Like many of my posts, the impetus for writing today comes from something that happened this morning. A task was dropped in my lap that is not only not part of my job, but also requires a great deal of physical labor that is not part of my job description. This has happened several times in the past, and I implemented a system to mitigate most of the physical labor part, but still the people I work with didn’t care enough to bother with it and just did what was convenient for them.
I tend to be a very angry person when I get frustrated. My initial reaction to any situation I don’t like is to have that surge of blood in my veins and a desire to shout at whoever or whatever is making me upset. In my younger days, this feeling resulted in things like broken keyboards and even a hole in the wall once. But now that I’m older and wiser, I’ve learned to control this rage even though I still feel it just as strongly inside.
This is one of the hallmarks of wisdom. When you are young, you aren’t able to see more than just what is happening in front of you. The consequences of life haven’t set in on you yet and you don’t truly understand how your actions might have lasting consequences. Luckily for us, our time of youth has a lot more room for error and those mistakes we make early on tend to be forgiven a lot easier than later in life.
So, like I’ve learned to do over the years, I will complete this task assigned to me, not because I have no choice, but because refusing to do it would make me much worse off than I am right now. Sometimes we have to just accept the things we can’t change and just push through it. We would like to think that the right thing should always happen, but as we age and gain more experience we start to understand that life just happens.
How do we do this? The reality is that you have to incorporate discipline as part of your cognitive makeup. There is no easy out when it comes to dealing with your anger. You learn it slowly over time, with each occurrence of anger taking less and less time to get over until you finally get to the point where it still might bother you, but you don’t allow your emotions to control your behavior. This is one of those things where hard work is required. There is no other way.
One of the things that I’ve learned along the way that I want to pass on to those of you who read this blog is that unless you get extremely lucky and win the lottery or something, everything good in your life is going to require effort on your part. We wish it could just be handed to us, but that isn’t the way it works. The reality is that anything we’re given isn’t nearly as appreciated as something that we’ve earned, and emotional development is the same way.
The good thing is that as you work on yourself in one area, that disciplines branches out into the other areas of your life that you struggle with. Simply working on yourself provides compounding results. As you work on discipline, you are not only learning to control your anger, but you are also working on perseverance, patience, and several other aspects of yourself that probably need attention. Of the many things you can put your effort into, self improvement provides the highest return on investment.
How do you feel about anger? Do you just blow up at people, or have you learned to control it? Have you changed over the years, or do you still react like you did when you were younger? Learning to control our emotions is a critical part of being an adult, and once we can learn to do that we stand a much better chance of reaching the other goals in our lives. Anger can be a huge roadblock, but with a little practice and discipline we can overcome it.
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