Be Aware Of Anger

Be Aware of Anger

There is a warning signal in our lives that can be a clue to tell us when we’re stuck in the 3 Rs: resentment, resistance, and revenge. That warning signal is anger. Let’s discuss why it is important to be aware of this emotion in our lives.

On page 38 of If How-To’s Were Enough We Would All Be Skinny, Rich & Happy, there is a quote: “Anger is a person’s last desperate attempt to avoid responsibility and blame the situation on someone or something else.” An example of this took place in a seminar once when a man angrily informed us that we didn’t do the seminar the way it should be done. By making us wrong and blaming us, he didn’t have to accept any personal responsibility for making the class a success. In his viewpoint, the success or failure of the class was our responsibility, not his, and that took him off the hook. Instead, he could have asked, “How can I have a meaningful impact on the other students in the class?” or “What can I do to have a positive influence here?”. If this man had considered his own responsibility, how might he have affected the seminar? How might he have opened up opportunities to experience growth in his own life? The 3 Rs clearly kept this viewpoint hidden from him. His resistance to taking on the responsibility for his own learning, as well as the learning of the other students in the class kept him from doing just that — learning.

Along the same lines, there are people who say they can’t afford additional seminars and become quite angry with the facilitator who talks to them about attending a future seminar. “You’re pressuring me!” they exclaim angrily. I’ve come to see from my own experience that you usually don’t feel pressure unless you really want to do something. Suppose there’s a two o’clock bus that you want to take, but it’s five minutes until two and you’re fifteen minutes away from the bus stop. Are you going to feel pressure? Yes, because you want to be on that bus! But suppose, on the other hand, that you have no interest in the two o’clock bus because you’re going to take the train. In this case, you won’t feel pressure.

As you can see, pressure is an internally-generated emotion. We feel pressure when we want to do something, but don’t see a way of doing it. Unfortunately, most people blame the pressure on circumstances or someone else, and the result is anger. In the example of the seminar attendees, they blame the facilitator because it gets them off the hook from solving their problem. Instead of figuring out a way to afford the seminar, they make the facilitator wrong for pressuring them, and as a result, don’t have to do anything.

So, be aware of anger. It can be a warning to tell you that you’re in the 3 Rs. When you see anger for what it is and take responsibility for yourself, you can open up creative solutions for the problems you face. This is a key to great power in your life.

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