside your head. You can’t win a battle with somebody that’s in your head. You don’t have to fight that anymore when you’re walking in freedom.
That’s what I’m comparing when I’m looking at them to compare to what I am. I wouldn’t have had the opportunities seeking wisdom, better examples, and people whose lives that you admire, and model what they’re doing. I would have never done any of that because what happened was that I transitioned. When I forgave my dad, I had to put five men in my life to show me what it was like to be a godly husband, a godly father, a business owner, how to be a contributing member to society, how they discipline their kids, how they solve marital arguments, and all these things I got to see from wholesome people. They never saw those examples where I did. I sought them out because I was free. I couldn’t explain it. All my gratitude comes back being so grateful. I’m looking around and I’m grateful.
Why do you think it’s so hard? You mentioned your siblings and they were holding onto things not being able to forgive. There are a lot of people out there that have a hard time forgiving. Why do you think that’s so hard for people?
It’s terrible if you’ve ever had an ingrown toenail. This is a terrible analogy, but it helps because sometimes if you ever had an ingrown toenail, you walk around weeks in pain because you know that little procedure that they’re going to do hurts like Hades. For me, the first experience I had was, one parent held me down or the other parent was digging in my foot with all kinds of stuff. It was awful. Being with that story I’ll tell is that once you have that procedure yet hurts like Hades, but the next day you wake up pain-free. You’re the person that’s afraid to face the pain that you don’t know and to live with the pain that you do know, but the pain that you don’t know will lead to your freedom.
That’s the pain that they don’t know. It’s like, “I don’t know what that’s going to feel like to get this procedure done to cut this toenail out but at the end of the day, that procedure is going to lead to my freedom and being free of pain.” I say all that to be like, it’s hard because so many times they don’t know what it is that is causing their anger, malice, or why they snap at people. They don’t know what’s causing it. If they ever take a second and look inward and realize, they don’t know the power of forgiveness, either that they may never have experienced it. It’s so hard because so many people want to hold on to forgiveness until they feel the person who has offended them is worthy enough to bestow it upon them. Nobody is ever going to meet that. Nobody is ever going to be worthy enough for your forgiveness. True forgiveness is only real if it’s given away freely.
You’re not justifying what somebody did to you. You’re allowing yourself to move on emotionally to a better place. A lot of times, it takes getting alone and getting by yourself and identifying what that person looks like. We all talk about goals. We’re all talking about the person you want to be. We all talk about what you’ve got to do to get there? What steps do you have to take? What environments do you have to put yourself into? What habits do you have to develop? What habits do you have to get rid of? You look at all those things. At the end of the day, if you don’t identify the better person that you want to be, the best version of you, it’s difficult to understand the role that forgiveness will play in that. Many people don’t know how to make an informed decision either.
Nobody’s ever shown them how to make a decision. You take a goal and you use that goal as a filter for every decision you make. “Is this going to help me be the person I want to be or is this going to hurt me and help me not be the person I want to be?” A lot of it to me is hard because they don’t know the power of it and they don’t have the purpose or the vision for the life that they want, the best version of themselves. What does that look like? They’ve never done that work.
When I think about forgiveness and when people don’t take that path to forgive, it’s almost like they are attempting to harm the other person. They don’t want to give something to the other person or they want to keep something from them. You probably know this better than anyone but when we don’t forgive, we’re hurting ourselves more than we’re hurting anyone else. It affects us worse than the harm that we’re attempting to bestow or whatever it is we’re attempting to do to the other person. It harms us a lot worse than that.
In my book, I talk about how forgiveness is for you, trust us for them. You can forgive them, but you don’t have to trust them. Say somebody stole from you in business, you can forgive them but are you ever going to trust them with another dime? No, I wouldn’t. Sometimes people who have to be in your life you think maybe a parent, sibling, or something, you can forgive them too. You can set boundaries up for yourself where you’re like, “I’m only going to spend as much time with you because anytime longer than that, I know that there’s going to be some unhealthy conversations happening or whatever.”
