Recently I had a talk, it was a rather informal yet very memorable one. Throughout the talk, the speaker was stressing about the importance of “anger” and “happiness”. So my first impression was “okay it’s probably going to be how we should control our temper and derive happiness from our work”. And yes, indeed it was, but it was slightly different. The speaker differentiated these two into “selfishness” and “selflessness”. And after the talk, I thought I really would like to share this, it was inspiring for me, I hope it does for you too.
Just a short summary of the talk. Firstly, we need to control our temper, regardless who we are working with, how close we are and how much power we have. Getting angry and controlling anger are two different matters. It is completely normal to get angry as a healthy and normal human being, but controlling anger is yet another management we need to learn. It defines how you express your emotions or your angry feelings. Lashing out during a meeting simply leads to tension and annoyance within the situation, and triggers your fellow colleagues to dismiss your explanations and possibly rule that you lack the rationale to continue the discussion. Being angry at others can distort your thinking process and result in misjudgment. It can even effectively ruin relationship.
So why not control it? Calm down and take a breather. Settle down your thoughts and think it through once again. It is not asking you to hide your feelings, which may of course lead to pathological expressions of anger, such as passive-aggressive behaviour. It is asking you to comprehend the reasons why you get angry, and find a solution for that. It is asking you to explain why you are angry in an appropriate manner to get things done. It is asking you to keep your poise and think carefully and patiently. Provide reasons why you are angry, and not use words to describe how angry you are. Certainly, it is more effective to get your messages across.
Take a step back, clam down, maybe things aren’t the bad as what you see?
Secondly, he talked about happiness. Getting happiness can be a two way thing. You can get happiness at the expense of others, and you can get it too by bringing it to others. He mentioned that personally he feels that bringing happiness to others last longer, and I agree. Happiness derived from selfishness is lonely and isolated. You are happy while someone else is suffering from your action. While on the other hand, bringing happiness to others allow both parties to benefit from it. Doing well makes your feel good, trust me on this and try it. The sense of satisfaction is beyond words. And doing good things can be really simple: words of encouragement to a colleague, helping someone to pack food when she’s busy. Such simple yet nice gestures easily lead to happiness.
So control your temper and be happy. In the future, if you have the power to change the environment of your working place. Perhaps try a workplace that is of no high-tension, high-pressure and governed by screamers. Cultivate a culture of helpfulness, and good working etiquettes which colleagues don’t vent anger at each other. Even if you don’t have the autonomy to change, do your part still. Control your anger and do good things. You never know someone is learning from you and spreading this around. It is always your move. (: