Manage your anger creatively
Add “d” to “anger” and it becomes danger! Anger is one of the emotions experienced by each one of us.
But it is an emotion which is controllable to a great extent, if not fully! Each individual has to make a choice, and years ago I decided to manage my anger creatively. Whenever I lose my temper — during my self-audit sessions such lapses stare at me in the face — I feel ashamed of myself. I decide then and there to learn from my mistakes. I feel happy for having conquered anger to a great extent by following this methodology. You too can give it a try and the result will be less d-anger.
Let me give you the famous example of anger from Ramayana. Ravan was the wisest of the wise, with ten heads on his shoulders. However, his successes had killed his humility and along with it, many of his virtues, too.
So, when his sister Surpanakha, who had her nose chopped off because of her wrongdoing, presented her distorted story, Ravana, who was short tempered, forgot to ask her simple questions like:
1. Why did you go to meet rama and laxmana?
2. What exactly happened?
3. Why shouldn’t I talk to Rama and find out his side of the story?
The result was nothing but distress for himself and his family members. So, my friends, why not think and reflect, and engage in frequent self-audits to reduce your anger and decide what you want to be — Rama or Ravana?
Ravana is a role model for all those who need to manage anger. He was the wisest of the wise, but out of rage he made a mistake which caused immeasurable harm to himself and to his near and dear ones. Therefore, I make more efforts to become Rama … anger free … always.
Whenever a Surpanakha comes to me in the form of my secretary or my friend or my associate or my close relative, I enquire and ask for more details. Normally I am accused of not “trusting” him or her. I prefer to go slow instead f becoming a raging Ravana. Maybe I have a blessing in disguise; I am not as powerful as Ravaana was!
I try to learn from a humble matchstick. A matchstick has a head but it does not have a brain. Therefore, whenever there is a little friction. It flares up immediately. I have a head, but I also have a brain. I need not flare up at the slightest friction. Thus by using my brain, I reduce my stress. You can think of your own reference points to help reduce your anger and become stressfree.
Recently, I met a Swamijee whose disciples include leading industrialists. I gave him some of my matchstick ideas, i.e. Anger Prevention kits, to be given to his disciples (available to you also on request). He said that the kit would be useful to him, too. I was totally surprised: why would a Swamijee need such a device? Then he explained to me that a swami is a highly egoistic person because people touch his feet and offer compliments; he develops a superiority complex. Maybe he was joking, but he did make a point — anger is an emotion which requires more than ordinary self-discipline.
Controlling anger is an ongoing effort. Almost every night I conduct a quick self-audit and if during the day. I have displayed anger, I curse myself and mentally slap myself and promise not to repeat it. Practice makes one perfect! Also, years ago I learnt from my guru friend Mr. M.M. Mehta that for every 10 minutes that you are angry, you lose 600 seconds of happiness. It’s something to think about.
We get angry when we have too many problems and begin to feel out of control. Again, one of my friends educated me on these problems: he said that the only people who have no problems are the ones in cemeteries or those whose ashes have floated down the Ganges. Problems are signs of life. My friend added that instead of praying to God to keep us away from problems, our prayers should be, “Oh, God, please give me more problems and the wisdom to solve them.”