Sometimes those conversations have to happen for their freedom. I’ve had tough conversations with my siblings in trying to push this idea of, “You guys have to forgive because this is what’s holding you all back.” It’s the victim mentality. They hold on to, “This person offended me and I want to do everything I can to get revenge.” I’m personally thinking about you. You’re the one sitting here thinking about all hurt about it. It’s not them. They’re not hurting. If you walk up to them and say, “I want to forgive you because I felt like you did this to me.” They’re like, “I didn’t even know I did that. I’m sorry.” They don’t even know.
The other side of that is, if you take a real look at a person and how they make a decision, that maybe offended somebody, you’ve got to realize that those people make decisions based on their needs, that individual’s needs. Sometimes you may think it was at a malicious intent but in actuality, they’re doing what’s best for them and in their head, what’s best for them, their family, or their situation. It may not have been that they’ve made his decision not out of malice or to hurt you physically. That’s the result. They didn’t do it to hurt you. They were doing the best that they had to do for themselves at the moment.Put your hand to the plow. Look forward and don't look back. Click To Tweet
Sometimes you have to look that even deeper. Do you think they may be in retaliation for something you did in them in the first place? I love that idea of perspective, stepping back and looking in perspective because when I go to forgive people, I always take that step back and look at what they are dealing with that has caused them to act this way. I was at a conference. T. Harv Eker put on this conference, Millionaire Mindset. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of it, but we were in Atlanta and they had this thing. He held this piece of paper up and he’s like, “What color is this piece of paper?” Everybody’s screaming, “It’s white.” He goes, “Are you sure it is white?” Everybody is screaming at him and he’s like, “Are you sure?” Everybody’s screaming and finally, he turns it over and they had laminated a red and a white sheet of paper. It’s white on the front and red on the back.
He flipped it over and it was red. He says, “From my point of view, it’s red.” I was like, “That’s genius.” That is such a good analogy. I wrote about that in my book too, because it’s so mind-blowing and opening.” Sometimes you could be sitting on the beach eating Vienna sausages and sardines. Somebody else says, “I’m having it in a surf turf with a beachfront view.” It’s all about perspective so you have to take this perspective out of that situation and see if, one, did they mean to hurt you intentionally? Did they do it because maybe they were trying to get back at you of something you did to them first? That’s another thing. Two wrongs don’t make a right, but it’s a lot of taking a step back and putting that in perspective.
Let’s peel this onion back a little bit. I love this conversation because to be in a state of mind where you are in a place where you’re willing to hold a grudge with someone or hold blame with someone, and you’re in a state of mind that you’re going to take that on. They did something to you. You’ll never forgive them and you’re going to hold that. What kind of state of mind do you have to be in that state of mind? What’s your vibration to take that on? That’s a personal check.
When someone does something to you, you’re like, “My state of mind is, I don’t forgive you. I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t dislike it.” It’s not love. That’s a certain vibration. When we end those spaces, nothing good can come out of that. When you’re in that state of mind and you’re vibrating at that level, it’s not a good vibration. It’s not a constructive vibration, it’s a destructive vibration. That alone is something that is an indicator because if you’re holding that, what does that say about you and where you are?
To me, it’s like a muscle. You can’t build muscle if you don’t lift any weights or use it. I’ll give you an example of a situation that I went through. I had a guy that, at the end of the day, looking at his perspective, he did what was best for his family. He emotionally hurt me badly. I had sat down with him three times and said, “Are you going to do this? We’re going to do this.” He’s like, “I’m in. Let’s do it.” When we got there, some things happened in the contract that was beyond everybody’s control. We weren’t getting the hours and I was also asking him to come to the marketing and say, “If you’re not going to the marketing, I’m not going to come up and do it for you.” I told him that I’m flying up. On the day that I told him I was flying up, he resigned the next day. I was like, “I had invested $12,000 in this growth spurt we were trying to create.”
