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  • Jerry Phillips

What is Anger

What is anger? It is a punishment we give to ourselves for somebody else’s mistake.

I was perusing IG and saw a post that shared this saying. It made me think of my younger days when I was prone to get angry with a short fuse. If something didn’t go the way I wanted it to go, then I would voice my anger.

I experienced later in my career when I was managing a sales team. When we lost on a competitive situation, it was always explained as a price issue, or something unethical that happened with our customer. They bought from their brother-in-law, or they gave our pricing to the competitor. My anger wasn’t with the customer, but with the excuses.

Later, I moved my family and took a new role with a new company. It was sold as a growth opportunity and then I saw the P&L and realized it was a turnaround. I had no issue with the turnaround. I enjoy doing that type of work. After we began to turn a profit, the company decided they didn’t need me anymore. Initially, I was very angry. I had risked a great deal to make a move. Again, I was punishing myself for somebody else’s mistake. Or so I thought.

There is a similar message in Buddhism about the Second Arrow. The first arrow is the mistake, the second arrow is grinding on it after the fact. It’s a waste of time and effort. It only hurts you. The thoughts are the same, in that we punish ourselves, instead of letting it go.

When was the last time you were truly angry? How did it help you? How did it hurt you? Did you choose to be vengeful? Did it burn a relationship that was important? What we look for in business is long term, mutually beneficial relationships. Has anger ever helped you establish that?

As I’ve aged, I’ve become less prone to anger unless you sit at a green light and look at your phone. I’m not a saint!

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