You know what, the world isn't angry, the people are angry. There is so much anger in the world it's sometimes overwhelming. But it's not new, people all over the world have been angry for as long as we know.
Anger is an emotion that gets a reaction. We all feel it, every single one of us. We all see anger around us, every single day in some shape or form. And most of us have no clue what to do about it. Interestingly enough, anger in one usually inspires anger in the people around them, it's just that sort of emotion.
We express anger when we don't get our way, when we feel trapped and not in control. We express anger when our thoughts and ideas are not validated and we are treated differently and less than we feel we deserve. We express anger when we feel wronged, betrayed, hurt, and insulted. And we express our feeling through anger because we don't know how else to do it, and became it forces people "hear" us.
There is nothing fundamentally wrong with anger, it's just another emotion that all people feel and express. What's wrong is when anger is expressed in a manner that hurts others for the sake of our own emotional self-preservation.
When we lash out at another person, or groups of people because we feel we've been wronged in some way, and we want those around us to feel the same way we do.
When we selfishly force our own emotions on others because we don't have the capacity to deal with our own issues in a healthy and productive manner, we make things worse. Always.
This can be said for ALL emotions, even the "good" ones. If you try to force someone going through a rough time to be happy, you'll probably create conflict. Things associated with positivity are not always good. People need to feel what they are going through, and being forced to feel something else, even if it's happiness, or joy, might not be a very good thing for them at the time.
So we all have a choice. Knowing that we all feel anger, we have a choice to learn to express it in a way that doesn't hurt or bring others down. And knowing that others feel anger, we have a choice to react to theirs either by matching and ultimately adding to their anger, shoving an opposing emotion down their throat, or by helping and supporting them.
What you choose to put into the world, and into others, is 100% on you. No other person has that sort of control over you, no matter what you think. If someone is screaming in your face, you actually do not have to scream back. You really don't.
And how do we control our own anger? Learn to express it in a less harmful manner.
If you're pissed off because work is stressing you out, don't take it out on your friends and loved ones, they are your support.
If things are falling down around you and it seems like you have no control, take the time to understand what you can control and accept what you can't.
If a small group of people decide to lash out and act out of anger, don't close your doors on ALL people because of the actions of a few.
Adding anger to somebody already angry NEVER helps or works. Never.
You have a choice. Help yourself and the people around you to understand and grow from an angry situation, or add to the anger and fuel the fire of conflict.
What kind of person will you be?
Never Stop, GET FIT.
Happiness. Joy. Positivity. Beauty. All these things and everything good are always right there in front of you, it's your state of mind that allows you to see them all or not. Have you ever looked at something and just didn't give it the time of day, just walked on by, or even scoffed at it thinking how insignificant it is? Then, all of a sudden one day you see the same thing and you are blown away at how amazing it makes you feel? The thing itself did not change; it’s you that did.
I knew all along during my time of negative thoughts and extreme lack of motivation that I would find it all again. After all, I have always prided myself as being one who saw the bright side of life, and spent more time seeing the good in things than the bad. And it's just so funny to think that out of the blue you can see the world in a whole new light. I'm not about to say that I am ready to go skipping through the woods, rejoicing and singing songs or anything. All I am saying is that I have remembered what my purpose is in life and have re-focused my attention to what I like and what makes me feel alive and good. There are still bad things there, but I am systematically moving them away from me so that I can be the person I've known I wanted to be for so long.
It's incredibly powerful, and awesomely self-strengthening to realize that it's completely up to you to feel good or bad. If something is happening in your life, you ALWAYS have a choice to keep it, or get rid of it. I know that there are times when that legitimately feels impossible, but the fact of the matter is, you really do have the power to be in control.
When you see your life spiraling in the wrong direction. When you are getting sick, getting overly stressed, acting out, expressing anger, sorrow, fear, and you are becoming generally more angry for any reason at all. It could be your job, your family, your relationship, your living situation, literally anything. You need to take a moment here and there to assess whether or not some of the things in your life, or the choices you make on a daily basis are the right ones for you. Here's a bit of a light-hearted example. Over the past few months I have been watching a crap-ton of TV shows on my computer. No joke, I would probably spend an average of about 4 hours a day watching shows (honestly, it had to have been more than that!). I was doing this to avoid having to face the fact that I was acting like a little bitch and avoiding all the things I should be doing. I was feeling so down, sorry for myself, and so many other things that I overwhelmed my own brain and just decided I would do my best to check out. I didn’t go run around the woods, I didn't go climb a tree by the water. I didn't hit an extra workout, hell, half the time I didn't even hit ONE workout. I could watch an entire episode of Arrested Development without even cracking a smile. Now that is freaking bad! The things that made me happy were right next to me all along though. Sort of hanging out, waiting for me to give them attention because they knew I wouldn’t be able to avoid them forever. I guess my happiness is smarter than me.
And all it took was a little change of perspective. A little time where I could rip myself away from the negative things bringing me down, where I didn't have a computer and couldn't escape to my TV shows. When all of a sudden you have a handful of incredibly supportive people next to you, asking you to join them in things you know you love doing, rather than you having to find the motivation to do them yourself, your eyes will just flash open. For me it happened with three major things: running up the crazy sand hills at Baker Beach and looking over the Golden Gate Bridge while gasping for breath and dripping sweat. That was nice. Climbing a tree in Golden Gate Park, somewhere away from the cars and people. And walking a freezing, windy, empty beach at Ocean Beach. Just a couple days and all of a sudden I could not keep fooling myself into being a lazy, negative person. My natural personality reemerged and it was so unbelievably invigorating and exciting.
