The disservice of feeling guilty about being angry
Never waste an angry mood
Patchett’s immortal advice to writers was a philosophy I always appreciated.
Be funny, be clever, and you will scrape by, she said, because cleverness, once learned, can be the staircase that takes you down to more interesting places.
What’s interesting is, this creative strategy can be applied to our psychological life as well.
Consider anger. It’s the emotion with perhaps the worst reputation in history. Its destructive powers have led to crime, divorce, violence, sickness, suicide, wars and some of the worst movie sequels that ever graced the screen.
But the lesson we’re never taught in school is, anger is the ember of initiative. It’s meant to be listened to and acted upon. In fact, do ourselves a disservice when we feel guilty about experiencing this particular emotion.
What’s healthier and more useful is to accept anger’s invitation. To dig down deep below the surface reactions and see how many interesting pearls of creativity and initiative and agency we can unearth.
Anytime I experience anger related to my business, and I actually have the guts to stick with that feeling long enough to see what treasures lie behind it, I always walk away with a few practical ideas about how to improve my situation.
My body feels lighter, my mind feels calmer, my spirit feels more lucid, and of course, my situation feels more hopeful.
It’s the positive power of anger. The emotional staircase that takes us down to more interesting places.
Never waste an angry mood. Follow that vibe and see where it takes you.
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Are you doing yourself the disservice of feeling guilty about being angry?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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