In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to discuss an ancient proverb and reveal the dangers of failing to control your anger.
First a quick update:
“Can you change someone else?”
People can change. However, can you be the one to make him/her change? Why do we expend a lot of energy trying to change others? Find out more.
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“Donald Trump: Pain, pleasure and anger”
We are controlled by our emotions, and US Presidents are elected by selling emotion – fear, hope or anger. Watch the video:
Now, let’s talk about the dangers of failing to control one’s anger.
“How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.” – Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius was Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD, recognized as the last of the Five Good Emperors and as a Stoic philosopher. In his last ten years of life, Aurelius created a notebook, filled with ideas and prescriptions for self-development – all of which were designed primarily for his own benefit. One of his key themes was emotional intelligence – the ability to understand and master one’s own emotions as well as being able to understand and guide the emotions of others.
In one of his writings, the quote above, Marcus Aurelius pondered that the consequences of our anger (i.e. the way we respond to the anger) are more serious and severe than what led us to become angry in the first place.
Simply put: anger can escalate and create extremely serious and harmful consequences for us!
Anger is the initial response to either feeling injured, wronged, or, not getting what we wanted.
However, when we choose to allow the anger to control us, we can create irreparable consequences.
If we choose to say something violent or harmful, we cannot take it back – the bell has been rung and you cannot undo the bell ringing.
If we choose to internalize the anger and stay in denial of what we are thinking, we become depressed or ill.
If we choose to take the anger and become physically violent, we can kill someone and destroy our life in one quick moment.
One basic example is the very common story of someone who becomes angry and loses control and throws one punch, which kills the other person.
Google “man punches and kills” and the first page results reveals 9 separate stories of people who threw one punch which killed the other person when the victim fell and hit his head on concrete or asphalt or some other object.
In another example, a man becomes angry at another driver. At an intersection, he jumps out of his car and approaches the man and punches him while he is still seated in his car. That man, pulls out a gun, shoots and kills him.
“Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.” – Ancient proverb
As the proverb above states, when you become mad, emotionally distressed or angry and unless you have the skill to control it, redirect or neutralize it, the anger will lead you to actions and behavior that will ultimately destroy you.
There is really only one way to avoid becoming angry – shift your perception!
If anger is the initial response to believing that you were harmed, wronged or that you didn’t get what you want, then the way to prevent anger is to change the way you perceive or interpret what happened.
Again, the solution is to learn to control your thoughts and interpretations of the world around you – what people say and what people do. Please note, I am not encouraging extremism here; you must be willing to fight for truth and for what you believe in; simply consider first, what is the best way to ‘fight’ for your truth and values.
Begin now to change, shift and transform the way you interpret other peoples’ responses, actions and words to you. Remember, thoughts lead to emotions which, lead to actions which lead to results or, consequences.
Here are some excerpts by Marcus Aurelius from his notes, later published as “Meditations” suggesting ways to change your thoughts and interpretations:
Tell yourself: The people I deal with today will be meddling, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly. They are like this because they can’t tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own – not of the same blood or birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine. And so none of them can hurt me. No one can implicate me in ugliness. Nor can I feel angry at my relative, or hate him. We were born to work to together…To obstruct each other is unnatural. To feel anger at someone, to turn your back on him: these are obstructions.
Choose not to be harmed – and you won’t feel harmed. Don’t feel harmed – and you haven’t been.
We all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.
It can only ruin your life only if it ruins your character. Otherwise it cannot harm you – inside or out.
The tranquility that comes when you stop caring what they say. Or think, or do. Only what you do.
It’s silly to try to escape other peoples’ faults. They are inescapable. Just try to escape your own.
Leave other peoples’ mistakes where they lie.
That kindness is invincible, provided it’s sincere – not ironic or an act.
If you want further help and support, consider a private, one-on-one session with me. Click here to book your session.
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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.