For me, it was simply putting myself in a situation where people that naturally supported me doing the things that make me feel good could surround me. And where I could not avoid doing things I liked to do. I was able to remove all negativity from my life for a couple days and that was all it took. Maybe all I needed was an hour, or perhaps I would have needed a week or a month. Either way, the simplest way to do it is to step away from things that bring you down, surround yourself with things that lift you up, and boom, you're good to go!
I know it's all way easier said than done, but saying it, or finding out what to do to make your life better is so simple. Age-old quotes and sayings are age-old for a reason; they work. Get rid of all the negative in your life, and surround yourself with the positive. If you choose to make excuses about why your life sucks, that’s on you, it’s your damn choice to make things better. If you know what you want out of life, pursue it with more passion and energy than anything else in the world. And if you don’t know what you want, constantly try new things so you can learn what it is you were built to do best. I am a rare case it seems. Rare in the fact that I have known what I wanted since I was pretty young. I wanted to play professional baseball. I mean, I REALLY wanted it. I never knew anything else besides that desire. And when baseball became a reality, that same passion and drive was found in wanting to inspire others to become healthier. I hope to inspire people, not just through writing and coaching, but through living my life the way I always talk about and share with others; you know, practicing what I preach. And I preach to be honest with yourself, wear your personality on your sleeve for everyone to see, good and bad, and do what makes you feel good and right (as long as you're not hurting others).
I still have plenty of things to work through, and I will always have negatives in my life. It is ridiculous to think or expect that everything will always be wonderful and perfect. But if you spend most of your days completely understanding what it is you are living for, it makes it so much clearer and easier to figure out how best to deal with the negative and the bad.
I am waking up each day now thinking about teaching and coaching. And right next to those exciting thoughts is an eagerness to spend my quality time with the barbell and the outdoors each and every day. And the people in my life that bring me warmth, and respect me for who I am will inspire me today. And the ones that question me, and bring me down with their negativity will not get my attention.
Never Stop, GET FIT.
__ Let's step away from overused metaphors like glasses being half full and such and break it down as straight forward as possible. How do you see the world? Some people know instantaneously that they are positive or negative people and to those people, well, you got something pretty big figured out. To be honest, I can respect a bit those people who admit to being really negative; at least they are honest with themselves and with everyone around them as to who they are. It allows for people like me, and others who don't much care for over-negativity to not hang out with them on a regular basis. The other type of person is one that doesn't really know where they stand. Perhaps they are both? Perhaps they think they are positive in general, but are really pretty negative. This is a tough one because how is someone supposed to be honest about who they are if they have no clue they are lying to themselves, or, they just don't care?
Here's a go-to test. Take one day and decide to make note of the first thing that comes out of your mouth. Interestingly, what will inevitably happen is you'll either not say very much (and still, the things you say, pay close attention to them), but what you CAN do now is really see what it is you wanted to say. When you get cut off, do you want to say something to express your frustration? Did you actually say something? Or did you just pay no attention? Or did you notice something really cool the person cutting you off was wearing? The fact is people, while it is a choice to act on your negativity and/or aggression, for some people it is much more deeply rooted than simply being able to just stop. If your natural inclination is to think negative thoughts most of your day, there is something deeply struggling inside of you. Its funny, I know by writing this I am going to get a lot of blood boiling in negative people. But that right there is perfectly proving my point. If my post here annoys you, pisses you off, gets you all defensive and you find yourself making excuses, or throwing stuff back at me, either in your mind or maybe in email, or to my face, well, simply put, you're a negative person!
If it IS your natural inclination to exude negativity, I can only offer my advice on some things I have found work for me. I am obviously not a therapist or anything like that. So, that being said, take my thoughts as merely experiential and based on my young years of learning from people, myself and over-analyzing pretty much everything. Here's one my Mom used to tell me when I was a kid. I always found it cheesy, but when I tried it, it worked absolute wonders for me. I still use this method to this day when I feel negativity taking over in my head, and it still works so well. When something happens (let's use the getting cut off scenario again) and you feel those negative thoughts and angry feeling bubbling up. Take a second and try to find something unique, or cool, or interesting about the person. Perhaps they have a cool hat, or a shirt that you relate to, or a sweet pair of shoes on, or an interesting hair cut? Tell yourself this. And for added effect, say it aloud to yourself so you can hear your own voice. If you really want to feel the full effects, tell the person who cut you off the positive thing you found about them and watch what happens. A positive thought usually leads to other positive thoughts. You see someone with cool shoes and you begin to think about your own shoes. Then you remember an awesome pair of shoes you had as a kid and the time you and your mother or father went shopping for them and had such a fun experience. And just like that, the tiny little “being cut off” thing vanished into a wonderful daydream of a happy childhood memory.
Maybe you can take that little shift in thinking, and ponder about how stressful wasting your time on feeling negative towards everything really is. How, if you are always putting other things down, it’ll be pretty damn hard to look at yourself, and the things you want to love in a positive light. Negativity begets negativity people, and it is powerful enough to strongly affect the people you surround yourself with.
Oh, and one last thought for todays post: when was the last time you smiled for no apparent reason, someplace in public?
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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