Sunday, August 7, 2011

4 Steps to Transform Anger into Positive Energy.

I got this from a Justin Tillman post in "The Uncommon Life." 

There are times in our lives when people will make us feel the energy of anger, sometimes intentionally and other times not. Whatever the case may be, it’s up to us to determine how we will emotionally and physically respond to the situation. Yes, there are some cases where a person’s behavior towards us was completely unfair. However, if we allow ourselves to become blinded by the energy of anger, or even rage, giving into this emotion will leave us feeling out of control.

When someone makes us angry, instead of looking at that incident as an isolated moment in time, some of us will treat it like a long series of identical events. Through the power of repetition, we take that one event and play it over and over again in our head like a broken record. So much so, that once we’re angered, we plant the seed of grudge so deep in the garden of our mind, and that thought begins to influence our behavior.
Once swayed by our thoughts, there are a number of different ways in which a person will deal with the energy of anger, but the most common way tends to be highly destructive.
Some people will:
•  Bottle up their anger and later explode on another person for the smallest, most unrelated reason, why never knowing they did
•  Bottle up their anger and keep it inside until they stress themselves to illness
•  Immediately retaliate by fighting fire with fire
•  Latch onto self destructive addictions such as drugs, alcohol or violence
When you allow the energy of anger to become your primary motive, that’s when you subject yourself to one of these destructive ways of dealing with it.
However, if you become consciously aware of the potential negative outcome, then you can have the option to influence the outcome. By choosing a more productive outcome, it will allow you to successfully turn anger into your ally.
Here is a practical approach that you can use.

4 Steps to Transform Anger into Positive Energy.

Take Responsibility
A real indicator that determines the height of a person’s personal growth comes from their ability to take full responsibility for their thoughts.
Steven Covey, in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, talks about Victor Frankl, a man who was imprisoned and tortured in the death camps of Nazi Germany.
After being released from the death camp, Frankl had every reason in the world to be a short tempered, angry, bitter man and nobody would have faulted him. Instead of turning his experience into an excuse to hold a deep seeded grudge, he used his personal experience as a teaching tool to help inspire others to become empowered by their thoughts.
Through the path of his journey, Frankl discovered a fundamental principle about the nature of man, which I feel will serve as a powerful guide to help you to gain control over your anger.
The principle is this: Between every stimulus and response, a person always has the freedom to choose his/her reaction.

Let’s run with this thought for a second, shall we?
From now on, when someone does something to make you feel the energy of anger, look at them as the stimulus. Before you react in one of the four destructive ways mentioned above, look at the potential outcome of your response.
Where Frankl found his freedom is the same place you will find yours. The power comes from that small window of time right before we act. The window is so small that if you blink you’ll miss it. So we must become the farmer of our thoughts to protect our minds from being influenced by the weeds of external forces.
By taking responsibility for your thoughts, you are exercising your ability to utilize your most powerful asset available: your freewill.
There is nothing more powerful than a person who has taken responsibility for how they feel. Our feelings motivate our actions, which in turn will dictate the outcome of our lives.
Now! To the next important step…

Forgive Yourself
No matter how intelligent you might be, there will be times in your life where you will put yourself in a situation that will lead other people to take advantage of you.
There are many ways in which we can get taken advantage of. Here are just three that I can directly relate to in my personal experience:
•   Sometimes it’s because we’re naive; we simply don’t know what we don’t know.
•   Or, we might have a hard time saying no to a person’s agenda, which sounds good in theory but doesn’t add up in practice.
•   While other times, we’ll neglect to see the writing on the wall, due to greed.
If you want to transform anger into positive energy, you are going to have to forgive yourself. No matter how much you might blame yourself for what happened, you have to accept the fact that we are going to make mistakes from time to time.
When you forgive yourself, it’s like taking off a backpack full of heavy rocks; you will feel a spring in your step and become focused on the most important step for you to improve your situation.

Forgive the Other Person
Of the three steps so far, this can be the most difficult step to practice because it will require us to forgive the other person who’s done us wrong.
If you are going to take full responsibility for protecting your feelings, then you have to understand that just like you, the other person is human as well.  With this in mind, even the person who might have done you wrong makes mistakes and will continue to make mistakes. Moreover, holding a grudge against someone will always put more stress on you than it will on the other person.
Wishing someone ill will or harm from the comfort of your own mind is as productive as taking a poisonous pill and waiting for the other person to die.
This is why it’s important that you forgive them. Forgiving is not for the other person, it’s for yourself.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Forgiving the other person doesn’t mean you have to like them. And it certainty doesn’t mean that you should indemnify them from their actions. There is a time and a place for everything.
With forgiveness, you are simply giving yourself permission to be free from the burden of what this person did to you. As the old adage goes, “Forgive but never forget.” Never forget because if you forget your history, you are very much likely to repeat it.
Now that you have taken responsibility for how you feel, forgiven yourself and even forgiven the other person, you must move to the last and final step, which is to transform that anger into positive energy.

Transform (Through Expression)
The law of conservation states that energy can neither be created nor can it be destroyed. So in order to reap the benefits from this potential energy, it’s our responsibility to channel it.
Anger is nothing more than a signal. Once you’ve identified this energy, you must immediately use the power of your awareness to find a place to refocus your actions.
It will much better serve you if you use that same powerful force as a shot of nitrous-oxide to help fuel you to do one high leveraged activity that you’ve procrastinated; an activity that you know if you did right now would be a payoff for you in a big way.
•   If you’ve been putting off starting chapter one in your book, now is the time.
•   If you’ve been meaning to pitch a story to a well know publication, find that person you need to get in touch with, think creatively on how you will communicate with them and then go approach them.
•  Have you been meaning to sign up for a seminar, workshop or program that will teach you a new skill? Now’s the time to take action and sign up.
By immediately doing something now and using this energy to fuel you, you’ll feel great for a number of different reasons.
First, you will learn how to turn anger into your ally. Second, you will witness a positive result manifest in your life. And lastly, you will reconfirm that nobody but you will have the final say to the outcome of your life, destiny and future.

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