That is until someone makes you angry! Right? Wrong! For years I’ve taught this principle, but I still have to keep coming back to it because, well, people are people and they get under our skin. So, for example, in my life, this morning, i was reading a chapter from Jack Canfield’s new book, The Success Principles. In the first chapter he talks about how we need to take personal responsibility for our lives. And then he starts meddling. He talks about how two people experiencing the same event have different experiences and uses the following formula to talk about it.
E + R = O
Event + Response = Outcome
Now who has control over the response? We do. No one else does. No one can control our emotions . . . unless we let them. But even then, we were in control because we let them. Anyone feeling convicted yet?
So, when we the last time you let your spouse or your child "make" you angry? Or how about your boss? Or your employees? Or your neighbors? Or your in-laws? Or the people in your church? Or on your sports team? Or "the government"? You know, blame is one of the oldest sins on record (Genesis 3).
So, what’s the way out? Well, one way is by choosing to take full responsibility for our emotions—and our goals. Why? Because one of the reasons we allow people to take control of our emotions is that we continue to make our goals dependent upon them—which is bad decision. Why? Because whenever people are involved, chances are high our goals will be blocked. And when our goals are blocked, the normal resulting emotion is anger. So, if you want to reduce your anger, you’ll want to make your goals only those things which you have full control over (like your response), not those things/people that you don’t have complete control over (like everything else in the universe—including your spouse, kids, friends, boss and in-laws).
So, do you want to be free? If you do, take back control. Never let anyone take control of your emotions. And remember, no one can make you angry. No one . . . that is, unless YOU let them.