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Three Reasons Why Anger is Your Friend

Three Reasons Why Anger is Your Friend

    Previously, we have discussed why Fear, Sadness and Shame are actually your friends. Today we are going to talk about Anger. Anger gets a lot of bad press. Executives are sent to Anger Management classes, we talk about Road Rage and Bullying. But Anger, expressed cleanly, can very much be your friend.

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    First, Anger gives you the energy to confront a threat. Angry people “aren’t going to take it anymore,” they are going to do something to right a wrong or put a stop to an injustice or defend against an attacker, and these people are fired up! That’s important because threats can be scary, and, you know, threatening, and it helps to have the energy that angers gives us to confront them. Without that anger and energy, you can sit there and think and think and think, and rationalize why you’re not doing anything, and nothing will change. Angry people don’t stay passive long.

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    Second, Anger helps you to set boundaries. When you find yourself feeling Angry, you know that someone or something just violated your sense of boundaries, your sense of what is right and wrong, and you feel compelled to do something about it. Now, Anger can be very consuming, in the moment, but it may well help you in the moment to ask yourself, before you actually run off half-cocked and do something you may regret, “what just happened to violate my boundaries? What do I need to do to address that?” Now you have a clearer idea of the problem, and the solution, and, as noted above, the energy to step forward and act, even when there is risk.

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    Lastly, Anger helps you to show others you are serious. Clean Anger, as opposed to blind rage (Anger’s very troublesome twin brother), demonstrates your willingness to confront that threat, to enter into conflict and to stay present, even as you get cut and bruised in the fray, and to do what it takes to prevail. Anger can be kinda scary, and when presented with Anger, many people will back down.

    The trick with Anger, of course, is for you to 1> Use your anger in pursuit of a worthwhile goal that serves a higher purpose for your values, your community, your family. Scaring people just to get what you want is just playground Bullying.  2> Stay in control of yourself so that you can keep your eye on the goal and move toward it purposefully, so that you don’t find yourself enjoying conflict for its own sake and causing unnecessary damage. Perhaps we can say it like this: Anger is a great Servant, but a really bad Master.

    So, Anger gives you the energy to confront a threat, helps you to set boundaries, and show others you are serious.  That is definitely a friend worth having, or maybe a trusted bodyguard. Either way, you want someone like that in your corner.

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

    The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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    The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

    Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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    Review Your Past Flow

    Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

    Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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    Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

    Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

    Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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    Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

    Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

    We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

    Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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