I was so angry. I haven’t been angry like this in a minute. I was so angry because I spent so much money and so much time. I knew that and I’m like, “I can’t go to bed like this. I know the power this is going to have on me if I go to sleep like this.” Out loud, I’m saying, “I forgive this dude. In my heart, I forgive this dude.” Did I feel like I forgave him? No. Was I still angry? Absolutely. The next day I woke up, “I forgive this dude.” Did I feel like I forgave him? No, I did not. Was I still angry? Absolutely.
About 3:00 PM, I started feeling it, “I’m forgiving this dude.” The next day, come around, day three I was like, “The anger had dissipated.” It’s day four no feelings whatsoever, “I forgive this dude.” I haven’t looked back at it since. I’ve had conversations with him and got nothing but love for him. I understand that he was doing what’s best for his family. Did it hurt me? Temporarily, yes it did. That was the deal. I was flexing that muscle.
I knew the damage it was going to cost me if I let it fester. It’s that whole letting it fester apart. You can’t let stuff like that fester. You’ve got to get on it quick. You’ve got to get less like you said it’s the vibration. You want that vibrating low. If you’re going to let it vibrate, you don’t want to let it vibrate low. You’ve got to get in there and take care of business. That’s the thing for me and two, I was running three days a week. I switch my routine up by physically exercising.
I had this vision while I was running one day. I was in this European prison cell in this castle, candlelight, and junk. I’m in there and complete with the water drop coming down. I’m in this cage in this prison cell and all of a sudden, this figure starts coming to me dressed in white and these lights following him. I’m like, “This is crazy.” I get to the door, stand up and I meet the person who I realize is me in white. I’m like, “What’s up?” He hands me this key through the door. There’s an inscription on the key and as I moved my finger across the inscription, it says ‘forgiveness’ on it.
I look up and I see all these people who have harmed me in the past, they show up transparently. You could see through them a little bit like a ghost almost. All of a sudden, when I look back down at the key, the keyhole in the door illuminates. I put the key in the keyhole and turned it and all those people disappear. All those people that had hurt me in the past. It was the symbolism that I held the key to my forgiveness. I held the key to the prison cell and I’m locking myself in it. I hold the key. Why? Forgiveness is 100% a choice.
There are real victims out there, but I guarantee you if you interview those victims, they want to say, “I don’t want to be called as a victim. That gives my offender too much power over me. I want to be called a survivor. I’d rather be known as a survivor, not a victim.” For me, my childhood, what I went to, I feel like I’ve conquered it now and now, what I want to do is I want to empower people to change their own situation. What are you going through? What are you dealing with? Let’s deal with some of this stuff, so you can move on to a better place in your life.
Let’s talk about how we move on. Before we get off this topic, I want everyone to know, we were talking about vibration and getting off those feelings quickly, it’s okay to be angry. It’s a human emotion. It’s natural to feel a certain way if someone has harmed you or has done wrong to you. I’m not saying, don’t be angry or don’t feel whatever you feel. Whatever you feel, it’s okay to feel that way, but you don’t want to stay there. That’s where the problem comes when we get into that hypnotic rhythm of feeling this way every single day and we can’t let it go and get out of it. We’re stuck in that space.
A lot of that time it comes from, especially for men, I know when I get upset at my wife a lot of the times or in general, it’s from embarrassment or shame. When you get embarrassed, it turns into shame. Shame turns into I’m not good enough and I’m not good enough turns into anger and you lash out at the people you love the most, which is your kids, your spouse, your family. That is a thing so you’ve got to take an inventory of yourself. It is okay to feel those feelings because you feel those feelings for a reason but at the end of the day, you’ve got to say, “Are you mad because you’re embarrassed or ashamed of something that you did?” It could have been a simple mistake.
I beat myself up because I was trying to identify and pay attention to detail in my life. I want to be a detailed person. It’s not in my nature to be detailed so I have to make checklists and systems for myself to be a detailed person. Every time I would miss a detail that was super crucial or important, I get upset and that little voice in my head starts saying, “You didn’t pay attention to that detail,” and you get angry. You beat yourself up a little bit about it but at the end of the day, when you’re putting processes in place, it’s that self-critic.
