Every so often I get a question from people. Each time I hear it I chuckle and try to figure out how to politely share the 100% honest and truthful answer with laughing too hard as it almost makes reality less believable.
“Do you ever get mad?”
Are you kidding me??? Holy crap, you should see me in my finest of anger riddled tirades, they can be quite the spectacle if I say so myself. Some are loud and explosive, others can be quiet, sharp, and cutting. Mad? Oh yeah, I definitely get mad. Just because I’m smiling often doesn’t mean I’m immune to anger.
This morning was a perfect example. I got some frustrating news in my email inbox. Within seconds I had myself lathered into a mini fit of rage. I couldn’t believe what happened. I was angry at others and I was angry at the system. After a few minutes I was even more furious with myself for letting it happen in the first place. I attempted to move on to other tasks but my frustration kept distracting me from my path. I finally took a step back from my computer, rested my hand on my desk, put my head down, and took a couple of deep breaths to clear my brain.
After I chose my attitude, the right attitude of acceptance, learning, and moving forward without anger I looked back up at my email. There in my inbox was a brand new email from my favorite daily email – The Daily Stoic (which you can check out here or at their main website).
What laid before me were the following words:
Successful, talented people are often frustrated for a simple reason: The world is constantly disappointing them. They expect everyone to be like them, to work as hard as them, to care as much as them, to hold themselves to the same standards as they do…
It went on to remind me that I don’t have the right to get angry. Imposing my anger on the world only makes matters worse. They shared notes from Marcus Aurelius reminding us that it is always better to be controlled and calm. One line that stuck was “If there are brambles in the path, go around. Why get angry? As if the world will notice or care.”
I literally laughed out loud after reading the email. This isn’t the first time that one of the messages has hit so squarely. About every two weeks or so I can’t help but wonder if The Daily Stoic somehow is reading my thoughts and proactively helping me out. Crazy how that works!