Temper Temper

You’re a martial artist, right?

Have you ever been in a p_ _ _ er of a mood, and felt that you’d bark (or snap) at anyone who crossed your path?

Or don’t you recognize that some days, the first person that you connect with (phone, in person, email) rubs you the wrong way. Then the next turkey also causes you stress. And on it goes; it seems that every-other-contact annoys or enrages you.

I’d like to say that as a martial artist, we’re in control of our emotions, and this never happens to us. And I do think that years of martial-arts training does have both a calming effect and teaches self control. Wouldn’t you agree?

Still, there are somedays, when you feel that it’s not your fault, yet you keep encountering incompetents … or people who want to “pick it” with you.

The Martial Artist’s Best Answer

Most would advise some sort of disconnect. Stop your immediate knee-jerk reaction. Pause. Don’t fall into the trap of a response. Control your emotions.

Or have you heard that no response is the best response?

I have a better idea, which may just be the best solution for the martial artist.

The answer is … reframe your crappy encounters:

Imagine that you had just found out some great news … maybe you won the lottery. With that image in mind, how would you react to the annoying flea in front of you?

Or … the minute you notice that it’s turning into “one of those days” (nod to Pink Floyd), you decide that each and every action requires a smile as your reaction.

Maybe your reframing … or paradigm shift will be to go into “teacher mode” for the day. You’ll patiently explain … whatever. Today, you aren’t getting mad … you are behaving as an understanding instructor would to a student.

I’m sure you could think of other hats to put on, to make this shift in perspective. You change the way your view the day, your responses, and your outlook. Call it a mental exercise.

The result?

You’ll appear calmer. And people will wonder how it is that you never seem to get upset.

Your answer … you’re a martial artist.

So, do I ever get upset with people? (Uh … gulp. Call me a work in progress.  😉

Many would say that I’m great at controlling my temper. I think that we can always improve.

Tags: , ,