I always tell people in my book to take that self-critic and fire them as a critic and hire him back as a coach. What does a coach do? A coach is with you in the struggle. Coaches are with you in the waiting room, wins, and losses but what the coach sees is the potential. The coach is trying to get you into that potential. He’s trying to get you to see that potential and motivate you with the potential. Sometimes you can say, “Thank you for sharing. I appreciate that. I’ve got this.” I love the idea of that self-critic being a coach because a lot of that stuff critic is trying to drive you to a better place. It sees the potential and wants you to reach that potential.
How important is it to forgive yourself? We have conversations about forgiving other people, but a lot of people are stuck because they don’t forgive themselves.
I had a situation where I’m in a mastermind group and in that group is one of my guys, Tommy Breedlove, author of the book Legendary. He went bestselling author with that on New York Times and Wall Street Journal. He gave me this exercise one time because I was expressing my fear of confrontation with people. It comes from me being abused as a child. He says, “You need to get by yourself and you need to write all those feelings down. You need to think of those feelings because without those feelings. You wouldn’t have got to where you are now. You survived your childhood because of those feelings. You need to thank them for the role that they played in your life, write them down and say, ‘Thank you for the purpose you played in my life. I no longer need you.’”
To me, that was forgiving myself for all this mess. In that situation too, sometimes you’ve got to forgive yourself. There’s another situation I wrote about in the book where I could have validated a kid who was being abused, and I didn’t say anything. It ate me alive for a long time, but I was afraid of what might happen on the other end of that. What happened to him was a case in point. I didn’t want to say anything. To this day, that kid, I apologized to him in the book. I was like, “I could have validated your point and I said nothing and for that, I’m sorry.”Nobody's ever going to be worthy enough for your forgiveness. True forgiveness is only real if it's given away freely. Click To Tweet
I had to forgive myself. I was dealing with it myself. I should have said something or done something. Instead, I did nothing and I had some guilt about that. I had to forgive myself for that too. Forgiving yourself is important too. There are some people out there saying, “We don’t have the power to forgive ourselves.” To me, it’s a mental shift that happens when you forgive. “You screw that up.” You can go fix this stuff. It’s what you do. It’s what you do with what happens to you. You can always change it. You can always control what happens to you, but you can’t control how you let it form and mold you into the person you are.
You talked about perception and we’re human. We’re going to make mistakes. We’re going to get it wrong. It’s the perception you have about that experience that makes or breaks the day. It dictates the trajectory of your life from that point on. For me, I look at everything as an opportunity. If I messed it up, great. I know what not to do next time. I know not to take that turn and I know that I’m one step closer to getting it right. That may sound cliché but it works.
That’s what I look at. I look at the systems and processes of thought that serve me. I can look at any situation that I’m in where I can shut that little critic up, that self-talk. If I messed up and I know I messed up, and I know he would ride me for the rest of my life for messing that up, but I might come back to him as, “I did but guess what I learned. I know I won’t do that again. You won’t catch me in that space again. I’m a little closer to get over that hump.” Perception is a tool we want to keep in our toolbox for being the best version of ourselves.
That’s what Tony Robbins says, “On the other side of fear and frustration is education.” When I get into a place where I fear what I’m fixing to do or I get frustrated about something that happens, it’s like, “What do you think is something that I learn because you fix and learn something.” You’ve got to watch out. Sometimes that fear and the frustration can keep you off the field. That’s the thing, don’t stay up on the field because your last loss gets back on the field and apply what you’ve learned and see what happens then.
The fear that you’re going to mess up or fall short again. That’s all playing the game. Going back to perception, if you’re not messing up, at least sometimes, that means you’re not on the field, because you’re not trying to be. You’re learning, rolling and everything is a process. If you own the field and you are feeling those feelings of getting it wrong, that means you’re a player in the game and you’re not a spectator.
Spectators have no feelings, but what they’re doing is they’re pointing out everyone else when they mess up something, and how they are doing, but they’re not playing the game. They can’t score. There’s no expectation for them to do anything great because they’re sitting on the sidelines watching, criticizing, and talking about you, but you’re in the game. I would rather be in the game than sitting on the sidelines with my fear, anxiety, or whatever I’ve got, even if it’s with my forgiveness, but as long as I’m working through it. That means I’m in the game. When you’re in the game, there’s always the possibility to score and to win. If you’re not in the game, you can’t even expect that. Let’s talk about moving forward after forgiveness or whatever it is that we may be dealing with. There are some strategies or steps we need to take after that. Talk to us about that. How do we retool our minds and begin to change?
A lot of it is you’re identifying who you want to be, what you want to do, and figuring out what things, habits, and systems you have to put in your life. Also, what people you need to surround yourself with, what environments do you need to be subject to. To me after the forgiveness, I use an analogy going with your gut. I’ll talk about this talent show we played in. I’ve only been playing guitar for nine months and I get in this talent show. Up to the hour before we started playing, people come up and say, “Don’t do this. You’re going to embarrass yourself.” I was like, “If I’m going to do this, I can’t listen to what they’re going to say. I can’t listen to people telling me not to do something that I know in my heart I need to do.” I call it going with your gut and I did go with my gut.
Those same people that were saying, “Don’t do that,” came up to us afterward after we did 150 people. The kids were so crazy. They broke the bleachers. It was ridiculous. It was awesome and that’s the day my musical addiction had begun. It was a situation where I went with my gut. My gut was saying, “You need to persevere. You need to push through this.” Sometimes going with your gut when your gut is telling you, “That person is not uplifting you and your life. That person is not helping you out there. As a matter of fact, they’re bringing you down. They never support you. Why do you have that person in your life?” Sometimes that’s going with your gut is getting those people out of your life and finding some better people to put in your life that’s going to support you, build you up to help you get to where you want to go.
We talked about the third step which is open-heart surgery. If you have to have open-heart surgery, you’re in a bad place. It’s life or death. What I’m discussing there and we’ve already talked about is how to make an informed decision, taking responsibility for your own life, which is not playing a victim but playing the victor situation, where you’re allowing your life not to be an excuse. You want your life to be a statement, not an excuse.
Dealing with the self-critic, the cost of bitterness, and the waiting room. We talked about the waiting room as sometimes we’re in the waiting for the next thing in life. The next thing and the next thing. Sometimes the waiting room is trying to do the next step. What’s the next thing that you can do that could push that forward? Some are while you’re sitting there waiting, sometimes it’s getting a class on your own or checking out some YouTube tutorials or something like that. Never before has it ever been easier for somebody to retool themselves with a click of a button than it is nowadays.
I went from being in the restaurant business and now being in the construction business for the last several years doing over $1.2 million in revenue every year with the click of a button on YouTube. I had a few guys that showed me a few things but the majority of the training was on YouTube. My YouTube channel is giving back to that space, offering how-to videos on how to do things to help people rebuild themselves.
A big part of forgiveness is surrendering the outcome because we want to take vengeance and revenge on people. How that plays a part in our lives and our thinking and our thought process. When I forgive people, I’m like, “Lord, I’m going to let you fight this battle for me.” I’m a believer and in so many times, even in situations where you feel helpless. My wife got diagnosed with cancer a few years ago. She’s cancer-free now, thank God. While we were battling that, there was nothing I can do. I can’t go to work more hours, read a book, or do any of this stuff that I usually can do in my control. I can’t watch the kids and that kind of stuff. To make the situation better to change my circumstance so, in this situation, I said, “I’m going to give that to you and let you fight this battle for me because there’s nothing physically I can do. This is all you.”
What that did, it allowed me to push through that adversity. It gave me strength because I was dependent on him to take care of it and I fought a push through it. I follow that up with gratitude, being grateful. You can’t be a happy and joyful person if you’re holding resentment, anger, and bitterness towards people. To me, happiness and gratitude are two different sides of the same sword of joy. Being grateful for what it is and where you’re at in your situation, it could be little things. A car that gets you from point A to point B, a spouse, a friend, or the fact that your bills might be paid this month and trying to push through that.
I’ll talk about the end of the book, what forgiveness looks like in a marriage that was headed for a divorce, which was mine a few years ago. That’s a thing that’s difficult for some people because it takes two. We went to a marriage counselor, and they identified a family of origin, which was how you were raised. What situations did you go through when you were a kid and how do you make decisions or respond to those choices now, which was eye-opening to me, with my spouse, and her as well as me as well.
She didn’t know I went through half of the stuff that I’ve gone through because I didn’t feel it was necessary to tell her. You come to a place where you realize your spouse is not your enemy, and that they’re the gift. We pushed the envelope on that. The three things that I learned that I didn’t know before and I kept doing in my marriage was taking away my wife’s role. Those are the three desires that men have and three desires that women have. They both came from a book by John Eldredge, which is Wild at Heart and the other book was the book that he co-wrote with his wife called Captivating for women.
The three desires that men have is, they want to go on a great adventure. They want a battle to fight and they want a beauty to rescue. We all feel that in our lives growing up. You give me a stick and I’m a Jedi. We made PVC pipe guns when we were kids and it was crazy. It was ridiculous. We were playing cowboys and Indians or cops and robs, whatever it is. You ask any guy what a great adventure or what was an adventure to them, they’re going to tell you about the time they were kayaking in the Dominican or are jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. It’s those great adventures that they go on.
The three desires for women are not too different. They want to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure. That’s where I’ve been messing up. I’ve been taking that irreplaceable role away from her and I didn’t realize that was even a need for women. She wants to show the world what beauty looks like. They want to be seen and show what beauty looks to her. How she dresses, how she wears her hair, how she paints her house, what kind of flower she has in her flower vase and all that stuff is her version of showing the world what beauty looks like to her.
The third thing is they want to be pursued or romanced. That’s where a lot of married people lose it, men in particular. We forget that we ran after them when we were dating, but the moment we got married, we stopped that for some reason. You’ve got to go after that. They still want to be pursued and romanced, which is also the beauty to rescue. That’s the knight in shining armor situation. It’s when they need help, we come in and save the day. It’s one of the couple of things that I wrapped up in the book at the end of it. I felt that people needed to see what forgiveness looks like in a marriage because of where we were, what happened, and how we were able to save it. We’re in such a better place now than we ever have been. It’s been great.Forgiveness is for you. Trust is for them. You can forgive them but you don't have to trust them. Click To Tweet
All of these things you mentioned we are responsible for, but in order to get to those spaces, we have to take the responsibility to be in the right vibration and that’s what we missed a mark sometimes. You mentioned several times about being in gratitude. That has been the running theme throughout this interview. I can only imagine that because you had gratitude with you, you were practicing gratitude that was putting you in a certain vibration for all of these other things to come and flow through you if you will.
That’s our responsibility. A lot of us don’t have that hook or that thing to keep us in the right vibration so a lot of the emotions and feelings that don’t serve us too well, they fester, remain and we stay in this perpetual vibration that doesn’t serve us. If we have something that is a hook or an anchor, like gratitude, or it could be anything. It could be different things for different people. One of the things I’ve noticed with you and speaking with you is you keep bringing up gratitude. It seems gratitude was the foundation for you to build a house of success and use forgiveness as one of the main ingredients among other things. You talked about relationships.
You are cultivating those relationships, not only with your family, your wife, but other people that you are hiring or your job and you’re able to work with them as a team to experience success. This is a recipe if you will, in my mind for success and the cornerstone of this recipe, the main ingredient is forgiveness and gratitude. You mentioned that so many times throughout this interview and that puts you in the right vibration because we miss a lot. I don’t know what you think but we miss a lot of opportunities. An opportunity for healing, for growth, forgiveness for a lot of the ingredients that you need, because we’re not in the right vibration.
I would throw love in there. Genuine love for people and individuals, loving them where they are in life, even though you’re not there or where they are maybe in life, but you can genuinely love them still. My purpose in life, I feel, is to empower people to change their own situation and I learned that how I fell across that was in my business. I’d take these people that were like, “I need a job.” Let me give you a little bit more than that. Let me give you a job and let me give you something that’s going to change your life. How I do that is loving them enough to show them a better way.
The mistake I learned early on is not everybody wants to be helped and that’s okay. You can still love them in that. That is gratitude, forgiveness, and love are the two people because it’s not a daily basis. Something happens on a daily basis where it’s like, “Did you do that?” You have to turn around, love them through that, and have a conversation. Take them by the hand and not lord over them. That’s a big difference. The way I lead is I don’t lord over people. I walk beside them, “Let me show you how we can do this better.” We have 55 to 60-year-old men tell me I’m the best boss they’ve ever had. Not to toot my own horn, but it’s got to do with the fact that I forgive them, I love them and I’m grateful for them at the end of the day.
How can people connect with you, Derek?
They can check me out at DerekStone.online. You can see the podcast that I’ve been on there. You can grab a copy of the book there, Why Should I Forgive? You can check out all my social handles there and there’s a bio about myself and what I’ve been through and where I’ve come from there as well.
Thank you for coming on the show. This has been a great conversation. There’s a lot in this at least for me that I’m taking. I love the idea of forgiveness and at a time like this, we’re going through pandemic, marches and protests. How can we use forgiveness in a time like this in order to continue to heal? There is healing and that’s happening, but how to continue and sustain that healing at a time like this. How do you think could we do that?
It would be a great idea for people to address their ancestors with people. I know that there may be some bitterness and anger in your heart towards my ancestors, but look, now I love you. That’s them. That’s a different time. It’s not now. How can we move forward in love and forgiveness? That’s the goal. We want to move forward. You are as equal as I am. I came out of Section 8 project housing. I’m saying that I started this business on unemployment. I’ve been there and having empathy for people when you get down into the mess and say, “Get it. What happened to you is not right but how can we move forward in forgiveness and love to teach our kids and our next generation a different way to do it.
We always ask the Game Changer Mentality message. You’ve given us so many, but what’s the one thing you would like for us to take away from this?
Many times, we hold the key to our own torment. If you’re looking for a place to start to get yourself to a better place emotionally in life, you’ve got to take a look around and see who’s supporting you, who’s tearing you down, who’s not supporting you. Get those people and maybe build some boundaries for them to get them out of your life or limit the time. Help yourself define it because, to me, the first place starts with your heart. I put it on the front of the book cover if you see it. It’s a calloused heart and the bitterness, anger, and resentment are all flying off of it and below is red, which is coming behind that thing with Behold, I Will Make All Things New.
That’s what happened to me. My heart was calloused, bitter, and angry. When I forgave those, pieces started coming off in my heart and was made new. I got to see those opportunities a lot more clearly. That issued an assured change for me to get me to that better place in life that I dreamed about. I’ve been dreaming about it since I was a kid. It opened the door for me to see it and step through those doors to get me to where I am.
What is the title of this book?
Why Should I Forgive?
Where can we get that?
It’s on Amazon. You can go onto my website, DerekStone.online, and you can get it there. The audiobook will be out, I’m hoping and the paperback will be out pretty soon as well, right around the same time. It’s in the final stages of design. I’m excited about it.
Thank you, Derek Stone, for coming on the show.
Thank you so much, Rodney for having me.
There you have it. You have the key to your destiny, to whatever it is you want in life. You have the key to letting go of forgiveness. The key to love, joy, and happiness starts with you. What vibration are you vibrating on? Who’s around you? Who’s supporting you? Who’s speaking to you? Who’s pouring into your life? We all have to check those things to make sure that we are in the right environment and we have the right ingredients within us in order to make the right decisions that are going to serve us and put us on a path towards success. I challenge you to take a look at those things and realize that you have the key. Free yourself so we all can change the game that we are playing for the better. Until next time, peace and love.
- Derek Stone
- The Traveler’s Gift
- Harv Eker
- YouTube – Derek Stone Channel
- Wild at Heart
- Why Should I Forgive?
- Amazon – Why Should I Forgive?
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